By Jake Donovan
Erislandy Lara cruised to a landslide decision win over Delvin Rodriguez in their 12-round main event Friday evening in Chicago, Illinois.
The fact that he cruised, however, remains a point of contention for those who continue to watch the talented Cuban ply his trade.
Scores were 120-107 across the board in favor of Lara, who scored a knockdown towards the end of round six.
A competitive matchup was never expected, as Rodriguez (28-8-4, 16KOs) has long ago seen better days. By design, it was the perfect setting for Lara to not only win, but look good and improve his marketability in efforts to land some of the big fights he's craved for so long.
Unfortunately for those in attendance at the UIC Pavilion and for those viewing from home on Spike TV, that never happened.
Lara landed left hands at will early on, as Rodriguez struggled to time the supremely skilled southpaw. An aggressive attack eventually gave way to a boxing match, although Lara provided a spark with a jab, straight left combination to floor Rodriguez late in round six.
It was the closest the fight ever came to a spectacular ending. Rodriguez took the full mandatory eight count, survived the round and eventually the fight.
The crowd grew impatient as the fight extended into double digit rounds, the boo birds coming out in full force. Lara appeared to have scored another knockdown in round 11, but replays showed that Rodriguez actually tripped over his opponent's right foot while partially blocking a left hand before stumbling to the canvas.
Rather than close the show, the fight simply ended at the end of 12 rounds. Lara picked up his second straight win, advancing to 21-2-2 (12KOs). His performance did little to improve his chances of landing his dream fights, but didn't at all stop him from calling out some of the biggest names in the sport.
"The future is clear," Lara stated. "We want Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Gennady Golovkin. We want them all."
There's a long line of fighters also hoping to land a showdown with anyone on that list. They may not boast the same type of talent as Lara, but the lack of action that comes with his fight continues to be the one in-ring hurdle he is unable—or unwilling—to clear.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox