Junior middleweight Yuri Foreman came up short in his quest to upend one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. Erslandy Lara landed a perfectly timed left uppercut just as Foreman increased his offensive output in the fourth round.
Foreman, who suffered a torn ACL in 2010, moved well early in the fight. His feet were quick, but Foreman wasn't able to hit the target with his jab. Lara landed a crisp straight left to carry a feel-out first round. The Cuban boxer is known for his overhand counter left, but Lara relied on the straight left against Foreman.
Yuri had moments of aggressiveness, but Lara was able to parry the shots and hold. Foreman used feints, but couldn't mount an attack off of his feints. In the third, Foreman tripped over Lara's feet, but referee Sam Burgos erroneously called it a knockdown. Lara led 30-26 as a result.
The bogus knockdown call may have spurred Foreman on in the fourth, because he charged Lara as he threw in combination. That left Foreman open for a short left uppercut. As Yuri staggered to the canvas, Lara flexed his left bicep. Foreman then valiantly tried to pull himself up, but the punch was too powerful. The fight was stopped a minute and 47 seconds into the round.
Despite rust from inactivity Foreman's quick feet and snappy jab showed signs of the old Yuri, but he was in too deep tonight against one of the game's best. Lara's timing was better, his punches were sharper and more powerful, and his defense was impenetrable. Foreman falls to 34-3 with 10 KOs; Lara improves to 24-2-2 with 14 KOs.