Erislandy Lara vs Brian Castano – a draw that upset everyone

Erislandy Lara Santoya (25-3-3) boxed Brian Carlos Castano (15-0-1) to a puzzling draw last Saturday at the Barclays center, Brooklyn. Both boxers disagreed along with fans and observers. It may be time to bring up a painful issue that affects not only Eryslandy Lara but seems to subvert boxing as whole. I cannot think of any high-profile draw in MMA or even unpopular decisions for that matter.

Eryslandy Lara of Cuba just cannot get a fair shake in judging. He has three draws on his record – it looks as though he is a soccer player. Basketball fans have seen less draws and Lara is in the dream team of boxing. His nickname is “The American Dream”. It may be ironical and he adds to the effect by refusing to learn English after all these years in the US.

The Cuban has three losses to match his draws and none is a UD. He lost an MD to Paul Williams while most observers felt Lara won clearly, then Canelo won an SD over the Cuban which I scored 116-112 for Lara. The Cuban recently dropped another SD to Jared Hurd. This a score I can live with – Hurd ate every punch in the book on the chin in the first 6 but shook it and took charge in the second half to overpower and hurt Lara.

The Cuban’s “love affair” with the scoring officials continued last Saturday. He may be too technical and stylish for the judges, his impeccable timing and distance may be deceptive to them just as they are supposed to be, only to the opponent. His ability to land almost at will may go unnoticed – if a fine tuned opponent cannot see his textbook leads and counters, why would a judge see them. Most judges would not know what hit them if they faced a pro and therefore they would not score it.

In my opinion, Erislandy Lara won at least 8 rounds clearly against Castano and the rest were close. It would be futile for me to make the effort of constructing an elaborate score card but I would like to highlight that problem with mild indignation. Lara’s tactics, technique, timing and generalship deserve better, in fact he deserves the best but “The American dream” will have to keep on dreaming.