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Erislandy Lara KO’s Ramon Alvarez and Asks for Canelo or Errol Spence Next

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  • Erislandy Lara KO’s Ramon Alvarez and Asks for Canelo or Errol Spence Next

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    By J. J. Alvarez

    Convincingly, and leaving no room for doubt, the Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara defeated the Mexican Ramón Alvarez whose performance left a lot to be desired.

    However, this does not take away from the accomplishment of the Cuban, seizing the vacant WBA World Super Welterweight Title.

    After a very uneventful start, although with a clear advantage for the Cuban pugilist, “The American Dream” hammered Alvarez with a flurry of left hands in the second round. Had Canelo Alvarez’s brother not been held up by the ropes he would have been knocked out of the ring, which resulted in referee Mark Nelson issuing the obligatory count.

    After the count, “Inocente” Alvarez received another succession of strikes and was unable to properly defend himself. Referee Nelson was forced to intervene and he stopped the contest with less than a minute left in the second round. The public was left disappointed and wanting more as they expected a long-drawn-out war, whereas both competitors had emphasized it would be a test of their personal character.

    Lara said on multiple occasions that he would take out his frustrations against Ramón for the unjust and controversial loss against Canelo in 2014, when two judges, Levi Martínez (117-111) and Dave Moretti (115-113) favored the red-headed Mexican, with the other official, Jerry Roth (115-113) seeing it in favor of the Cuban. The Guadalajara-born fighter insisted that he would be another success in the Alvarez family against Lara, “just like my brother was a few years ago.” The controversy lasted for weeks, adding to the drama and hype surrounding the bout.

    There were moments of uncertainty during the weigh-ins the day before the fight. Alvarez tipped the scale at 158.5lbs (4.6lbs over the weight limit). Although the Mexican was unable to make weight and therefore was excluded from the possibility of winning the belt, Lara and his team agreed to continue with the fight, driven by the motivation of getting back the title he lost to the American Jarrett Hurd in 2018, as well as “avenging” the memorable fight against Canelo.

    Ramon Alvarez’s efforts to reach 154lbs clearly had negative consequences during Saturday’s competition. He was slow (more than usual), lacking the energy to both let his hands go and to construct an effective guard to defend against the fast punches of Lara. With this victory,“ The American Dream” (25-3-3, 15 KOs), now under the technical advisement of Ismael Salas, has regained the confidence to face other champions of the division. That being said, he is still anxiously awaiting the rematch with Canelo, who currently competes at 160lbs and could possibly face WBO World Light Heavyweight champion (175lbs) Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, the Russian, in the near future.

    “I want to thank my team and all my fans for the support,” said Lara after giving a hug to Salas and the other members of his corner. “I’m very happy to have regained my world title. When I cornered him the second time, I didn’t want to hurt him since he was clearly in a bad state.”

    Five months after clashing with Canelo in July of 2014, Lara conquered the WBA World Super Welterweight Title convincingly by defeating the American Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith by unanimous decision at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. But in April of last year the IBF world champion, American Jarrett “Swift” Hurd, emerged victorious over the Cuban by split decision in a unification bout which was deemed the 2018 fight of the year by various websites because of the never ending back and forth action. The balance of the fight was tipped towards the North American in the final round, when the Cuban southpaw visited the canvas. Two of the judges scored it in favor of the American 114-113, while the other judge scored it the exact same but in the Cuban’s favor.

    In that duel, Lara planted his feet and stood his ground against Hurd, which was a change from his elusive style of constant movement, with great hand speed and footwork. Eleven months later, on March 2nd, Lara was unable to defeat the Argentinian Brian “El Boxi” Castaño at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, who at the time held the WBA World Super Welterweight Title. Each fighter received a winning scorecard, while the third judge saw it a draw at 114-114.

    The Cuban fighter determined that these two results meant it was necessary to make adjustments, deciding to leave the American trainer Ronnie Shields and pass that responsibility on to Salas, who guided him during the first 10 fights of his professional career, between 2008 and 2010. In 2013, Lara seized the interim WBA title when he knocked out the Mexican Alfredo Angulo in the 10thround. The year after that, the Cuban conquered the “regular” WBA title with the aforementioned unanimous victory against Smith.

    “I’ll fight anyone in the division,” affirmed Lara, 36, in response to what his future plans would be. “I don’t care if it has to be a rematch (with Hurd or Castaño), but I’d rather fight against the best in my division or those who are in similar weight classes. I want to fight Errol Spence Jr. or Canelo Alvarez.”

    The undefeated Errol “The Truth” Spence (25-0-0, 21 KOs) will face Shawn “Showtime” Porter on the 28th of September at the Staples Center in Los Angeles where they will dispute the IBF and WBO welterweight titles that they possess respectively.

    Nevertheless, the WBA has foreseen a unification bout between Julian “J-Rock” Williams, the current 154-pound super champion, and Lara, the new “regular” champion of the same organization, in the prolonged attempt to have only one champion per division. Williams unanimously defeated Hurd on the 11th of May in Virginia where Hurd suffered the first defeat of his career.

    Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp / TGB Promotions

    Translated by E.G. for J.J. Alvarez of Boxeo.tv

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Lara should rematch Hurd. Winner gets what/who they want.

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    • #3
      Well with Hurd-Williams now off and Williams needing an opponent for December 14th (though wish PBC would move off that date with the Top Rank Card on ESPN also going that night), Lara may get the call for that date. Williams-Lara would be a very interesting fight if it does get put together.

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