Canelo-Lara Predictions

By Boxing News on July 11, 2014
Canelo-Lara Predictions
The fight may not be pay-per-view worthy, but at the very least it ought to be competitive.

The red-haired wunderkind from Juanacatlán, Jalisco, Mexico, gets it on with Erislandy Lara, from Houston by way of Guantanamo, Cuba…

On Saturday, July 12, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, former WBC/WBA junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KOs), the red-haired wunderkind from Juanacatlán, Jalisco, Mexico, gets it on with Erislandy Lara (19-1-2, 12 KOs), aka The American Dream, from Houston by way of Guantanamo, Cuba. Canelo might have gone for a softer touch, and with the exception of his last three bouts—Austin Trout and Floyd Mayweather in 2013, followed by Alfredo Angulo in March—he has feasted on them. But the 31-year-old Cuban southpaw is more than a live opponent for the 23-year-old juggernaut from south of the border. The fight may not be pay-per-view worthy, but it ought to be competitive. This is how the writers see Canelo Alvarez vs. Erislandy Lara.

J. Fredrick Baptiste: “The same Saul Alvarez that destroyed Alfredo Angulo struggled against Austin Trout. The same Erislandy Lara that made child’s play of Trout tasted the canvas twice versus Angulo. The outcome of this encounter will be dependent on which Saul Alvarez shows up. If he comes to box, it will be a very long and I suspect embarrassing night. However, if he jumps in Lara’s chest and puts him on his heels he wins big and will stop Lara before eight. Lara has no other choice but to box and get Alvarez into the championship rounds where he tends to fade. If he looks for a fight, it will be a short night. My prediction Saul Canelo Alvarez by KO.”

Adam Berlin: “Saul Alvarez is a solid fighter, not a superlative fighter. He’s physically strong but not a knockout artist. He’s technically sound but never riffs on the basics, never shows fistic genius. Against Mayweather, he appeared to be a good journeyman, a testament both to Money May’s talents and Alvarez’s shortcomings. Erislandy Lara possesses all the tools to once again expose Canelo as over-hyped. Lara is very fast. Lara moves beautifully, keenly aware of ring geography. And Lara has a strong mind; he seems supremely confident going into this fight because he recognizes Canelo’s true worth. The Cubans lost some luster when Gamboa got stopped by Crawford, but Lara is no glass-chinned Gamboa. In this fight, Cuba will trump Mexico. Saul Alvarez will be forced to work hard while Lara, always relaxed in the ring, never wasting energy, quick-witted and quick-fisted, will run circles around the 23-year-old. Lara has been ripped off before by the judges. Let’s hope the scorecards reveal the truth on Saturday night at the MGM: a decision victory for Erislandy Lara.”

Teron Briggs: “If I were a betting man I would stay far, far away from this fight. I’ve gone over every tangible and intangible as it relates to this matchup; common opponents, the fighter’s mindset, their strengths and weaknesses and their respective countries World Cup standing (kidding) but I’m still baffled about who’s going to win. Both fighters enter this contest coming off of victories over good fighters albeit ones who were in decline, so it’s difficult to read too much into those. Canelo clearly packs the more powerful punch while Lara has the edge in speed is the more technically sound fighter and I think he’s got the better footwork, which will help him against Canelo who sometimes moves like Shaquille O’Neal when he played for the Celtics. Lara must make Canelo pay when he throws his power shots by connecting with his accurate right hand counters and he can’t allow the bigger man to use his weight advantage to bully him. If Lara is able to make it a boxing contest his higher skill level could make this an easy contest for him. Canelo will try to do to Lara what Alfredo Angulo did (though Angulo lost by TKO to Lara he knocked him down two times) which is back him up and cut off the ring to prevent him from moving. Canelo’s signature left hook to the body should help if he’s able to effectively utilize it. I believe the 12 rounds of experience Canelo got in his victory over former southpaw titleholder Austin Trout will pay huge dividends against the tricky southpaw Lara. That experience, his advantage in power and his granite like chin is why I’m picking Canelo to win a close and possibly controversial decision.”

