Hot Prospect Erislandy Lara To Face Teak-Tough Danny Perez Next

by James Slater - Next up for gifted Cuban light-middleweight prospect/contender Erislandy Lara is a scheduled ten-rounder with the teak-tough, never-stopped Danny Perez. Maintaining the fast work rate he and his team hope will see him to the very top of his weight class, the unbeaten 26-year-old southpaw fights again a little over two months after his last win; the step up in class match with former "Contender" Grady Brewer back on Jan. 29th - a 10th-round TKO win for Lara.

But on April 2nd in Las Vegas, the fast-handed Cuban will take a step up again as he meets the man who has that great chin - a chin that was able to see Perez through to the final bell of his 2002 WBO welterweight title fight with the fearsome (and then respected) Antonio Margarito.. Perez may not have been all that active as of late (just one fight last year, a loss over 12-rounds to Carlos Molina) but he is not old at age 33, he has fought as high as middleweight before so a bout at 154 is no problem for him, and he will arguably be the most experienced guy Lara has yet been in with.

With wins to his name over such good fighters as the aforementioned Brewer, Jose Luis Zertuche and Julio Cesar Garcia, Perez has proven over the years how he is a very good fighter. If he has kept himself in shape since the June 2009 loss to Molina and if he still has the hunger and desire needed to compete at a high level, the Californian nicknamed "Dynamite" could well push Lara like he's never been pushed before.

But Lara, now 10-0(6), is one fine talent, and he is without any doubt hungry. Fighting a quite amazing seven times last year, and looking to keep almost as busy this year, even as he moves up further and further in class, the former amateur standout definitely has the look of a world champion of the future. Also, Lara is, as we know, a lefty - the last time Perez faced a southpaw, in David Lopez back in May of 2005, he lost. Will Lara's stance serve to give the hardened warrior with the 34-6(17) severe problems?

Lara is certainly the faster fighter of the two, and though he may not be a murderous hitter, he can punch with speed and accuracy. Perez is no killer puncher either, but with 17 KO's, the edge in power has to go to the older, more seasoned fighter - even when you consider how Perez has not scored a stoppage since way back in 2002. The April 2nd fight, set for Las Vegas, has the looks of a distance fight to me.

Lara has proven he can go ten rounds if he needs to, and he has not really been in a fight that could be called all that hard for him; winning the one fight of his that has gone ten full rounds by near shutout. As with all young fighters, there are still question marks around Lara's ability to take a real hard shot, and maybe Perez will provide us with an answer to this question. As for Lara's chances of putting a dent in Perez' chin, well, it sure would be an impressive statement if Lara were to score a stoppage win next month.

Instead, I see the still-improving (or still adapting fully to the pro game) Cuban winning on points for a fifth time as a pro.

Article posted on 08.03.2010

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