In the second bout of the Monday, September 29 edition of Golden Boy Live, the 23 year old Fidel Maldonado Jr. (19-2, 16 KOs) faced off against 29 year old Nelson Lara (15-6-4, 8 KOs), in an eight-round bout.
Maldonado, fighting for the first time since February, came out active, firing crisp lead lefts from his southpaw stance and landed some nice combinations as he continuously beat Lara to the punch.
It was apparent early on that Lara was much too slow for Maldonado.
Maldonado had his way in Round 2 using a beautiful left uppercut to set the tone, snapping Lara’s head back in highlight reel fashion.
Round 3 heated up as Maldonado began to disregard what was working so well early on, which was quick combinations and movement.
Instead, Maldonado began standing in the pocket and trading with Lara who was able to land some clean hooks.
Maldonado smiled and welcomed more, but he ate unnecessary punches that could have put him on the canvas against a bigger puncher.
The fight was Lara’s first in the United States and although he took a few rounds to warm up, he came on like a hurricane in Round 4, giving the “Atrisco Kid” all that he could handle.
Maldonado found himself being hit cleanly against the ropes in a round that could easily be in contention for round of the year.
In Round 5, Maldonado wisely began using his legs more, starting most of his offense with a stiff jab.
Perhaps it was the well placed shots to the body, or maybe the 1000 punches he threw in Round 4, but Lara slowed down drastically in Round 5 as he spent the last half of the round getting pounded against the ropes.
It was a great comeback round for Maldonado, who just one round before had engaged in an unnecessary war.
Round 6 was mostly target practice for the Atrisco Kid as he worked Lara like a heavy bag with crisp combo’s upstairs and to the body. Lara finished the round landing some good leather, but only when Maldonado disregarded the proper distance that worked so well for his offensive attack.
In Round 7, the referee inexplicably deducted a point from Maldonado after he spun Lara around while avoiding a punch. No warnings, just a point deduction.
After the deduction, both men seemed reignited and eager to trade, much to the dismay of Maldonado’s corner.
Each fighter landed clean shots to the head with each man’s head violently snapping back. It was fun to watch, but for Maldonado it was very undisciplined.
In the final stanza, Maldonado came out with his foot on the gas pedal, throwing furious combinations and doing enough to knock Lara down with a nice left-right combination.
The game Lara got up to continue fighting, but he kept eating clean shots without firing much back. The referee had seen enough and stopped the fight in the final round, giving Fidel Maldonado the victory by TKO.
Maldonado stated before the fight that he would love a shot against undefeated Lightweight, Omar Figueroa.
Figueroa was interviewed on camera after Maldonado’s victory and had some choice words saying, “He gets hit a lot and I hit people. So, if he wants to do it we can.”
— GoldenBoyPromotions (@GoldenBoyBoxing) September 30, 2014
Maldonado: Landed 302 of 683 total punches – 44%
Lara: Landed 87 of 403 total punches – 22%