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27 February 2015 Laura Pausini vs Erica Durance

Page history last edited by Vassago 7 years, 10 months ago




Posted by Lookout! Boxing on February 27, 2015, 9:07 am


Laura Pausini vs. Erica Durance

Latin Union vs HMK Productions
(Words: Front Street / Results: Lookout!)

Pausini unapologetic about going after top contenders early in her FCBA career. "I'm not a tyro," the gorgeous Italian says. "I've had well over a dozen bouts in Europe, and I'm the Italian champion. I can fight with the best lights in the FCBA, and that's exactly what I plan to do."

"She's sturdy and can hit," says Erica, a champion in her own right, albeit a former one. "She's no pushover. But, she's not in my league. Then again, only a few of the most elite lightweights are."


Laura wants to, like Olivia sang, "get physical", which is no surprise, because the Italian IS physical and is at her best when she fights that attacking style. A bit more of a surprise is that Durance is willing to play along. Erica's, obviously, able to fight that style, and very well at that, but, as the superior boxer and athlete, one might have expected her to force a war of movement. Instead, she stands toe-to-toe with Laura and bumps and grinds with her. The two beauties exchange heavy leather from the first moments of the round, with both determined to impose will and both just as determined not to allow that to happen. It's good, two-way stuff for about a minute and a half until a short left hook ROCKS Durance. Erica's sturdy legs hold her up, but that left would have put seventy percent of the division on the mat, and, while Durance is still standing, she's clearly suffering ill effects. Her front collapses and she's quickly in retreat. Pausini's willing to go all in, of course, looking to not only pull the shocker, but do it in the most impressive fashion possible. She quickly gets Erica backed to the ropes and has at her with all guns blazing. Durance ships the leather, and, though she's wobbled by one more left hand, manages to stay on her feet while doing so. When the bell rings, however, Pausini has the first wide and leads 10-9


Laura after Durance right off the bell, and Erica standing her ground again, this time likely not out of choice, but necessity. Those great legs can't be all the way back, so the Canadian isn't going to depend on them. Instead, she relies on another devastating weapon, her fists. Just how devastating quickly becomes apparent, when Laura misses a left hook and Erica buckles her knees with a right hand counter. Pausini stumbles and nearly goes down, and Durance quickly turns up the heat. Now, it's Laura in retreat and the Canadian pouring into the breech with guns blazing. Pausini's eventually ends up right where Erica did at the end of the previous round, back to the ropes, taking leather. And, like Durance did in the first, the Italian ships it and stays on her feet. When Durance realizes she isn't going to find the "off" button, she slows the pressure and gets down to extracting points, picking apart a stationary Laura, putting laser-guided punches through and around her guard, grabbing the second just as wide as Pausini did the first, and evening things at 19.


And, we're back in the phone booth. Durance has the legs back, but, it's clear her fight plan doesn't involve movement and boxing. She's going to get into the trenches with Pausini and bang away, and Laura likes that just fine, as, not only do the terms suit her, they also negate Durance's reach advantage. But, again, Erica CAN fight this style, and fight it very well. Ask Ali Larter, for example, just how well. The Canadian can punch and take a punch, and she's very good defensively. And, it's that last bit that makes the difference in the third. Erica uses her quick hands to block punches, and excellent head and shoulder movement to dodge others. Laura lands, of course, and she lands plenty, but Erica's defense cuts down her percentages, where as, Durance is able to land at a higher rate. It's good, two-way stuff and it's close, but Erica takes the third and grabs her first lead at 29-28.


Pausini pushes forward. If it's possible, Laura gets even MORE physical in the fourth. She's using the shoulder extremely well, bumping Durance back and off balance, shoving her around, creating openings for body work. Laura's getting her level down, too, using the slight height difference to her advantage. She's crouching and ducking more, making Durance miss over top as the Italian works her rival's flanks. Erica responds with uppercuts and a couple of them pick Pausini up nicely, but Laura is nothing if not sturdy. She takes the punches and keeps pushing forward, crowding, banging. Amazingly, there's no wrestling. Neither girl is doing much clinching or holding. It's just thumping, grinding stuff, with both fighters getting plenty of leather home. Laura, though, as a result of her adjustments, gets more done, and, after four, the underdog Italian has evened things at 38.

If it ain't broke. And it isn't broke for Pausini. Laura's back to the crouch, the shoulder and body work, the physical, phone booth stuff. Durance stays right in there with her, leading more than a few ringside experts to wonder just why Erica isn't boxing and moving here, why she's willing to fight Pausini's fight. Their answer comes at 1:01 of the round. It comes quickly. And it comes in the form of an uppercut that seems to rise from the top of the Canadian's boots. It detonates on the point of Laura's chin, and, like Mickey Mantle's homer over the Iron Gates in the 1960 World Series, the punch keeps rising after the damage is done. Pausini rises too, then begins to topple backward. She falls flat on her back and bounces once before coming to a stop, face up, eyes closed, arms limp at her sides. Durance, ever the professional, spares Laura not a look. She heads to a neutral corner and waits. Watches as the referee counts. A mere formality. Pausini is out. Unmoving. And stays that way as the count passes her by. That quickly, what was a close fight is over. And your winner by KO5 is Erica Durance!

Pausini brought around in the proverbial stages. After the fight, she'll express plenty of disappointment, disappointment at not being able to finish in the first and, of course, getting caught in the fifth. But, there were things to like, too. She stood toe-to-toe with a three-time lightweight champion and held her own. That realization, though, if it comes, will come later. As for Erica, after just six fights in the past three years, she seems ready to begin campaigning in earnest again. "It was great to get back in the ring so quickly after my last fight," she says with a smile. "I realized after Strahovski that I was pretty rusty. I haven't been fighting as much as I'd like, and if I want those belts back, and I do, I've got to work more often. I wanted to get some serious work in tonight, get a good sweat broken, get the rust the rest of the way off. That's why I stood in with her and mixed it up. I knew if I did that, I'd get the work I wanted, and, sooner or later, I'd get her. And I got her." 



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