Is Lara Really a Challenge for Canelo

By Matt Andrzejewski on July 2, 2014
Is Lara Really a Challenge for Canelo

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez faces Erislandy Lara in a big pay-per-view showdown on Saturday July 12th.  When the fight was announced, most boxing pundits considered this to be a big challenge for Canelo. As a matter of fact, many experts are predicting that Canelo will lose. However, in my opinion Lara is the perfect opponent for Canelo to shine against.

Lara is described by many as a slick southpaw. Coming from the vaunted Cuban amateur program, he possesses very good boxing skills. Lara has a good jab and uses that jab to control distance from the outside. He also is quick and has good lateral movement. This helps him to set up angles to also land his straight left behind his jab at times.

Lara’s two most impressive performances to date have come against Paul Williams and Austin Trout. Williams and Trout each have a couple things in common. They are both southpaws who prefer to box and neither are pressure fighters. Lara was allowed to dictate tempo and pick both apart counterpunching from the outside.

Those were Lara’s most impressive performances. But when has Lara struggled? Well that has been against orthodox fighters who apply pressure. The two fights in particular that he struggled were his draw against Carlos Molina and 10th round TKO stoppage of Alfredo Angulo.

In their respective fights against Lara, Molina and Angulo both pressed the action and made Lara feel uncomfortable. Lara prefers to fight at a measured pace and dictate the action but was unable to do so in each of these fights.

In addition, both Molina and Angulo found Lara an easy target when they provided pressure. The straight right hand to the head against the southpaw Lara could not miss when Angulo and Molina launched that punch. In addition, Lara was vulnerable to the left hook to the body and head in each of these fights. As a matter of fact, Angulo dropped Lara in round four and round nine from a crisp left hooks to the head.

Canelo is bigger and stronger than both Molina and Angulo. He has much faster hands than both and has more power behind his punches than both. Canelo throws a very good straight right hand and probably his best punch is his vicious left hook that he throws with speed and conviction to both the head and body.

Angulo is a much slower fighter than Canelo as was evidenced when the two squared off in March. If Angulo was able to find Lara an easy target, imagine what the quicker, harder hitting and sharper punching Canelo will be able to accomplish in the ring against Lara.

Canelo is going to press this fight from the opening bell. He is going to make Lara feel uncomfortable and not allow Lara to fight at his pace. The straight right hand will be key for Canelo against Lara and I see Canelo using that punch to allow him to press his way in close to Lara. Once in range, Canelo will let his hand speed edge take over and fire away with left hooks to the head and body.

I see Lara getting discouraged early by Canelo’s speed and power. Lara will become hesitant to open up for fear of what’s coming back from the faster hands of Canelo. Lara will become more defensive as the fight progresses. As Lara’s activity decreases, Canelo’s will inevitably increase.

Lara has plenty of heart as he showed in the Angulo fight. However, I see him eventually wilting in the middle rounds to the continued assault by Canelo. When all is said and done, I expect a mid-round stoppage victory for Canelo in an absolutely dominating performance.

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  1. Clarence George 10:31pm, 07/03/2014

    Characteristically on-target analysis, with which I fully agree.

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