Boxing matchmaking is a lot like chess; you can see what possible fights could be made two or three fights in advance. No Sparring takes a look at the outcomes to the upcoming Canelo Alvarez vs Erislandy Lara mega fight.
It’s not often anymore we get to see fight’s of this magnitude. Boxing fans were spoiled in 2013 with remarkable matchmaking. That’s already been seen on the decline as Richard Schaefer is out at Golden Boy and Top Rank is running out of options with their small stable of fighters. Simply put, Canelo/Lara is a classic #1 vs #2 faceoff in the light middleweight division and may be one of the last few good fights we see until the Cold War officially ends.
Let’s first start with the challenger Erislandy Lara. He comes from a class of Cuban boxers who are trained to master the art classic boxing; moving, jabbing, ducking and weaving, while using impeccable feet work to break their opponents down. At 154lbs, that can be a great strategy as a large number of fighters here are straightforward brawlers who lack speed.
That strategy has worked well for Lara who is 19-1-2. That lone loss came at the hands of Paul Williams who was something of freak when it came to controlling the tempo of his fights and keeping opponents at bay with his long arms. After Williams was paralyzed in his motorcycle accident, Lara took over the role as the guy no one wanted to face or rather who promoters didn’t want to put on their bill. His style of boxing was not considered fan friendly.
So Lara did what he could do and bulldozed over every opponent put in the ring with him. He broke Alfredo Angulo’s face last summer in what was considered a great fight and he knocked down the tall and lanky, yet dangerous Austin Trout in his last match in December.
A win for Lara opens up little besides getting another main event billing. If the Canelo fight is competitive and close, a rematch would be Lara’s best option. Fighting against Canelo is already opening up a wide Mexican fan base that will learn Lara’s name if they didn’t already know it and a rematch etches his name in stone as a formidable Cuban foe. With Canelo a PPV commodity, it would also be the most lucrative option.
If Lara were to come down in weight there are many options for him at 147lbs. I don’t see that happening unless there’s a chance to fight Floyd Mayweather, which there isn’t any. Keith Thurman is the only guy of size I see as a possible opponent who could move up to face him. As stated before, the 147lb pool is deep and there’s no reason for Thurman to move up either.
Beating Canelo would open up possible options at 160lbs if Lara wants to go that route. Peter Quillin is always in need of opponents and Andy Lee is involved in an affair with 154lbs & 160lbs which makes him a good possibility if he can keep winning.
The best fight I see for Lara outside of a Canelo rematch is an Alfredo Angulo rematch. The Stub Hub was at capacity to see Lara knocked down twice by the heavy hitter. It was an entertaining fight that had fans standing and cheering throughout the fight. As I mentioned earlier, Lara broke Angulo’s face, which forced him to quit in the 10th round. Even with a loss to Canelo, Lara would be in a good position for a main event clash against Angulo.
Here’s a look at Lara down against Angulo: