The Most Feared Man in Boxing?

By Johnathan Lee Iverson on February 1, 2014
The Most Feared Man in Boxing?
Lara is highly skilled, dangerous, and worst of all nobody knows him. (Naoki Fukuda)

I’ve never been one for memes. I’ve always been of the belief that they were designed to tap into the sheep in us all. The fight game and its personalities, like Hall of Fame promoters Bob Arum and Don King, have effectively utilized memes to arouse interest, even massive mainstream interest in their promotions and for their fighters, leading us like sheep to message boards to corroborate or dispute claims made by such Svengalis, even managing to seduce an expert talking head or two. We all remember when Antonio Margarito was The Most Feared Man in Boxing. We all remember and some of us bleated our support or ire on those famous message boards; and we were in great company as some of the sport’s most noted experts bleated along, particularly those affiliated with HBO Boxing. However, I think it’s safe to say that the commentators of HBO Boxing uttered far more than the sheepish bleats of the masses, rather the knee slapping, Holy Ghost, speaking in tongue affirmations of conspiring Deacons, as the very Reverend Rabbi Arum spun his own brand of gospel. But, alas the illusion of the Mexican powerhouse, known as the Tijuana Tornado came crumbling down, much like the Plaster of Paris spotted in his hand wraps courtesy of Brother Naazim Richardson, who just as he had when Bernard Hopkins faced off against Puerto Rican icon, Felix “Tito” Trinidad, was able to spot something rather peculiar and as we would later learn unsavory about the hand wrapping method’s of his fighter’s foe (at the time Richardson was training Sugar Shane Mosley); and like Trinidad, Margarito’s manufactured invincibility would take a vividly mortal turn, rightfully calling into question the validity of past victories and the inspiration for the gospel according to the good Rev. Rabbi Arum. The wizard had drawn back the curtain or in this case showed his hands and revealed a ridiculously average fighter for all to see.

One of the greatest of all memes hammered into our innocent imaginations as children is, “if you work hard and do a great job, success is inevitable.” Maybe, dad and mom should have warned, “that pertains to all save for prize fighters.” The sport of boxing is littered with “He could have been…” tales of fighters revered by their peers and feared by their peers’ handlers. Wondrous wizards of their crafts relegated to the “Risk too high, reward too low” class, whose unforgivable sin was their inability to get noticed by the public. If not for his dogged determination to not allow, then boxing superstar Felix Trinidad, guided by Don King to skip past the middleweight division collecting a meaningless strap, full steam ahead toward a showdown with then Pound-for-Pound King Roy Jones Jr., Bernard Hopkins would have been long forgotten. 

Cuba’s masterful Erislandy Lara could use some of that dogged determination right about now because as it stands right now despite his stellar record, sound skills and recent and impressive outings versus the formidable Austin Trout whom he dominated effortlessly and the menacing Alfredo Angulo, against whom he displayed epic heart having been dropped twice, only to come back and end matters via a TKO, Lara’s promoters seem either inadequate or uninterested in assuring their gifted and exciting charge be recognized by the boxing press and public as a logical and legitimate opponent in a major showdown with the stars in or round his weight class.

No one denies the prize in prize fighting, so when Saul “Canelo” Alvarez opted for a match up with the worn Alfredo Angulo, fiscally who could blame him? However, a victory over Angulo at this stage of his career adds nothing to further Alvarez’s legacy, save for highlight reel immortality. Sergio Martinez, now in the twilight of his career, is likely looking to cash out. The conveniently talented Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. seems more content with enjoying the spoils his name affords him, as opposed to maximizing his potential. Manny Pacquiao is in the midst of reestablishing himself and cannot afford the risk. Besides, it won’t help those massive tax debts. We get it, Floyd: “If it don’t make dollars it don’t make sense.”  But at least for credibility sake, Lara should not be missing from anyone’s short list of fighters who could conceivably fill one of those remaining spots on the Money’s contract. Bottom line, Erislandy Lara is The Most Feared Man in Boxing and that’s no meme, just the truth. The most concentrated talents in the sport reside between 140 and 154 lbs., particularly at 147, and yet, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that Lara is the guy to be avoided, unless it is unavoidably necessary. Perhaps Lara is his own worst enemy. He’s highly skilled, dangerous, and worst of all nobody knows him. He’s high risk, low reward. Much like the avoided greats of yesteryear, Lara will have to just keep to the business of winning and hope someone at Golden Boy Promotions will come down with a severe case of Barnumesque genius to arouse the interest of us sheep for a fighter who desperately deserves the hype and a few big dances.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Austin Trout Knocked Down By Erislandy Lara - SHOWTIME Boxing

Erislandy Lara vs Alfredo Angulo Full Fight

Read More Blogs
Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. Eduardo gomez 01:04pm, 02/02/2014

    Nobody care about lara because is cuban he is good as mayweather the only difference is american boxing world cuban boxer as rigo ,gamboa doesnt no represent money for promoter like bob arum is a shame money talks in this business

Leave a comment