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Erislandy Lara continues to defy time, stopping Michael Zerafa in two

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by Joseph Santoliquito | 

LAS VEGAS — It had been almost two years since Erislandy Lara last fought. It was hard to tell the way he dispatched Michael Zerafa on the Premier Boxing Champions’ inaugural Amazon Prime event on Saturday from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Lara (30-3-3, 18 knockouts) is 40, the oldest world titlist, which he defended for the second time when he retained the WBA middleweight by stopping Zerafa (31-5, 19 KOs) at 2:59 of the second.

In the last 10 seconds of the second round, Lara landed a right hook followed by a sniper-like straight left to Zerafa’s chin that sent Zerafa crashing to the canvas. The Australian rose on unsteady legs, prompting referee Allen Huggins to end the fight at 2:59 of the second round.

“Rust? What rust? I’ve worked my f—– ass off in training because I know that all of these fighters are coming for my title,” Lara said. “By staying ready, you don’t have to get ready.

“I have always said that I only need one or two rounds to size my opponent up, and I knew I had him from the very first round. That left hand shot was just a matter of time.

“I want to dedicate this fight to the fans that have supported me all this time, both from Cuba and all over the world as well.”

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Follow @JSantoliquito

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