“The American Dream” Lara and WBA Champion Brian Castaño Fight to a Draw

 Lara and Castano fought to an exciting draw. (Al Bello/Getty Images photo credit)
Lara and Castano fought to an exciting draw. (Al Bello/Getty Images photo credit)

By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com

Coming up this Saturday, March 2 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, and presented by Premier Boxing Champions, former Super Welterweight World Champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara will look to reclaim a piece of the 154-pound crown when he challenges WBA champion Brian Castaño.

In the main bout which aired live on Showtime from Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center by Premier Boxing Champions, the 154-pound Erislandy Lara and WBA Super Welterweight Champion Brian Castaño fought to a highly contested draw on Saturday night. Although Castaño retains the WBA belt, this may very well have been the toughest test of his career. The judges scored the fight 115-113 (Castaño), 115-113 (Lara) and 114-114.

In his first fight in the United States Castaño (15-0-1, 11 KOs), had the advantage in power punches (181-103), while Lara (25-3-3, 14 KOs) had success landing his left-handed jabs, by over 7%. This fight had to be difficult for the judges to score. Castaño applied more power in the later rounds while connecting connected on 44 punches; in turn, Lara only landed 24 punches in those same championship rounds.

“I know I won the fight. I feel I was robbed,” the disappointed Castaño said to SHOWTIME’s Jim Gray. “If he wants the rematch, I’ll give him the rematch. I waited for him this time so I can wait for him again if he wants the rematch. I would give him the rematch if he wants. I can also go ahead and fight any other champion that wants to fight me. I’m ready for whoever they put in front of me. Hurd or anyone else.”

As you might have expected, Lara felt he did enough to win the belt: “I thought I won the fight by landing the more accurate and effective punches. Castaño came to fight but he never hurt me and I hurt him. All I can do is give the fans great fights and that’s what I’ll continue to do. I have a lot of fight left in me and I’m not going anywhere. If we have to fight him again, I’ll fight him. Hurd or Castaño. Anybody, I’ll have the rematch with both.”

We saw two heavyweights slug it out in the co-feature, as Cuban Heavyweight slugger Luis Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs) gained a unanimous decision victory over Christian Hammer (24-6, 14 KOs). Ortiz is now looking for another world title shot, since dropping a thrilling slugfest with WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder over a year ago.

Ortiz used his superior technique and skills to cruise to the lopsided decision, as he averaged 45 jabs per round. Both men fought through bloody noses at different points in the fight and both were stunned in a back-and-forth second round. Ortiz also made a conscious effort to attack Hammer’s body with 33.6% of his total connects (45 of 140) coming via body shots

“The fight wasn’t what I was expecting,” said Ortiz. “I fought a fight that I hadn’t for years, which is box and work,” said Ortiz. “So, I’m not disappointed I didn’t knock him out because I showed some of my boxing skills tonight.” “It was a hard fight and my corner really had to work with me. After I got the

rhythm, I heated up a little bit. Every heavyweight out there should know that I still have it at 40-years-old. Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, I’m ready.”

“Ortiz is a very good and experienced fighter,” said the 31-year-old Hammer, who was making his American debut. “He’s technical and smart but he’s not as intimidating as people say he is. I respect Ortiz but I don’t think he’s the best fighter I’ve ever faced.”

In Showtimes opener on Saturday night, Eduardo Ramirez (22-1-3, 9 KOs) caught Bryan De Gracia (24-2-1, 20 KOs) with his dangerous right uppercut in the ninth round. This uppercut stunned De Gracia and suddenly broke open a close fight. Ramirez the pounced the dazed De Gracia and unleashed a wave of punches which forced referee Benjy Esteves to call the fight in the 9th round.”

“I definitely knew it was close but my corner kept telling me to keep going and going, and that’s when I caught him,” said Ramirez, who was fighting with a heavy heart following the passing of his grandfather. “I didn’t just come here to fight. I came here to do something, and I did it.”

In SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN action that streamed live on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page, Edwin Rodriguez (31-2, 20 KOs) won a 10-round cruiserweight fight via unanimous decision over Mitch Williams (16-7-3, 11 KOs) by scores of 96-94 twice and 98-92. Coverage on social media also saw Antonio Russell (13-0, 11 KOs), younger brother of WBC Featherweight Champion Gary Russell Jr., stop Jose Maria Cardenas (16-4, 13 KOs) 22 seconds into the sixth round of their bantamweight fight. In the opening bout of the digital presentation, Leduan Barthelemy (14-0-1, 7 KOs) remained unbeaten with a unanimous decision over Miguel Angel Aispuro (11-7-2, 7 KOs) by scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73 in their eight-round super featherweight attraction.

Once again PBC offered Boxing Fans another wonderful fight card for then to tune in and enjoy. Are you enjoying these fight cards PBC is promoting week in and week out? Please share your thoughts on the exciting fight cards Premier Boxing Championship have provided for us boxing fans, week in week out, by commenting in the comment section of this article on www.whatsgoodinsports.com or reaching out to us on twitter @whatsgoodinsports.