Mike Casey: “Canelo is still only 23, still ambitious and still a cut above the rest of today’s second tier. I argued from the start that he was too limited to join the greats and I never saw him beating Floyd Mayweather for that one simple reason. But Alvarez can still earn a ton of money and further belts before he’s through. He does the best with what he’s got and it’s not as if he needs to worry about fighting Thomas Hearns, Ray Leonard or Marvin Hagler in the near future – not unless the boxing gods suddenly shower us with a cluster of new superstars. Some people feel that Erislandy Lara can outslick Canelo and box his way to an upset victory. I just don’t see that happening. Lara says he’s not looking past Canelo yet keeps talking about a fight with Mayweather – not a good sign. My hunch is Canelo Alvarez by a workmanlike TKO around the ninth round.”

George Thomas Clark: “Perplexed about who would win the upcoming Canelo Alvarez-Erislandy Lara fight, I had their phones tapped late last night and heard Lara exclaim that he’s five-feet-nine. Alvarez countered he’s also that tall. Not important, Lara said, his reach is 75 inches, almost five more than Canelo’s, so all night he’ll right jab his face except when he’s dropping straight-left bombs. Canelo laughed and said Lara would hit him a lot less than he hit Alfredo Angulo, who twice put Lara on his ass, and he would hit Lara far more than that. I wasn’t sure enough to bet big dough but will peel off a hundred grand and wager Canelo’s too strong for Lara to escape.”

Jill Diamond: “Close, Close, Close. I give it to Lara for his reach, his choice of previous opponents and his hunger. I think that Alvarez, super talented to begin with but not as fleet, has improved tremendously since Mayweather, but to me, this one is LARA by TKO. Oh no, I scare myself.”

Mohummad Humza Elahi: “Last time out, I backed the wrong horse; picking winners is the skill everyone wants but only if the actual outcome matches it so. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez seems to have a weight lifted off his shoulders since fighting Mayweather and I think he’s caught on to the fact that ducking opponents will only harm his reputation, not enhance it. He’s grown mentally and I think that is the reason I’m picking him to beat Erislandy Lara. Lara is good, very good, but if Alfredo Angulo can reach him and knock him down (twice), a fact that was not addressed in Showtime’s All Access feature, then Canelo is more than capable of doing the same. Yes, Lara is a slick southpaw with enough snap, crackle and pop to undo durable fighters, but the flame haired Mexican has the tools to stop him, provided he can make the necessary adjustments to Lara’s awkwardness. I’m leaning towards a UD for Canelo with some tense moments along the way. Bring it on.”

Clarence George: “I don’t see anyone other than Mayweather beating Alvarez at 154. Lara may appear to have a better chance than most, at least on paper, but he’s not going to hear the man say, ‘Give that Cuban a Havana.’ If Angulo could knock him down, Alvarez can knock him out. And he will…in the sixth.”

Christian Giudice: “There’s something very satisfying about the way Erislandy Lara fights. A stylist, Lara does everything well. Evident in his pinpoint breakdown of Austin Trout, Lara consistently works the jab and follows with one of the better straight lefts in the sport. If Trout walked in carelessly in that fight, Lara hit him with a stinging uppercut. Conversely, if Trout closed the gap between the fighters, Lara counter punched him or spun him and retreated in the other direction. Lara’s shiftiness is tough for any opponent; he’s not exceedingly quick with his feet like Floyd Mayweather Jr., but he’s efficient and smart. Rarely, does he put himself in a dangerous situation. Defensively, Lara moves well, doesn’t take many big punches, and knows how to use his height to his advantage. He doesn’t have extremely quick hands, or overwhelming power, but is disciplined and methodical in his approach. As a stylist, Lara is a fighter who the boxing purist roots for. As a boxer-puncher, Canelo Alvarez is growing as a fighter, but still has a long way to go. Having been severely exposed against Floyd Mayweather Jr., it would have been easy for Canelo to have gotten discouraged and let it affect his next performance. Instead, he used it as motivation and got better. Against Alfredo Angulo, a tailor-made opponent, Canelo looked sensational. After Mayweather, he had to. Sure, Canelo is still learning on the job. Does he still make mistakes in the ring? Absolutely. However, relying on his unique blend of youth, power, and speed, Canelo doesn’t always suffer the consequences that other fighters do. Post-Mayweather, Canelo reverted back to his old form – to attack. Part of the learning process means taking a loss, dissecting it, and improving. Angulo is one of the toughest fighters in boxing;  Canelo beat him easily. Now Lara is another step in the learning process. An excellent counterpuncher and strong, Lara can’t fight going backwards and he will have to against Canelo. When Lara is put in that position, he just paws at his opponent and tries to keep him at bay. He forced Trout to come to him; unfortunately, he won’t have that luxury against Canelo, who will be coming forward the entire fight. Lara is a tough fighter who keeps getting better each day, but he’s facing an opponent who is also maturing. Canelo won’t be as accurate as he was against Angulo, but he will land power punches that will hurt Lara. As he did against Trout, Lara will box, use his jab, mix in an uppercut to punish Canelo, and do his best to throw off Canelo’s rhythm. When Lara boxes at this level, there are few fighters who can handle him. On the other hand, if Canelo is in top shape (which he hasn’t been in the past), then Lara will have no time to get comfortable. Style-wise Lara, a southpaw, likes space to maneuver; that space allows him to control the pace of the fight. However, he won’t have that luxury against Canelo. Lara will aggravate Canelo at times with his reach and a nice, consistent jab, but will also take a lot of punishment and ultimately not be able to withstand Canelo’s power. Early on, Canelo will take a round to find his comfort zone, and then start to attack Lara. He will be used to the movement as well as the southpaw style from past opponents. Some rounds will be close early on, but look for Canelo to punish Lara in the later rounds en route to a unanimous decision victory.”

