(Photo credit: Esther Lin/Showtime) In a fight that could have gone either way, the more popular Mexican fighter Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KO’s) defeated Erislandy Lara (19-2-2, 12 KO’s) by a 12 round split decision tonight in a fight that failed to raise the stock for either fighter at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The judges scored it 117-111 and 115-113 for Canelo, and 115-113 for Lara. I personally had Lara winning the fight 116-112. The 117-111 score by judge Levi Martinez from New Mexico was baffling to say the least.
Canelo got the win, but he missed all night long with the vast majority of his power shots. Lara was able to hit Canelo with with clean left hands pretty much every time he wanted to in the fight. The problem that Lara had was he didn’t let his hands go enough in the last 6 rounds of the fight, and this obviously led to two of the judges giving Canelo the victory. Continue reading
Tonight’s Showtime pay per view broadcast opened with a terrific matchup, as American Mauricio Herrera took on Johan Perez, of Caracas, Venezuela. The last time we saw Herrera was in Puerto Rico against 140 pound kingpin Danny Garcia, where many fans feel he was the victim of home cooking in favor of the champ. This time he felt more at home in Las Vegas, which is only about a four hour drive from his residence in Riverside, California. Perez held training camp for this bout in America for the first time in his career, where he benefited from great sparring at Daniel Ponce De Leon’s gym in California.
The opening rounds started with Herrera moving forward and Perez backing up, circling to his left, and attempting to counterpunch. Neither man could get land anything flush, causing a lot of tie ups as they slipped punches and jockeyed for position. Things were a bit messy and Herrera wasn’t cutting off the ring but rather following his opponent. It felt as though the Venezuelan fighter was doing the better work early on. Continue reading
TONY BELLEW VS JULIO CESAR DOS SANTOS
Bellew stops Dos Santos in the 5th round
ANTHONY JOSHUA VS MATT SKELTON
Joshua TKO 2.23 round 2 (Skelton down in round 2)
NATHAN CLEVERLY VS ALEJANDRO VALORI
Cleverly TKO 1.16 round 4 (Valori down in 2nd and 4th rounds)
CALLUM SMITH VS VLADINE BIOSSE
Smith wins 100-89, 99-91, 99-91 to retain the WBC International Super Middleweight Championship
ANTHONY OGOGO VS WAYNE REED
Ogogo TKO Reed after 1.06 of round 5 (Reed down in the 1st round)
ROCKY FIELDING VS NOE GONZALEZ
Fielding TKO 1.07 round 5 (Gonzalez down once in 5th round)
As the final seconds of 2013 ticked away, our attention turned from whatever kind of celebratory beverage we held in our hand toward the topic of what might occur in the year to come. For fans of boxing, the future seemed uncertain; and those of a more pessimistic inclination probably felt they had good reason for viewing it as being rather bleak.
After all, at the start of 2014, the rift between promotional organizations and networks seemed as vast and impassible as it ever had at any point since it was first created. The number of appealing match-ups to look forward was rather limited, and the match-ups that had been bandied about (e.g. Floyd Mayweather-Amir Khan) did little to whet the boxing fan’s appetite. Given that context, it becomes easy to understand why some observers felt that the year would prove to be a disappointment.
Still, six months later, these fears have proved to be unfounded. Continue reading
Tonight, the world of Boxing will watch closely as Mexico’s brightest star, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, attempts to solidify his position amongst one of the most hotly contested divisions in the sport. Standing in his way is a man who many have viewed as the “Dark Horse” for several years. He doesn’t bring the huge Mexican fan base or the mega-star personality, but if there’s one fighter in the sport who can officially put Cuba on the map, it’s Erislandy Lara, and tonight he’ll get his chance. As we prepare for this epic battle, we first take a look at “Keys to Victory”, “Four to Explore”, and an “Official Prediction”!
