By: Sean Crose
Walking out to the Imperial March of Star Wars’ fame, the 22-3-1, Greg Vendetti entered the ring at LA’s Microsoft Theater on Saturday to face the one and only 26-3-3 Erislandy Lara in a twelve round super middleweight battle. The bout was presented by PBC and was broadcast live on Fox.
The heavily favored defending WBA champion Lara essentially fought a perfect first round, maintaining distance and landing cleanly. Challenger Venditti didn’t look bad – just outclassed early on. Vendetti tried moving in on his man in the second. Vendetti continued to move forward in the third, while Lara employed feints to keep his man at bay.
Lara began striking with power in the fourth. The fifth saw Lara continue to play bullfighter to Vendetti’s bull. By the sixth it was beyond obvious that Lara was the far more skilled of the two fighters. Yet Vendetti kept moving forward gamely.
Both men began fighting on the inside in the seventh. Vendetti continued to apply pressure in the eighth, but was unable to do real damage against the defending champion. Determined to reach Lara, Vendetti pressed forward in the ninth. It was monotonous, perhaps, but there was no doubt Vendetti was aiming to win the fig,ht.
The eleventh saw Lara using his brilliant defense and crisp punching to once again control the battle. Choosing consistency over excitement, Lara cruised through the twelfth, as he had most of the fight. The judges ruled in favor of Lara by scores of 116-112, 117-111, and 117-111.