June 7th, 2013 By Kevin Perry
FOLLOWING CUBAN’S CAREER IN PRO RANKS
Los Angeles, CA-It’s been almost five years since Cuban defector, 2005 amateur world welterweight (147 lbs.) champion, and top 154 lb. contender Erislandy Lara (17-1, 11 KOs)
has been a professional. The 30 year-old’s career thus far has consisted of the usual tough schedule you’d expect from a fighter with his amateur pedigree. Lara has been a potential opponent for WBA and WBC champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1 31 KOs) for that last year and a half. The southpaw is the WBC’s top contender, however Alvarez has yet to face him, and will instead meet Floyd Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) in a super fight in September. Tomorrow night at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, CA (formerly the Home Depot Center) Lara squares off with a former top contender, the hard punching Alfredo Angulo (22-2, 18 KOs) for the WBA interim title live on Showtime. This should be a huge opportunity to make a real statement to the boxing community that he deserves a big fight after some unfortunate setbacks in his career.
TWO MAJOR SETBACKS OCCURRED IN 2011
After a spectacular TKO 1 win in January of 2011, Lara faced the tough and awkward Carlos Molina (21-5-2, 6 KOs). In what was an ugly fight the pair fought to a draw. It was close with some difficult rounds to score. As it turns out Molina is a much tougher foe than first thought, as his reputation has skyrocketed since then with wins over Kermit Cintron, Corey Spinks and a controversial DQ loss to James Kirkland.
WILLIAMS ROBBERY LED TO JUDGE’S SUSPENSIONS
In July of that same year he met former welterweight (147) and junior middleweight belt-holder Paul Williams (41-1, 27 KOs). The lanky Williams, well over 6 feet tall, was a mirror opposite to Molina. Lara acquitted himself well versus the southpaw Williams. The Cuban consistently beat his opponent to the punch with right hooks and straight left hands. Williams while aggressive as is his norm, was mostly ineffective against the adept counterpuncher. In what appeared to be a clear and easy win for the Cuban defector was rendered his first loss albeit by majority decision verdict. The verdict being so egregious that all three judges were suspended by the New Jersey Athletic Commission.
ANOTHER DRAW. ANOTHER SETBACK?
In Lara’s last bout, a WBC title eliminator against fromer US Olympian Vanes Martirosyan (32-0-1, 20 KOs) he faced another awkward foe, one whose style didn’t mesh well with his. After a tentative few rounds, Lara picked up the pace. A head clash in round 9 put a halt to the bout after a nasty cut emerged above the eye of Martirosyan from an accidental clash of heads. The bout went to the scorecards and the bout was scored a draw. It was a bout where it appeared Lara was carrying the momentum in the last couple preceding rounds.
ANOTHER TOUGH FOE SATURDAY IN ANGULO
While many fighters get handpicked opponents, Lara will face another tough test in Angulo. While Angulo can punch, he is pretty predictable. This has the makings of a good fight on paper. Lara, the counterpuncher, against the Mexican Angulo, a pressure fighter. The Mexican has had some big wins, but in the last year it has hit a snag. He was stopped brutally in a war with James Kirkland in 2011, then after a first round TKO win in his next bout he went ten hard rounds with unheralded challenger Jorge Silva (19-2-2 at the time). The Mexican, who is now trained by 2011 trainer of the year, Virgil Hunter has all the looks to me of a shot fighter. To make things worse, Angulo doesn’t have a solid set of fundamentals to fall back on. This looks like an easy win for Lara if Angulo can’t stop the Cuban early in the fight. The fight is the co-main event to Marcos Maidana (33-3, 30 KOs) vs. Josesito Lopez (30-5, 18 KOs) who battle in a welterweight contest.