Norman Marcus: “Should be a pretty evenly matched bout. The banger Alvarez against the faster, ring smart Lara. If Canelo can cut off the ring and catch Erislandy with a big punch it could be over early. Or Alvarez could pound away at the Cuban’s body to slow him down in the later rounds and then go for the knockout. Either way it should be good entertainment for the fans. Alvarez wins in a late round KO.”

Richard Mendel: “If I were a betting man (which of course I am) I’d make Lara the favorite. Alvarez has a good arsenal; punches well, and his hands are faster than the most hard-hitters. In addition he slips pretty well. Although young, he has been a pro since age 15 and so is quite seasoned. He makes good adjustments, and doesn’t depend on going forward only. I think he is better than what we saw with Mayweather. Personally, I think he was way overstrained, and a little stale. Having said all that, I think that Lara and Rigondeaux are about as talented as fighters can possibly be. I don’t remember the last time I saw someone get dropped and get up as fast as Lara (and Algeri) has recently. Canelo has shown he can fight backing up, and Lara will likely need to show his skills going backward- he is probably too smart to be lured into a kill-or-be-killed scenario.”

Matt McGrain: “I think Alvarez is better than Lara, personally, but you have to take the Cuban’s apparent inconsistencies into account, and I think the general public have done that – but not in the sense that at first seems obvious. Lara seems absolutely primed for this fight, he gives me the impression he’s been seeing Canelo’s face at night in the same way Duran did Leonard’s, perhaps. That’s worth something and for the populace of the internet forums and the online betting sites it’s been worth enough for some to back this 11/8 underdog. It interests me that that confidence doesn’t filter through to the ‘expert picks’ pages…why might that be? Boxing writers generally love a dog. When they get it right, they look like a genius, when they get it wrong, hey, he’s just a little eccentric. I think the reason more writers and boxing commentators haven’t backed Lara is this: you can bet against a favorite, but don’t bet against the industry. If things are close, the fight goes to Alvarez, we all know that. Lara could win and get a draw – taken in tandem with that sense that Alvarez is, as I said, just a little bit better, the bones of the Cuban’s style advantage become exposed to savage elements. Alvarez in a narrow fight that stirs without firing.”

Robert Mladinich: “Lara does so many clever things that he doesn’t get credit for. He is a true ring master. Canelo has a very imposing physical presence, which results in him sometimes getting more credit than he deserves. If Lara gets credit where credit is due, he should outpoint Canelo by a comfortable margin. That said, I think he will still win a decision, but it will be a close one. Lara W 12.”

Ezra Salkin: “Canelo looked better against Angulo. Lara looked better against Trout. Canelo has the experience of fighting Mayweather; Lara does not. Does that experience help him or, when he’s confronted with a technician the likes of Lara, will it take him back to a dark and humiliating place? To the detriment of the boxing establishment, I have a feeling Canelo will get soundly out-boxed Saturday. It’s not only the skills, it’s also the work rate. Lara by decision.”

Ted Spoon: “If it goes the distance something fishy might happen but what the hell – let’s just be happy this fight is on. Canelo has to be more aggressive than usual to get those mid-range clusters into action. Lara will want just enough space for his long levers, and if he circles well this could potentially turn into a nightmare for Canelo. I’m a big fan of the way Saul goes about his work, Barrera-esque, though a little more stuck in the mud and liable to dither. Lara should show us how adaptable Canelo is and perhaps what he’s learnt from the Mayweather bout. Going on recent form, and Lara’s questionable inside game, I fancy Canelo to bury a tough fight sometime in the second half. Keep an eye out for Lara’s heavy left hand though. That is a possible trump card.”

Peter Wood: “This is a tough fight to call. But youth is served – Canelo rallies in the late rounds to win an unimpressive decision.”

Jarrett Zook: “Once again, I applaud Alvarez for taking another tough fight at such a young age. Alvarez can put butts in the seats no matter who he fights, but this will be the fourth fight in a row where he’s really challenged himself. Erislandy Lara is a good Cuban fighter with extensive amateur experience, good boxing ability, and a will to win. However, I do not believe that he has what it takes to defeat Canelo. Alvarez has only been beaten by the very best consummate boxer in the game, Floyd Mayweather. Alvarez was able to beat Austin Trout fairly convincingly and looked great in his recent defeat of Angulo. Lara was able to defeat Trout easily, but struggled mightily against Angulo and was knocked down twice before storming back to win. Therefore, I think Canelo will win by a convincing, but not landslide decision and may end up knocking down Lara before the fight is over. A Canelo late round stoppage is also a very real possibility.”

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Saul Canelo Alvarez vs Erislandy Lara | GP Promo

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Canelo Alvarez vs Erislandy Lara Promo

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  1. Darrell 09:17pm, 07/12/2014

    Rematch, has to be.

  2. Pete The Sneak 10:57am, 07/12/2014

    This will not be an easy fight for Canelo. He will be fighting a skilled boxer/fighter with good movement who can slug. There will be a few rounds where Canelo will get frustrated and Lara will have his way with him. If Lara, however, abandons his boxing and tries to slug it out with the Red Head (a la Angulo), he will get caught and will be badly hurt by Canelo…That aside, I see Lara upsetting the applecart here by a UD win over Canelo…Peace.

  3. Steven Stahler 07:45am, 07/12/2014

    Domination by Canelo after it is all said and done.

  4. JoeG(R.I.P Alexis Arguello) 06:45am, 07/12/2014

    If Lara is in proper condition and use his legs to avoid Canelo cutting off the ring and making a brawl of it he will be in good shape against Canelo. He will fight Canelo much different then Angulo. Canelo struggles in late rounds and against southpaws. If the judges aren’t swayed by Golden Boy’s wonder child or the Pro-Canelo crowd I believe Lara wins by UD. What a fight card though huh?

  5. Erskine McGriff 05:21am, 07/12/2014

    This one is a difficult one to call. I originally chose Canelo because of how Lara fought against Angulo. I do feel that Lara is the only 154 lber out there who can beat Money May. I expect Lara to be more cautious with Canelo than he was against angulo. For sure Canelo has issues with technical fighters. I expect Canelo to be exposed in a UD victory for Lara. Mayweather will then Vacate the 154lb titles.

  6. Darrell 06:36pm, 07/11/2014

    Man, tough to call.  I like Lara, he generally fights smart and doesn’t get hit too often but Canelo is a physically beastly guy so…..yeah tough.

    I think Lara will hop in, unload, then hop out again.  He’ll do it often in order to break Canelo’s flow.  When Canelo is moving his head he doesn’t look to counter so Lara will try to take advantage of the times when Canelo is looking to set himself to punch and beat him to it.

    Can’t see a stoppage, both guys are durable though, if their were a KO it would seem more likely to come from the cumulative effect of quality combination punching of Canelo, though Lara is a sharp puncher too.  IF there were a stoppage.

    I’ll go Lara though…..smarter.

  7. ROB 04:11pm, 07/11/2014

    I got Canelo!

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