Heading into his fight with Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara couldn’t stop talking about how he was going to beat the Mexican star. It turns out words come easily for the Cuban boxer, who spent most of the catchweight fight running away from Canelo, losing by a split decision.
The judges gave Alavarez the win with a 117-111, 115-113, 113-115 split. Lara did land 10 more punches than Canelo and was slightly more accurate, but most of his hits had no impact, while Alvarez landed the more powerful, damaging hits, winning his second fight of 2014, showing he has rebounded well from his first professional loss to Floyd Mayweather 10 months ago.
Lara wanted this to be a fight for his WBA title at Light Middleweight, but settled for fighting in a 155 lbs catchweight. Lara got the fight he wanted, and spent the preparation and build up insulting Alvarez again and again, even after he got the fight he wished for. His promise to take Canelo through a Cuban boxing school didn’t materialize.
Instead of going after Alvarez and showing his superiority, Lara spent most of the fight dodging him, resting on the ropes and sliding off of them, hoping to avoid getting hit. Maybe he planned something different but after a big body shot in the first round and taking another big hit in the second round, Lara seemed to want nothing to do with being close to Canelo. It didn’t stop him from proclaiming he was robbed by the scoring and deserved to win.
While Alvarez was trying to slow down Lara with body shots, the Cuban who has defected to the United States kept throwing punches of his back foot and managed to create some swelling around Alvarez’ eye in the fourth round. Alvarez kept going for the uppercut, and managed to land two big ones in the seventh and tenth round, while a body shot in the eighth finally slowed down Lara, who couldn’t keep up his escaping via sprinting plan.
Alvarez went for the knockout in the 12th, managing to land a couple of big shots but Lara finally fought back, maybe realizing that it’s the only way to come out with his hand raised at the end of the fight. After the final bell rang, he had no problem to continue his disrespectful attitude towards Canelo.
But words are wind. Alvarez now has other opponents to think about, making around $1.5 million not to mention the cut from the PPV. The face of Golden Boy boxing at the moment, Alvarez is lined up for a big fight against Miguel Cotto, but that will happen in 2015. Right now, James Kirkland, who won his first fight out of prison in late 2013, seems like the most likely opponent.