Oldest world champion in boxing Erislandy Lara defends title with stunning one-punch KO of Michael Zerafa in second round


Erislandy Lara knocked out Michael Zerafa on Saturday night to retain his position as the oldest boxing world champion.

The 40-year-old Cuban, who will be 41 on April 11, was recently upgraded to become the WBA middleweight king and successfully retained his belt in his first defence.

Lara first became well known when he fought Canelo


Lara first became well known when he fought CaneloCredit: Getty

Lara has been a notable name in boxing for a decade.

In 2014, he lost a close contentious decision to Canelo Alvarez and has been regarded as a tricky customer ever since.

Lara recovered from this defeat to win the WBA ‘regular’ super-welterweight belt.

In 2016, he was upgraded to become the full WBA super-welterweight world champion – a title he held for two years before being dethroned by Jarrett Hurd.

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Upon moving up to middleweight, Lara took the same route in 2021, first claiming the WBA ‘regular’ belt.

Last year, he was upgraded to become the full WBA middleweight world champion, making him the oldest title-holder in boxing.

At 40, many of course feel Lara is now far more beatable than he was in his prime.

But on Saturday night he showed he still has plenty left to offer.

Lara defended against Michael Zerafa on the Tim Tszyu vs Sebastian Fundora undercard.

He took out the man eight years his junior with a stunning one-punch KO in round two.

It was a single straight left hand which sent Zerafa crashing to the ropes.

He made it back to his feet, but staggered into the ropes, prompting the referee to stop the contest at 2:59 of the second round.

Afterwards, he said: “Rust? What rust? I’ve worked my f***ing ass off in training because I know that all of these fighters are coming for my title. 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.”

In the main event, meanwhile, Tszyu lost to Fundora in what has been described as one of the bloodiest fights. American Fundora, the late replacement pulled off a major upset, stepping in on one week’s notice to beat Australian Tszyu, the champion, and claim the WBC and WBO super-welterweight world titles.

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