Originally posted on The Queensbury Rules  |  Last updated 6/9/13
CARSON -- Onlookers seeking to study the art of warfare with a keen eye should have paid close attention to what Marcos Maidana and Josesito Lopez pulled off at the Home Depot Center. Apparently there's just something about the venue that rouses the inner demon in your average pugilist, though you may not want to regard neither Maidana nor Lopez as "your average pugilist." Six rounds were required to tell us who these men are, but only Marcos Maidana hovered atop the blood stains by way of 6th round TKO. The co-feature between Erislandy Lara and Alfredo Angulo offered thrills and spills of its own, though with a semi-controversial outcome as Angulo bowed out due to what looked to be a severe eye injury. Even at 34-3 (31 KO), many felt Maidana's billing as a "knockout artist" was inaccurate coming into the bout. But despite his obvious knack for folding guys in half, perhaps the many were right. Against Victor Ortiz, Amir Khan, Jesus Soto-Karass, and now Josesito Lopez, 30-6 (18 KO) and 1 no contest, Maidana has shown that one of his more valuable traits is being able to bounce back from being hurt. The early going played out like your prototypical Maidana vs. Lopez fight: Maidana stalking, Lopez doing his caged animal routine, but with the added rub of Maidana popping out a consistent jab. Things changed in rounds 3 and 4, however, when Lopez managed to rock Maidana with errant shots, a murky knockdown in the 4th being ruled a slip. Round 5 was trading, Maidana getting his feet under him, and at the end of the stanza, starting to sink his claws in. A right hand in the 6th round finally stole Lopez' legs out from under him, and he rose from a knockdown looking weary. The follow up barrage from Maidana was punctuated by a right uppercut and a bunch of right hands through and around Lopez' guard, prompting referee intervention at 1:18. Erislandy Lara and Alfredo Angulo's co-feature provided a few thrills and spills of its own, though without most of the more sustained action of the main event. While the first few rounds looked to be all about Angulo finding his timing and catching up, Lara also got working despite taking a few hard whacks to the body. Things changed in the 4th round, though. A left hook as the two fighters were exchanging caught Lara, putting him down and looking worried. From that point forward, Lara's measured movement became more urgent, and he seemed to be more preoccupied with not getting hit than scoring points. The paranoia did him somewhat well, and he was able to move and fire off left hands that Angulo took full force while moving forward. But Lara was still getting pegged to the body when he glued on his high guard. Close rounds followed with Lara moving better and punching sharper, but not without taking licks here and there. And again in round 9, a left hook put Lara down, though this time his legs were all over the place as he got up and survived the round. But round 10 was the only round that mattered. In fighting with slightly more confidence, Lara was able to peg Angulo with a left hand that may have broken his eye socket, which was enough to have "Perro" walking away from the action, leading to a referee stoppage. At worst for Angulo, 22-3 (18 KO), he just went about even-up, if not better, with a fighter generally regarded as one of the best fighters at junior middleweight. Lara, 18-1-2 (12 KO), showed little that we hadn't seem before, aside from a potentially suspect chin. It has to be recognized, though, that for all his shortcomings, Angulo can punch. If nothing else, Lara showed he could get up from two knockdowns to force a stoppage of his own. New stars have hardly been born in this one, but it's at worst casual reinforcement that sometimes what's good on paper draws out well.

This article first appeared on The Queensbury Rules and was syndicated with permission.

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