Lara challenges Brian Castaño

By Robert Ecksel on February 21, 2019
Lara challenges Brian Castaño
Cuban boxers have a mystique that has weathered the storm of geopolitics. (JCG Boxing)

Lara is sharing the March 2 card with another Cuban standout, Luis Ortiz, who is facing Christian Hammer in the co-main event…

On Saturday, March 2, in a fight televised live on Showtime from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, former WBA super welterweight champion Erislandy Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs), the clever southpaw from Houston, Texas, by way of Guantanamo, Cuba, tangles with Brian Castaño (15-0, 11 KOs), the current reigning and defending WBA super welterweight champion from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Boxers from Cuba possess a mystique that has weathered the storm of geopolitics. Cuban fighters like Kid Gavilan, José Nápoles, Kid Chocolate, Luis Rodríguez, Sugar Ramos, José Legrá, Florentino Fernandez, Kid Tunero, and Benny “Kid” Paret had a profound impact on the sport when profound impacts seemed consequential.

Lara doesn’t fight with the frequency or ferocity of the countrymen who preceded him, but he knows his way around the ring and can disarm a young gun when the odds are against him.

“Brian Castaño is coming into this fight with an undefeated record,” said Lara, “but it’s nothing I haven’t seen before. This will be my third fight in a row versus an undefeated fighter. I’m taking this very seriously. Stylistically, I feel I’m the superior fighter, but he’s a very strong champion. I will be prepared to take back a title in this great division, then look to the biggest fights that are out there.”

One of the biggest fights out there is a rematch with Jarrett Hurd, to whom Lara dropped a razor-thin split decision. He may have failed to get the nod but won praise for his efforts in the consensus Fight of the Year for 2018.

“The fight against Hurd was a great fight for the fans, but I felt I won seven or eight rounds that night. To be on the wrong end of another close decision left a bad taste in my mouth. That fight being recognized as Fight of the Year shows my versatility as a fighter. I was on the ballot before with Alfredo Angulo, so it was good to get recognized for being a warrior, not only a craftsman.”

Lara is sharing the March 2 card with another Cuban standout, Luis Ortiz, who is facing Christian Hammer in the co-main event.

“Luis Ortiz and I go way back and I’m happy that my brother is fighting on the same card as me,” Lara said. “We’ve gone through a lot since leaving Cuba to pursue our dreams of becoming world champions here in the U.S. Like myself, I know he’s going to be ready to entertain the fans on fight night and make this a memorable night for Cuban boxing!”

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  1. tetumbo 10:27am, 02/24/2019

    Lara wasn’t planning to assume the role of “ring warrior” v. Angulo. i watched that fight live and despite an agonizingly deliberate and plodding performance by Angulo he managed to deck Lara twice in that fight and was on the verge of winning the bout if not for that injury to his eye. it was an overachieving performance by Angulo who dragged his feet across the canvas all fight long. it seemed as if his boots weighed 50lbs each for all the mobility he exhibited in that bout. i was incredulous that he was able to catch Lara at all but he expended the last bit of his prime to do so and in what was ultimately a losing performance.

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