By: Matthew Becher
Tomorrow night live from the UIC Pavilion, Premier Boxing Champions will showcase one of its bright stars, Erislandy Lara, as he takes on Delvin Rodriguez for the WBA Jr. Middleweight championship. Lara was kind enough to take some time and answer some questions for BoxingInsider.com
BoxingInsider.com: What do you know about your opponent for June 12th, Delvin Rodriguez?
Erislandy Lara: I know he’s a veteran and he’s had a lot of time to prepare for this fight. He’s been in the ring with a lot of good fighters and I’m expecting him to be at his best.
BoxingInsider.com: What problems will you cause Delvin this Friday, stylistically?
Erislandy Lara: Tune in this Friday on Spike TV and you will see my boxing skills go to work. I don’t think Delvin has ever been in the ring with a fighter like myself. He’s going to have problems with my jab.
BoxingInsider.com: You are a feared/avoided man in the Jr. Middleweight division. Could you ever see yourself dropping to 147lbs or challenging anyone at full-fledged Middleweight?
Erislandy Lara: I’m willing to fight the best fighters in the world and if that means moving up or down, then I will.
BoxingInsider.com: What are your thoughts so far on the new Premier Boxing Champions format?
Erislandy Lara: This will be my first fight on PBC and I think the whole situation is great for boxing. Al Haymon is doing wonders for the sport with the PBC and the fans are getting to see some great fights. I can’t say anything bad about the PBC. Everything is fantastic.
BoxingInsider.com: Did you see the Cotto vs. Geale fight last week? What do you think of a Jr. Middleweight being the lineal middleweight champion? And avoiding his mandatory of Gennady Golovkin?
Erislandy Lara: He looked good against a weight drained Daniel Geale. I don’t think its right that Cotto did not make the proper weight limit for Middleweight. He should be stripped of his title. The fact that he does not want to fight GGG is disappointing. I made it public that I would fight Golovkin, because I’m willing to fight anyone. I’ll fight Cotto or GGG anytime, anywhere.
BoxingInsider.com: Do you feel pressure to make this an entertaining fight, since it will be on network television? Will you press for the knockout?
Erislandy Lara: You can never go into a fight looking for a knock out. I will use everything in my playbook to come out victorious and if I get him hurt, I will knock him out.
BoxingInsider.com: With relations between the US and Cuban governments getting much better, what does the future hold for the Cuban fighter? And also, do you think this will have more Cubans jumping straight to the pros and abandoning the extreme amateur backgrounds?
Erislandy Lara: I think it’s great for boxing that Cuba will be entering the professional ranks. This will give every Cuban boxer an opportunity to live the American dream as I have done. I don’t think they’ll be spending much time in the amateurs.
BoxingInsider.com: This fight is for the WBA Super Jr. Middleweight title. Does that bring bigger fights and who would you like next?
Erislandy Lara: Like I said, I’m willing to fight anyone, anywhere. There are plenty of big fights out there with all the champions and I’m will to fight all of them.
Photos: Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions