And The Winner GBP! Post Canelo vs. Lara

By Rudy Mondragon

In a close fight on Saturday July 12, 2014, Erislandy Lara took on the young Saul Canelo Alvarez. In a fight where many boxing heads knew Canelo had the political power and the backing of a power house promotion company,  the edge would no doubt favor the Mexican fighter.

When the scores were read and the winner was announced, Jimmy Lennon Jr. misread the script.  It wasn’t Canelo who won the fight, it was Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) who in reality won on this night. Continuing to milk their cash cow, GBP rely on Canelo to bring them big bucks, especially in light of recent struggles after having lost their effective CEO, Richard Schaffer.

Do not get me wrong, there were things that Canelo did well on this night. He was aggressive, he did not allow Lara to counter effectively as he is used to, and his stamina and energy looked better than usual. Canelo however, was also ineffective in his aggression as many of his power shots missed wildly and the power shots connected lacked accuracy or were blocked by Lara. His most effective punch was the uppercut that drew a cut in Lara.

When asked about the fight, Canelo stated that Lara was running and that he should have ran a marathon. In the background, you see Oscar De La Hoya smiling and laughing. Ask Oscar however, if he felt like he was ‘running’ the night he was robbed against Tito Trinidad.

Lara on the other hand controlled the ring (ring generalship), drew Canelo into a chasing match, dictated the tempo, connect cleaner punches, and executed better defense. Had Lara  been busier, Dave Moretti probably would have also given Lara the decision. At this point disregard Levi Martinez (117-111 for Canelo) as either Golden Boy Promotions were in his pockets, he didn’t pay attention to the fight, he had made up his mind before the fight started, or all of the above.

Respect for Canelo. No doubt about. He is 23 years old, already has multiple PPV events, and he comports himself very professionally. Shame on Golden Boy Promotions for putting him in their with the wolves early in his career and selling a false narrative that Canelo in the present is elite. He is not. For starters, this fighter is not even listed in the top ten P4P lists. He is a good fighter who still has a long way to go.

What is the point of putting Canelo in there against a wise, skillful, and athletic elite boxer in Floyd Mayweather back in 2013. The answer is simple: MONEY. Did Canelo learn much from that fight. Not so much, at least it didn’t show on July 12. What is the point of putting Canelo in there with a good boxer in Lara? This question depends on the actions that Canelo and his team make from this point on. From this fight, to me two things are clear: 1) Canelo is a one dimensional fighter who needs to get rid of the bad habit of swinging for the fences and 2) something that the BMB team has discussed for years now, Canelo needs to drop his training staff and move on with a new team.

My suggestion, hire Robert Garcia! Robert is a training who adapts to his individual fighters and can meet his fighters where they are. He is a trainer who lets you know of your bad habits and can help you heal from them. Look at the work he has done with Mikey Garcia and Marcos Maidana. Robert know’s he can’t change a fighter, but he can provide additional tools for them. At Canelo’s young age, working with Robert presents more learning opportunities than dead ends his current team offers.

Since money and false stories are created in boxing by power house promotional companies, it is important to raise these question: Has Canelo peaked? We need to look at this question and be honest. Has Canelo learned all he can from the sport or does he have intellectual room to grow? Can he add to his boxing repertoire or is this all Canelo brings to the ring?

When asked if he was outgrowing the 154lbs limit, Canelo said he intended to stay put. Smart move by a man who knows that the 160lbs is a danger zone that he intends to stay away from. Evidence like this and the fact that Saturday’s fight was at a catch-weight of 155lbs informs me that Canelo is struggling to make 154lbs and that he wants to stay in this weight class for as long as he can because he knows very well that every time he steps into the ring, he will be the bigger and stronger man.

In the end, Lara deserves a rematch that he will never get. He will continue to look for a big pay day that might come his way, but not any time soon. Canelo will go on to most likely face Cotto. With two fighters who each consider themselves the A Side, it will be interesting to see how the negotiation process goes down. Will it be in New York? Las Vegas? Will there be a catch-weight? Who will be announced first? Will they honor the fact that Miguel Cotto is the current WBC Middleweight champion? Time will tell.

