In one of the best competitive match-ups in boxing, at least on paper, Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout stepped into the ring to determined who would end up with bragging rights after a lot of pre-fight talk.
In the first round, both fighters started slow, calculating each other out and figuring out their attack game. Lara was able to set the phase towards his favor a bit more and while jabs dominated the round, it was Lara who landed most of them.
By the second round the crowd was a bit disappointed in the action taking place in the ring and they started booing as fighters were still trying to establish their phase. While the round was slow, Lara was able to land a few right hands that seemed to be the most effective punches of the fight so far.
To the continuing displeasure of the crowd, the fight was a chess match between two good boxers with similar styles, and both left handers, which didn't help. Trout’s game plan seemed to be an attempt to cut the ring of and attack from there, while Lara tried to stay in the center and outbox him in the middle of the ring.
Through four rounds, although Lara was landing the sharper and cleaner punches, the fight was very competitive still, with both fighters still appearing as if they were trying to adapt to each other. The question became a matter of who would adapt better first.
Unlike the first two rounds, now by the sixth, it was Trout the one pursuing Lara, who had now taken the role of the counter puncher, a role in which he was getting the better of Trout with successful left hooks.
By the eight round, Trout was completely out of his game. He was the aggressor, a role in which he didn’t seem comfortable in and one in which we have barely seen him before. Unable to adapt and change his game plan, Lara was putting rounds in the bag.
Still in the un comfortable role of the aggressor, Trout was unable to find any success, with Lara being able to use his footwork to slip away from any danger. Whatever game plan Trout and his team had heading into the fight was not working so far and they seemed unable to change it.
Giving Lara credit for his game plan, he picked his shots from a distance and his straight left up top was the favorable punch for the Cuban, landing it flush once or twice every round. The fight was very dull, and neither fighter caused much damage to the other, but the better punches were clearly landed by Lara, giving him the advantage on the judges scorecards.
Trout, after having the best round of the fight in the eleventh, was dropped by a flush left hand by Lara which dropped him for only the second time in his career. Trout was badly hurt but was bale to make it up from the count. Lara immediately jumped on him, hurting him again but was unable to finish him off as the bell rang and Trout stumbled his way back to his corner.
In the final round Lara played it safe, he was bouncing on his feet and the struggling Trout was unable to do anything different from what he had done in the entire fight. Lara went on to cruise in the last and final round, the same way he did for the entire fight.