Molina Puts First Blemish on Lara's record, Scores a Draw in Ten
By German Villasenor (March 27, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
On Friday night, talented Cuban super welterweight Erislandy Lara, 15-0-1 (10), looked less than stellar, getting lucky and pulling off a majority draw in the last rounds against Carlos Molina, 17-4-2 (5), in the main event of ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” card at the Cosmopolitan Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The southpaw Lara waited to counter the aggressive Molina through the first couple of rounds, blocking most of his opponent’s shots, although his punch output was limited by the active Molina.

Molina went to the body in the third, doing much better than expected as Lara's last four opponents never saw the second round in their respective bouts.

Lara finally saw better success in the fourth and fifth, letting his hands go from the outside, as well as getting on his bicycle instead of staying in the pocket for too long.

Molina stayed on top, unrelenting with his pressure and constant punching, making the Cuban look rather ordinary through the seventh round. Molina looked to pull ahead, as Lara kept looking for one bomb at a time and getting outworked in the process.

Perhaps expending too much energy, Molina began to look tired and began to backpedal in the ninth. Lara took full advantage, landing a straight shot which snapped Molina's head back as he laid against the ropes, bleeding from underneath his left eye, Molina fought back bravely getting out of the round without any further damage inflicted.

Ronnie Shields, Lara's trainer, pleaded his charge to go all out in the tenth and final round.

Molina kept it on the inside, roughing it up and seemingly wanting it more, with Lara tying up in the final seconds.

Scores were 97-93 for Molina and 95-95 twice for the majority draw.

Jhonson Stops Gutierrez in Seven

On the co-featured bout, 2004 Olympic silver medalist and super welterweight Yudel Jhonson, 10-0 (7), defeated the battle-tested Colombian Richard Gutierrez, 26-6-1 (16), in a quick stoppage in seven.

The southpaw Jhonson showed his wares by measuring the face-first Gutierrez with probing jabs, straight lefts down the pike and sneaky body shots against the tough Colombian from the onset of the bout.

Punching with radar-like precision, along with clean defensive skills, Jhonson made the gap much wider in the second and third round.

A low blow by Jhonson gave the Colombian a break at the end of the round, with the Cuban punctuating the round with a couple of sharp shots which brought the crowd alive.

Gutierrez tried to lure his foe in the fourth, trying hard to set up traps, with the Cuban not falling for them. Jhonson continued his controlled, effective plan of attack .

Gutierrez would come alive in the last five seconds of the next couple of rounds, as Jhonson kept counterpunching at will against the plodding Colombian.

Jhonson scored a chopping left hand, staggering Gutierrez, sending him to the ropes. Jhonson then went after him, landing two head shots and a body shot in the seventh, with referee Russell Mora pulling the plug too quickly, stopping the fight at 1:09 of the frame.

In other results, Cuban Yunier Dorticos, 12-0 (12), stopped a tougher than expected Colombian, Jose Luis Herrera, 16-11 (16), (who came in on a five-day notice) in the second round.

Dorticos sent Herrera down in the second round on a furious exchange with a right hand upstairs and a follow-up flurry. Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight at 2:36 of the round.

German can be reached at

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