*NOTE: For those who want to rewatch the fight, make sure you watch it in mute, so that all the cheers for all the Canelo misses do not influence your take on the July 12th 2014 winner.

Lara vs Canelo: BMB Predictions

Canelo Lara

This is a fight that many of us have been waiting to see. I’d like to give a shout to both fighters – Lara for calling out Canelo at his own press conference and Canelo for stepping up like a young G despite his advisors discouraging him to take the fight.

Now, then, it’s important to remember a few things about this bout.

First, this fight is not for a belt. So, the traditional thoughts about the champ having the upper hand don’t really fly here. In fact, many consider Lara, who currently holds the interim WBA light middleweight title, to be the underdog in this bout given the fan base and hoopla behind the GoldenBoy-backed Cinnamon Man himself.

Second, the bout is being held at a catchweight of 155lbs, one pound over the official light-middleweight limit. While one pound may not seem like much, it can make the world of a difference when trying to drop several pounds from your normal body weight for the weigh-in, simply to blow back up to the 170lb+ range (hint: think Canelo). So, again, some believe this gives Canelo an advantage, which is probably why his camp asked for the catchweight in the first place.

Mateo Banegas

On to the keys to victory and prediction.

Canelo is a young, strong fighter who has demonstrated improvement with every fight, even considering his lopsided loss to Mayweather. For him to be successful, he’s going to have to land shots to the body of Lara, in hopes of slowing his opponent down in the later rounds. Canelo also needs to cut off the ring, limiting Lara’s movement, and use his weight/strength advantage to push and keep Lara against the ropes so that he can land punches on the inside. It will also be essential for Canelo to stay busy and keep throwing punches. As long as Canelo can land hits, they will add up and wear down Lara, little by little. Lastly, he’ll need use good head movement and watch out for that killer left of Lara.

Lara is a tremendous technical boxer from the Cuban school of boxing. He has great movement and footwork, which should benefit him as he tries to stay away from Canelo’s punches. It may also tire out Canelo, if he decides to try and chase Lara around the ring hoping to engage him in a firefight. Lara will need to use his angles and land calculated shots, which he did very effectively against Trout and even Angulo to some extent. The left hand of Lara is devastating and his most powerful weapon, if he employs his jab to set up this shot, just as he has done so well in the past, all should be good. Even though Lara was able to pull out the win against Angulo, he didn’t look so well at times. Angulo was able to land some great uppercuts and catch Lara on his chin with nice counterpunches, leading to two knockdowns. This is super important with an opponent like Canelo, so Lara will have to be stay away from too many close exchanges and keep his hands up as he moves out.

Lara should outbox Canelo, as he is the better, more sound boxer, and be able to land effectively against Canelo. If Lara isn’t able to get a knockout (and I don’t think he will), he’ll have to put on a masterclass show against Canelo – putting him well ahead in points by the end of the fight to get a win by decision. Canelo’s advantages make him a dangerous opponent that could end the fight for Lara at any moment or steal the win by decision in close fought bout. In the end, Lara wins a great fight, while Canelo shows enough to maintain his worldwide fan base.

Jeff Schimmel

I’ve been pondering this one for a long time. So many thoughts. Perhaps one of the toughest fights to pick with any confidence. I don’t think anyone will look foolish for backing either one of these guys.

I’ve never been too impressed with Alvarez. He’s got a lot of gifts, but he doesn’t always fight smart. He hits hard, but so what? It’s boxing. You’re going to get hit.

Lara is tricky and fast and a lefty. He could present all kinds of problems. In my opinion, he got robbed in the Williams fight, so maybe judges don’t like his style or they don’t like his promoters.

Also, Lara went down twice against Angulo, and he was gassed midway through the fight. Luckily, Angulo had a hard time catching him. I doubt Alvarez will apply less pressure than Angulo, so if Lara isn’t in the best shape of his life, he’ll fade and get KO’d. I’d hate to see that.

