By: Hans Themistode
Erislandy Lara has always found himself in the most intriguing matchups in the Jr middleweight division.
Two years ago in 2018, Lara (26-3-3, 15 KOs) and former unified champion Jarrett Hurd gave fight fans their money’s worth when the two went head to head. One year later, Lara and his dance partner in Brian Castano gave one helluva performance.
Even Lara’s most recent ring appearance against Ramon Alvarez brought a bit of buzz seeing how Ramon is the older brother of pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez.
This Saturday however, the buzz is relatively low for what many expect to be a truncated night the moment Lara lands a significant punch against Greg Vendetti (22-3-1, 12 KOs).
Taking a backseat is something that the Cuban born fighter isn’t accustomed to, but even he knows there is a much more significant contest taking place in the very weight class that he’s presided in seemingly forever.
On September 26th, a pair of title holders in Jermell Charlo and Jeison Rosario will meet up in a Fox Pay-Per-View unification bout. Lara, 37, believes he knows who the winner will be, but that won’t stop him from tuning in on the night with popcorn in hand.
“That’s going to be a good fight,” Lara told BoxingScene,com. “Rosario will not back down to Charlo and that makes for an exciting fight because we all know Jermell is a powerful puncher. I have to give the edge to Charlo because of his experience.”
Lara’s choice of Charlo stems from both respect for his skills and a once close friendship. The two formerly trained under the guidance of trainer Ronnie Shields until Charlo abruptly left to partner up with Derrick James.
The move proved to be a sagacious one as Charlo went on to become a world champion two times over and developed from a pure boxer, to a jaw breaking knockout artist.
While working under the same umbrella, a matchup between the two seemed as likely as Tyson Fury taking on Floyd Mayweather. But now that they haven’t worked together for years, both fighters have been more than receptive to the idea of a showdown.
In a perfect world for the former title holder, he’ll blast out Vendetti in short order then sit back and wait for the winner on September 26th.
“Of course, I want the winner of Charlo-Rosario because I want to fight the best. I’m ready to face anyone in the world.”