KEYS TO VICTORY – ERISLANDY LARA
For Lara, he’ll need to start fast and first, but one word will tell the tale of the night, and when the final bell sounds, that word will guarantee either victory or defeat. That word? Consistency…..and he’ll have to apply it all across the board, starting with his jab. A precision based jab will be vital – as it relates to him being able to blunt Canelo’s early onslaught – and it could effectively change the total dynamics of this fight. Aside from employing the jab, Lara will need to dedicate himself to body work, early and often. The jab and body work duo should be very effective, but neither will mean much without a killer instinct. To tie this plan together, Lara will need to be willing to walk thru the fire and go down to the wire! If he can do these things, victory is his, perhaps easier than many think! Continue reading
Today in 1986, at The Omni in Atlanta, Georgia, two cruiserweights put on a truly unforgettable 15-round war of a fight that still ranks, all these years later, as THE finest to have been waged in the weight class directly below heavyweight. And though, at the time, the still relatively new cruiserweight division was both dismissed and mocked by many a fan and expert, the battle defending WBA ruler and challenger Evander Holyfield put on went a long way towards getting the division accepted by all.
Holyfield, a 1984 Olympian who was having his 12th pro bout, was seen by many as too inexperienced for the tough, dangerous and crafty born-again Muslim who used to be known as Dwight Braxton. Holyfield, the critics, said, ran out of gas after just a few rounds of warfare, and if that happened against the saw-off slugger (who was also blessed with good defence and a rock of a chin) known as “The Camden Buzzsaw” he would be in a whole heap of trouble. Continue reading
This bout at the MGM Grand tonight is as good as it gets in terms of match-making. Despite the age difference of 8 years in Canelo’s favor both fighters are perceived as up-and-comers and Alvarez has a superstar status with his home crowd. Lara on the other hand is deprived of a loyal home fan base for obvious reasons and will hardly be the draw in the fight.
Saul Alvarez, 43(KO 31)-1-1 has more KOs on his record than Lara, 19(KO 12)-1-2, has fights but Lara brings a wealth of amateur boxing experience and comes across as the boxer of the duo. Erislandy is a typical exponent of the Cuban amateur school and brings most of the assets that have made Cuban boxing such an icon. He does have setbacks however – he does not punch his weight and sacrifices power for precision and timing. Most fans won’t forgive him going down twice against one Alfredo Angulo (I can’t) and his chin/punch resistance credibility will remain spurious for a long time. Otherwise he is brilliant technician who uses all defensive dimensions the way Alcides Sagarra taught him and he has tactical savvy and always seems in good shape. Being a slick rangy southpaw who sticks to long range makes him a very tough customer – he has only one loss against Paul Williams and it is highly controversial. Continue reading
A loud, proud and passionate crowd filled into the MGM Grand Garden Arena for today’s weigh in. Numerous boxing personalities like Floyd Mayweather Senior were in the house as well as several fighters, including newly crowned WBC heavyweight titlist Bermane Stiverne. Showtime’s Jimmy Lennon emceed the festivities and the partisan Mexican-American crowd showed their love for their fighters throughout. If the atmosphere today was an indication of what to expect come fight night, it’s appears that we’re in for a special event.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (155 Lbs.) vs. Erislandy Lara (155 Lbs.)
The crowd was deafening as both fighters stepped onto the stage; jeers for Lara and cheers for Alvarez. Lara looked cool and calm, smiling as he stepped to the scale and hit the contracted weight of 155 pounds. Canelo was all business for the most part, letting out only a small grin as the crowd erupted when he hit the scale. The Mexican superstar also measured 155 pounds. Continue reading
When Alvarez lost to Mayweather, they brought him back against Alfredo Angulo, a confidence booster. The type of fight that Canelo and his handlers would have hand picked while listening to the TLC song, don’t go chasing water falls.
Angulo is a good fighter but his come forward, plant your feet and throw style (his nick name is Perro – Spanish for dog) is perfect for Alvarez. It was a very small step towards redemption. In this modern day, business focused world of boxing, Alvarez could have chosen to fight more of these compatible opponents and made a mint along the way. Instead, he’s chosen to fight Erislandy Lara, a slick, highly skilled, highly avoided, former world amateur champion and current fighter’s nightmare. Continue reading
The final press conference before Saturday night’s PPV card kicked off around 1pm this afternoon at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. An eager crowd of international press gathered as Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya introduced the fighters. The conference was streamed live on Showtime’s site.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 43-1-1 (31KO) vs. Erislandy Lara 19-1-2 (12KO), light middleweights Only four months ago Canelo had a dominant performance at the MGM Grand against rugged brawler Alfredo Angulo. Slick boxing southpaw Lara figures to bring a much tougher challenge Saturday night. Continue reading