Though he’s always the villain Librado Andrade continues to fight in Canada and win fans if not win the fight. But this time he won fans and stopped former world champion Eric Lucas on cuts and kept his place in line on Friday.
California’s Andrade (29-3, 22 KOs) fought north of the border once again and found himself once again trading punches with yet another gritty Canadian. The fight televised by ESPN showed that Andrade deserves to be ranked in the top 10 as a super middleweight. It also showed that Lucas (39-8-3, 15 KOs) had the heart but not the skin to fight in the elite level.
Both fighters had their moments in the first round. Andrade landed some combinations that included some uppercuts while Lucas struck with right hands. A stiff left jab with seconds remaining in the round probably gave the round to Lucas.
A four punch combo that included several thudding body shots scored for Andrade in the second round. Lucas countered with a combo of his own but only one of the blows landed.
The California based fighter landed a sneaky left hook that wobbled Luca and then followed it with numerous body shots. Luca fought back hard and landed his own shots but Andrade kept coming in the third round.
In the fourth round a cut over Luca’s eye develops and Andrade goes to work to the body and head. Luca pot shots a few times and tries to win the round with one right hand. Andrade counters that with his own but neither fight was very hard.
Andrade started the fifth round with a crisp left hook-right hand combo that rocked Lucas and opened up the cut a bit more on the former world champion. Andrade increased the tempo and worked the body.
Just went it looked like Andrade was taking over, a solid three punch combo from Lucas snaps the Mexican-American’s head. Andrade takes the blows with little effort but the Canadian probably won the round with that sterling combo.
Lucas gets battered in the seventh round as Andrade lands punch after punch. The Canadian’s nose begins to bleed and little in return is offered until the final 10 seconds, but not nearly enough to win the round.
Blood poured from Luca’s face after a right hand left hook combo from Andrade. The ringside doctor told the referee to let it go a bit more but the legs seemed to be failing for the former champion against Andrade who poured on more punches and increased the tempo. At the end of the eighth round the fight was stopped and Andrade declared with winner by technical knockout.
Andrade, who is known for his humility and sportsmanship, picked up the former world champion and walked him around the ring. It was a touching tribute to a deserving fighter like Lucas who turns 39 on Saturday.
“I knew from the fifth round it was going worse. I had my moments but it was a pretty bad cut,” said Lucas who was attempting to see if he could fight at the elite level after a nearly four year absence. “I’m not fighting as a loser. If I can’t fight at the world level then I won’t fight.”
Andrade was respectful and humble in spite of the victory.
“I just tried to open it up. I just kept banging the right. Before the last round I wanted them to stop it. I was hoping they would stop it,” said Andrade who has fought four times in Canada. “He had a great career and I admire that. Outside the ring we got to be somebody. Not somebody who owns something. He doesn’t need to do this. He has had a very good career. That’s where I want to be.”