LARA CALLS OUT MAYWEATHER, GGG AND COTTO
By TOM WATT on June 15 2015
This weekend saw Cuban Super-Welterweight, Erislandy Lara defend his WBA World Title belt in fashion as he beat Delvin Rodriguez by a landslide Unanimous Decision with each of the judges scoring the fight 120-107 in the former World Amateur Champions favour.
Lara will no doubt come under scrutiny for not being able to put a KO finish on such a dominant performance but from a Boxing purists point of view, this performance has to be respected. Whether you are a fan of Lara’s evasive counter-punching style or not, there can be no denying the skill exhibited by the Cuban defector who is without doubt one of the top defensive fighters of his era. Alongside his compatriot Guillermo Rigondeaux, Lara has struggled to find big-name opponents through a combination of him being a very difficult man to beat and not offering the kind of ‘big money’ that other fighters can offer – my opinion is that it is more the prior than the latter. If it had been Floyd Mayweather that had fought in the same way on Saturday, we would be purring over his excellence and ability to dominate his opponents and it’s about time Lara started to receive similar recognition.
After the fight Lara called out everyone under the Sun from Floyd Mayweather to Miguel Cotto and Gennady Golovkin, he is desperate to become that household name and keen to prove he belongs in the category of ‘Elite fighter’.
A fight with Floyd Mayweather is probably unlikely and whilst it would be an interesting chess-match between the two, it would be a very hard sell to the public with two fighters known for their impeccable defences. Personally I’d watch this fight and would be intrigued to see how Mayweather reacted to fighting someone that is as happy to sit on the back-foot as he is, it could bring Floyd out of his shell and cause him to make mistakes as he forces the fight - something he hasn’t had to do in a very long time as his opponents have always played into his game and gone on the attack. This fight seems very unlikely though and I would expect Mayweather to fight someone like Amir Khan before he considered Lara.
A fight with Golovkin on the other hand, could be made. The Kazakh sensation is probably the most feared man in Boxing right now, knocking out everyone put in front of him with his freakish power. There’s no secret that GGG is chasing the Cotto fight first and foremost, but with Cotto looking likely to take the huge money on offer to face Canelo in September, Golovkin will have to wait a little longer before he can get the Puerto-Rican in the ring. Aside from that there is not exactly a queue of fighters waiting to fight Triple G and whilst Lara is not necessarily the ‘big money’ fight that Cotto would be, he is highly respected in the sport and a win against someone with his undoubted skill would put to bed some the criticisms that he hasn’t fought the best fighters out there and would truly cement Golovkin’s place as an elite fighter.
As mentioned above, Cotto looks likely to face Canelo in September so that seems even less likely than the two fights mentioned above, it’s fight I’d love to see though, particularly if Cotto relinquishes his Middleweight belt and moves back to his more natural weight at 147 or 154. This could be one for the future if Lara manages to get a couple of big wins under his belt.
The dust is still settling from the weekend and over the next few weeks/months it will become clearer who Erislandy Lara is set to face next. It’s great to see a fighter willing to fight the best out there, even more so when he is happy to move up in weight to fight the most destructive Middleweight on the planet. There aren’t many (if any) people calling out Golovkin right now and respect has to be given for the ambition shown by the Cuban who will feel that he is not given the credit he is due, however If his wish is granted and he gets an opportunity to fight any of the fighters mentioned above then he is one win away from gaining that recognition. Boxing is not always straight forward though so don’t’ be surprised if we have to wait a little longer to see Lara get the fights and respect he deserves.
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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