Erislandy Lara beats up, stops Gary O’Sullivan in eighth round

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Erislandy Lara demonstrated again that he can still fight as he approaches 40.

The former 154-pound titleholder battered a game, but overmatched Gary O’Sullivan before stopping the Irishman in the eighth round of a scheduled 12-round 160-pound bout on the Gervonta Davis-Rolando Romero card Saturday in Brooklyn.

Lara (29-3-3, 17 KOs) fights more flatfooted at 39 than he did in his prime but can still outbox his opponents, as he did against O’Sullivan (31-5, 21 KOs).

He counterpunched brilliantly, threw and landed more punches than O’Sullivan and hurt his opponent on several occasions.

Lara put O’Sullivan down in Round 4, stunning him with a straight left to the head and then sending him to the canvas with a follow-up left. Another left hurt O’Sullivan in the final seconds of Round 7, which led to his demise.

Only about 20 seconds into Round 8, one more left to the head sent a beaten O’Sullivan reeling. That prompted referee Benjy Esteves to stop fight.

The official time of the stoppage was 23 seconds into Round 8.

Lara, hoping to make a run at a middleweight title, has now won four consecutive fights since losing to Jarrett Hurd in 2018 and drawing with Brian Castano the following year.

However, none of those four opponents was elite. Lara’s mission now is to lure a top 160-pounder into the ring.

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