Justice is served: Ulises Solis reversed one of the worst decisions of 2010 with a close split decision win in 2011 over Luis Lazarte on Saturday. This time, the fight was far closer to the draw that was ruled in the first meeting of the two junior flyweights — Solis-Lazarte I should have been a wipeout. I scored this one eight rounds to four for Solis, but a few of those rounds were very close.
Solis was once more the superior technician, and for almost the entire fight, he kept Lazarte on the end of his jab, backing against the ropes. Thing is, Lazarte was relying on his trusty feral lunges, and occasionally he’d land something that clearly did damage. In the rounds that were close, or that Lazarte won, the amount of damage exceeded the ring generalship Solis exhibited. Although Solis countered Lazarte with rights and lefts on some of his lunges, he fought too cautiously overall, giving Lazarte room to override his work.
It was hard to tell if Solis’ caution was a result of the legitimate damage Lazarte was doing — Lazarte’s body work was pretty effective, and he appeared to wobble Solis a couple times — or a result of the fear of being fouled. In the first fight, Lazarte employed every possible foul, up to and including biting. In this fight, he played nice for most of the early rounds, but got rougher and rougher as the fight went on. In an 8th round sequence that resulted in a point deduction, he landed both a punch square on Solis’ ass and then square on the back of his head. Guy is a boxing-cheating polymath. Solis was deducted a point the next round, apparently for holding. Between the roughhousing, Solis’ caution and Lazarte’s wild charges, it was an ugly fight.
The end result redeems it: A 116-111, 113-114, 115-112 split decision. With the fight as close as it was — and most people I saw on Twitter still scored it for Solis — it would have been reasonable to worry whether the Argentian judges would once more screw over the Mexican invader. They did not.
It was ugly justice, but justice nonetheless.