Erislandy Lara made good on his promise to get rid of his opponent in four rounds or less.
The 38-year-old Cuban southpaw didn’t even need a full round to emphatically knock out Thomas ‘Cornflake’ LaManna in their Fox-televised middleweight contest Saturday evening from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. A left hand clipped New Jersey’s LaManna on the ear, putting him down and prompting referee Thomas Taylor to immediately wave off the bout after just 1:20 of action.
"He said at the press conference that he was going to knock me out, but he ran right into that punch,” Lara commented after the fight. “Maybe he was overthinking it all along.”
Both boxers were adamant in claiming the other would not hear the final bell but It was Lara (28-3-3, 16KOs) who lived up to his word in the end. The win came with a secondary version of the WBA middleweight title, technically rendering Lara a two-division titlist though with designs of dropping back down to junior middleweight where he holds a similar title.
Whatever he next decides, there aren’t any plans to leave the game any time soon. Even after 13 years in the sport, Lara still feels there is plenty of work left to be done—and perhaps even another legitimate title run.
"I feel great physically,” insists Lara, a former true junior middleweight titlist who held the primary version of the WBA title from 2014-2018. “I'm going to keep doing this until my body tells me I can't do it anymore. I don't feel like I've taken a lot of punishment in my career and I know I have at least another three years of my prime left."
Lara has now won three straight following a split decision loss to Jarrett Hurd in their thrilling 12-round WBA/IBF junior middleweight title unification bout in April 2018 and 12-round draw with Brian Castaño in March 2019.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox