SAN DIEGO, July 12, 2014 – Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (43-1-0, 31 KOs) remains a huge star among Mexican boxing fans. Erislandy Lara (19-1-2, 12 KOs), a Cuban now living in Texas, gets a cool reception both for being OTM (Other Than Mexican), and for having trash talked Alvarez in the past few weeks before tonight’s junior middleweight bout in Las Vegas.
The fight will air on Showtime PPV with undercards starting at 9 p.m. ET. Join Communities Digital News for our live chat of the event with play by play, real time stats and images, and all the headlines from inside the squared circle.
Lara is the one who really wanted this fight. He pursued Alvarez, showing up at his post-fight news conference after he beat Alfredo Angulo in March, and calling him out on social media. So Alvarez told his camp to make the fight.
Lara is a southpaw, which presents a challenge for orthodox fighters. He is smart and patient. He will try to make himself a frustrating target to hit, and wait for his opportunities to do damage. Alvarez says he’s well prepared for Lara’s style thanks to working with good sparring partners.
Outside the ring, Lara has said he will take Alvarez to “Cuban boxing school,” that he likes picking apart aggressive guys who come to fight. Since this describes the Mexican approach to boxing, Alvarez and his fans took Lara’s comments as insults to them personally as well as their country.
Scheduled on the undercard at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas on the Showtime PPV starting at 9 p.m. ET, junior welterweights Johan Perez (19-1-1, 13 KOs) of Venezuela vs. Mauricio Herrera (20-4, 7 KOs) of Riverside, California will fight in the co-main event for Perez’s interim title.
The other undercard fights present two fan friendly Mexico vs. Puero Rico matchups. Featherweights Abner Mares (26-1-1, 14 KOs) and Jonathan Oquendo (24-3, 16 KOs) will go 10 rounds. Junior lightweights Juan Manuel Lopez (34-3, 31 KOs) and Francisco Vargas (19-0-1, 13 KOs) will fight 10 rounds. Lopez is a two time world champion; if he wins, it will be his third weight class title. Vargas is a 2008 Olympian coming off two good decisions over Jerry Belmontes and Abner Cotto. This could be the barn burner fight of the night.