By Kirk Jackson
What a fight between the top junior middleweight contenders Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Erislandy Lara.
Photo: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy
As predicted, there was a clash of styles, in which resulted as an evenly matched bout. This was a battle of speed, power, endurance and intelligence.
This match-up did not go without its critics; many complained about the lack of consistent action and there were complaints in regards to Lara’s ”running” tactics. But contrary to how some casual fans may feel, this was actually a great fight, highly competitive, both fighters looked good and left lasting impressions.
Alvarez proved he indeed is as good as the critics and his legions of fans say he is. He does improve with each fight, he shows a new wrinkle every fight as well. He has the ability to attack in a variety of ways. The uppercut he landed to cause the cut on Lara in the seventh round for instance was incredible.
His fight against Floyd Mayweather last year was a great learning experience for him and the same can be said for this fight.
Lara did indeed take Alvarez to the “Cuban School of Boxing” but Canelo survived and seemingly passed the test.
The future remains bright for the flashy red-haired fighter. A career defining bout with newly crowned Lineal Middleweight Champion Miguel Cotto looms in the near future.
For Erislandy Lara, he displayed why he one of the most avoided fighters in the sport. I mean really who wants to fight a swift, slick, southpaw?
His lateral movement, genius-level evasive tactics befudled Alvarez at times. He likely will not get a rematch and it’s uncertain whether he’ll get another opportunity against a big name fighter like Alvarez.
He definitely does not have the leverage to force a fight with Floyd Mayweather or some of the bigger names in the neighboring weight classes. He is too big of a risk without the financial reward.
Here’s a message for those people upset with Lara and his performance. For those who accuse Lara of “running” and may refer to him as a coward.
Boxing is a sport of various styles. Each fighter aims to maximize their talents, their physical attributes and capabilities to their best advantage.
For instance, if I am a little slow on my feet, but possess great punching power and may also possess the uncanny ability to take a good punch, chances are I am going to be a relentless pressure fighter.
If I am naturally quick, have great reflexes, long arms and have the ability and opportunities to avoid punches, by all means I will do it. It’s all about using your physical traits to your advantage.
If anything, maybe you should misdirect your anger at Canelo’s inability to cut off the ring. If Lara was too busy running, how did he outland Canelo and cause damage to his face?
This is chess not checkers, this is the “Sweet Science” and the name of the game is to hit and not get hit. Even the legendary old school late Heavyweight Champion Gene Tunney will attest to that.
The only thing that ruined the fight was the judge with the terrible score card of 117-111 in Alvarez’s favor. That’s a despicable score and the score of a judge who was going to hand Alvarez the fight regardless of what took place inside the ring.
This controversy takes away from what was a great fight between elite fighters.
115-113 is an accurate score that could be given to either fighter so the other two judges had it right. Even scoring the fight a draw would be fair.
No way in hell you could only have Lara winning three rounds, same can be said for Alvarez. Most of the rounds were close and up for argument. The matter of scoring a round is subjective.
Some prefer aggression, some prefer counter-punching, movement, defense. Some may enjoy and score effective body punches, some people may neglect to score body punches.
Lara and his camp say he was robbed and as he does certainly have a case for winning the fight, I actually scored the fight in his favor 115-113, it’s easy to make the case for Alvarez winning the fight.
This was no robbery, this was just a highly competitive match.