By Dan Ambrose
WBA junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara (19-1-2, 12 KO’s) and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KO’s) both revealed that they’ll be facing each other on July 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. They both want to give boxing fans the fight that they most want to see, and that’s why they’ve agreed to face each other in this pay-per-view fight on Showtime. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer says he sees this fight as a tossup fight, and he’s unable to pick the winner.
“It’s a 50-50 fight,” Schaefer said to RingTV. “The two best junior middleweights not named Mayweather, fighting each other.”
Of course, Schaefer is going to say that, because he promotes both fighters, and he doesn’t want to anger either of them by saying who he really feels will be winning this fight.
Canelo is the one that wanted to take this fight, as he really didn’t have to. Golden Boy Promotions would have happily matched him against the light hitting IBF 154lb champion Carlos Molina or one of the other champions like WBO junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade. But Canelo wanted to fight the best in Lara, presumably to make boxing fans forget about his embarrassing loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. from last year.
With the way that Canelo got completely schooled by Mayweather in that fight, it’s going to take a big win over someone like Lara to make people forget about that fight.
I don’t consider the Canelo-Lara fight a 50-50 one like Schaefer does. To me, I see the clear advantage going to Lara by a considerable margin. Canelo is too flat-footed, too heavy, and too slow on his feet for him to compete with a highly skilled fighter like Lara.
The only way I see Canelo winning this fight is if we see scoring like we saw in Canelo’s win over Austin Trout last year at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, where the judges were giving Canelo round after round despite the fact that he was getting badly out-worked by Trout. If that’s the kind of scoring that we’re going to see in the Canelo-Lara fight, then Lara virtually has no chance of winning unless he knocks Canelo out cold in the fight.
Lara isn’t a knockout puncher, but he might want to focus on developing his power for this fight because he might need it. It’s too bad there’s no open scoring in this fight like there was in the Canelo-Trout fight. At least with open scoring, the two fighters would know where they stand in the fight and can make adjustments if they fall behind. I have a strong feeling we’re going to see some very, very odd scores from the judges in this fight.
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