I feel that Lara has to either hurt or at least cut up Alvarez early to back him off a bit and make him think. If Lara can do that, he can win a decision.

I don’t see Alvarez winning a decision. He either pounds Lara into submission and wins by KO, or Lara wins by decision. So hard to guess.

In my heart, I’d LOVE to see Lara make Alvarez quit and win by TKO.

Jarrett Bato

I’m very excited for the first round because of all the intangibles each fighter has. Lara has to demonstrate confident speed and skill that looks like it will not fade to win. Otherwise, Canelo’s confidence, power, and improving consistency will take it. Canelo seems very motivated to beat him while it seems Lara is looking past him already which I hope isn’t true. In any case I think Canelo wants to prove to the world that he’s a talent beyond talents and give him props for selecting worthy opponents this time. I think Canelo should take this one but damn if Lara boxes beautifully tomorrow it will be a masterpiece exhibition.

Rudy Mondragon

This is an exciting fight based on the two names. However, this fight is one that puts an amazing boxer versus a decent boxer with power. I am leaning towards Lara in this fight as he is the more athletic and skilled fighter. In looking at the weight in, it appears that Lara is in good shape while Canelo looked dry and dehydrated. It is no mystery as to why the fight is taking place at a catch weight of 155lbs.  This surely helps Canelo, who looks to be either outgrowing this weight class or not eating his vegetables. Heavier Canelo for tomorrow nights fight versus a very fit and quick Lara. Lara’s speed will allow him to outbox Canelo early. Once the later rounds come, based on Canelo’s history, the young Mexican fighter will fade and he will lead his attack by throwing single power punches. Lara, by boxing and controlling the tempo, will be able to counter punch the one punch efforts of Canelo. Lara will collect points, execute a boxing style of swimming without getting wet, and will weather early storms towards a unanimous decision win. Canelo will be okay with the defeat. At his young age and with his marketability, Golden Boy Promotions will continue to find ways to squeeze all the dollars out of him.

Canelo vs. Lara: Good for Boxing

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By Rudy Mondragon
Twitter: @bloodmoneyboxin
Instagram: bloodmoneyboxing

Finally! The match many have been asking for. Erislandy Lara has been demanding this fight, most recently stepping up to the podium post Canelo/Angulo fight asking Canelo to rumble with him in the ring. The fight between Saul Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KOs) and Erislandy Lara (19-1-2, 12 KOs) is scheduled for July 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight will be a Showtime Pay-Per-View event, which will be worth it.

It is worth noting that Lara was scheduled to fight former IBF Champion Ishe Smith on the 2nd of May, but that fight has been officially scratched. Thank goodness, as that match up was nothing more than a filler-fight for a Friday night.

This fight, however, is huge for boxing. Lara has the style that can give Canelo trouble. He is the better boxer and will have more power than recent Canelo opponents. Think of Mayweather, how technically sound and smart as he is. Lara won’t bring that same level of technique and IQ, but he has both nonetheless and more so than Canelo. He also has experience at the Jr Middleweight division and will have that type of strength.

This is the kind of match-up that boxing needs. Canelo will have the opportunity to shut many critics up. He is the cash cow for Golden Boy Promotions, and being the cash cow comes with many privileges. Can Saul live up to the hype he currently carries? Lara will be on a mission to take his throne and establish himself as the Jr Middleweight to beat. Can he do it and back up his talk?

Rock, Paper, or Scissors? Boxing is all about styles. Canelo walked all over Angulo recently, yet he had a close fight with Austin Trout. Lara won a war in which he was dropped twice against Angulo, yet dominated Trout. When these two meet, we won’t know who is the Rock, Paper, or Scissor. What we know is that Canelo will look to establish his size and power. Lara will box and establish ring generalship to control the pace and attempt to outpoint Saul. This is what boxing is all about.

I don’t want to give too much credit to Golden Boy Promotions, but I do tip my hat to them for this one. It is a good match up. Top Rank should take down some notes out of the Golden Boy Promo’s book and quit the child’s play in saying we should boycott Mayweather/Maidana.