Erislandy Lara Makes Statement With KO Over Hearns, Wants Martinez, Williams, Molina, Kirkland or Alvarez Next!

By James Slater: 29-year-old Cuban light-middleweight contender Erislandy Lara made a big statement last night, as he iced Ronald Hearns inside a single round. Okay, 33-year-old Ronald is no Tommy Hearns, yet the boxer known as “The Chosen One” has never been as brutally manhandled as he was by the Cuban southpaw last night. Three times Hearns went down, and the loss may well have ended his pro career. Certainly, it will be tough for the young Hearns, 26-3(20) - all three losses coming via stoppage, to be able to get himself another title shot after losing so heavily.

For Lara, however, the future has never looked brighter. Now 16-1(11) Lara is naturally calling for a big fight. We’ve already seen the formidable fighting skills the Cuban defector possesses. Go back nine months, and Lara was putting on a show against “Punisher” Paul Williams. Looked at as a big points winner by almost everybody, Lara was instead flabbergasted to see Williams pick up the majority verdict. A genuine Robbery Of The Year candidate, Williams’ win still angers Lara.

Speaking with before his crushing of Hearns Junior, Lara said his hit list comprises of middleweight king Sergio Martinez, Williams in a return, Saul Alvarez, James Kirkland and, in what would be another rematch, Carlos Molina. Either fight would prove intriguing were it to get made.

When he fought the crafty Molinaa, it was Lara who was deemed lucky not to have been judged a points loser. Having fits with the sometime-spoiler from Mexico, Lara escaped with a draw. But in light of how bad Molina made Kirkland look, it’s possible fans will be willing to let Lara off with the bad night he had at the office. And at least Lara is calling out the man he so struggled with. A rematch might not result in a thrilling fight, but in the interest of fairness maybe it should be made.

Really, Molina and Lara are both deserving of a big fight. Will Martinez look Lara’s way, or will the Argentine continue his search for a super-fight? Will superstar in the making Canelo Alvarez show any interest in facing Lara, or will he also continue to express his desire to face Floyd Mayweather Junior? I doubt very much Williams will want any further to do with Lara, although this rematch also makes a lot of sense. And as for Kirkland, he says that once his shoulder has healed (the one he hurt in the controversial win over Molina) he wants a big fight; with a Canelo or a rival titlist at 154.

Lara, as unfair as it is, might just find himself in no-man’s land: where is very much a fighter deserving of the description, ‘too much risk, no reward.’ The top guys, at 154 and at 160, don’t have to fight the Cuban, so why would they risk losing by doing so?

Unless he can win a major belt, Lara may suffer the fate of becoming an avoided fighter. My guess? Of the names Lara has on his list, the Molina rematch has the best chance of coming to fruition.

Article posted on 21.04.2012

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