Weigh ins: Canelo Alvarez 155 vs Erislandy Lara 155
By Kirk Jackson
Erislandy Lara is The American Dream. The Cuban born, extremely talented southpaw is fighting for honor, glory, the pursuit of an elusive world title and world wide recognition that has eluded him the past few years.
Photo: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lara is recognized as the interim Super WBA Junior Middleweight Champion, he is not an outright titlist of the division.
Although his upcoming fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is a bout without a world title at stake, this is a match-up featuring the two best fighters surrounding the landscape of the junior middleweight division not named Floyd Mayweather.
With the magnitude of this bout, the ramifications can set off a domino effect within the boxing world. A victory for Lara would put him in contention for an even bigger pay day against Mayweather (If Floyd can get past Marcos Maidana in September).
A victory over Alvarez would also propel Lara into the elite category of fighters, along with fellow Cuban compatriot and super bantamweight titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux.
While attempting to attain this status, Lara wants to avoid a similar hand fellow Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa was recently dealt with, recently suffering a TKO defeat against Terrance Crawford.
This truly is a toss-up fight and odd betters have Canelo as the slight favorite. He is the household name and is looked to be one of the torch bearers of boxing after Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao retire.
Each fighter is capable of exploiting one another’s weaknesses, each fighter possesses a some subsequent advantage over the other.
Lara is a crafty, slick southpaw and with his superior foot speed and educated footwork, he has the ability to evade the combination punching of Alvarez.
Lara has the five inch reach advantage, look for him to capitalize and keep the fight on the outside.
He can use his jab and sharp counters to dictate the pace along with his movement and with his underrated punching power, he will at least keep Alvarez honest and give him something to think about.
Alvarez is not the stereotypical Mexican brawler like an Alfredo Angulo for example and in this instance, it will work against him.
Canelo needs to apply relentless pressure and needs to have a consistent body attack. That tactic has proven to be successful against Lara, observe the Angulo vs. Lara bout.
Now Alvarez may do it at times, but can he consistently apply the pressure needed to make Lara fold?
Both fighters have shown to grow weary as the later stages of the fight take place. So whoever gets off to the best start, may finish the fight stronger towards the end.
Lara has a wealth of experience due to his extensive amateur background under the Cuban program, his experience will play a big part in the fight. Canelo’s equalizer is his punching power and Lara’s suspect chin.
Some people may draw comparisons Lara and Mayweather and use that as their reasoning for siding with Lara.
As talented as the Cuban bred fighter is, he’s not on Mayweather’s level of defensive mastery just yet. But, the difference in foot speed will be the biggest factor and will ultimately lead to a victory for Lara.
He must also be aware of the fact that Alvarez is the “House Fighter” for Golden Boy Promotions, and boxing’s air to the Pay-Per-View throne. He has to put on a dominant performance or risk robbery of a potentially earned victory.
Canelo is the popular pick, but with the differences in style and the advantages Lara has, I think he will ultimately pull through with a unanimous decision victory.
A victory for Canelo would not be surprising, he has displayed to ability to get better with each fight and his skills should not be underestimated.
There is too many factors favoring Lara, conventional wisdom chooses him.