Jorge Lara and Jesus Rojas fought to a draw in the co-feature of tonight’s Fox Sports 1 at the Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, California.
Lara started off dictating the action. It wasn’t an overwhelming attack, but it was a methodical pressure. Lara used the pressure to stay in a safe range, but he remained close enough to do damage. Rojas for his part didn’t do much in that first round. He was allowing himself to be backed up and he also appeared sluggish.
Rojas was able to land a big right hand early in the fight. It wasn’t enough to win a round because he did almost nothing else, but it was definitely the most meaningful single punch to that point in the fight, and it did stagger Lara just a bit.
Lara, in the 3rd round, made a very necessary adjustment as the smaller fighter fighting out of the southpaw position as he began to work his way inside. His best work was on the inside and he landed very hard uppercuts. Rojas, however, was able to walk Lara back just a bit and was trying to force him to fight off of his back foot.
Lara was also using the lead hand beautifully and started to fight on both the inside and outside. He was dictating the pace of the fight.
The head-butts became a problem in the early-middle part of the fight. There was no one fighter to blame as this kind of thing tends to happen with the orthodox-southpaw matchup. It was similar to the issue Rojas had in his fight with Jorge Arce, a fight that resulted in a NC because of accidental fouls that did not allow Arce to continue.
Both fighters were cut from head-butts, and those cuts worsened as the fight continued.
Rojas started to double up the jab and began finding success in the 6th round. The pressure Rojas was using was enough to keep Lara honest, but it also made it impossible for Lara to keep Rojas off of him. The right hand also started to pop Lara hard. In fact, Rojas landed almost as many right hands in the 6th as he did in the other rounds combined.
The cuts were clearly an issue for Lara in the 6th, so much so that referee Jack Reiss decided to get the ring doctor to check on Lara between rounds headed into the 7th. The doctor ruled that the cut was too severe and Reiss called the fight off after Lara insinuated that he could not see.
Due to the fight being stopped by accidental head-butt, and because they finished past the 4th, we would go to the scorecards.
All three judges scored the fight 57-57, resulting in a technical draw.
The score was fair for multiple reasons. One, Lara started off fast, but Rojas worked his way back into the fight. Also, I felt that it was possibly karma for Lara, who was the favorite in the fight, being that he was unable to continue but figured he was up on the scorecards, potentially taking advantage of the cut and trying to steal a fight in which the momentum was shifting towards his opponent.
I wouldn’t mind seeing it again, but Rojas needs to finish a fight clean before he becomes known as the jinx in boxing.
Lara blamed Rojas in his post-fight interview and called him an embarrassment. He admitted to not being able to see in the post-fight interview.