By Rick Reeno
Last Friday at the Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, rising junior middleweight contender Erislandy Lara (15-0-1, 10KOs) was held to a shocking ten round majority draw by the always tough Carlos Molina (17-4-1, 5KOs). The scores were 97-93 for Molina, and two scores of 95-95 for the draw. Following the disappointing outcome, BoxingScene.com spoke to Lara in the dressing room.
You appeared to spend a lot of time waiting for him to get off first, while trying to counter. Were you waiting for an opening? And did you feel like you should have used your jab more often, and threw more combinations?
Lara: I think that every time when I had him at the distance, I controlled the fight. I think that 100% I should have used the jab a little bit more and threw combinations, but for some reason my arms felt a little tight and a little weary.
You trainer Ronnie Shields was screaming to close the rounds strong, because he felt a lot of the rounds were close. Do you feel like you provided Molina with the opportunities to steal rounds in the final minute? In some rounds you were controlling the first two minutes, but then Molina would come on strong in the final minute, and sometimes the final minute leaves a lasting impression on the scoring.
Lara: Yes, I think I was winning the first two minutes like you said, and then he was trying to steal the rounds from me in the final minute, but I don't think he did. I worked real hard and it was good hard fight for me.
After scoring four consecutive first round knockouts, do you feel that you needed this kind of fight?
Lara: 100%, I needed a tough fight like this, especially after coming off four first round knockouts. This was definitely the kind of fight that I needed, and Carlos Molina is a real good fighter, he's a tough guy and this is only going to make me a better fighter.
Do you want a rematch with Molina or do you plan to move forward with something else? I know you team is discussing a possible return in June. If you had a choice, who would you want to fight in June?
Lara: I'm just going to rest with my family. Those decisions are up to my promoters and my manager, Luis DeCubas Jr., and my team. My job is just to fight. I'll fight anybody that my management puts in there.