Erislandy Lara = The #1 fighter at 154
By Dan Ambrose: Cuban Erislandy Lara (18-1-2, 12 KO’s) may be the best fighter at 154 after defeating one of the toughest speed-bumps in the junior middleweight division in Alfredo Angulo by a 10th round TKO last Saturday night. Lare kind of showed in this fight that he’s the top dog at 154 in my ranking. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez would have run out of gas had he been in the ring with Lara last Saturday because he wouldn’t have been able to handle the fast pace.
Miguel Cotto would probably never agree to a fight against Lara, but if he did it would be a lot more one-sided than his loss to Austin Trout was. Lara is a better puncher than Trout and he’s a lot slicker. I think he’d give Cotto all kinds of problems if the Puerto Rican fighter agreed to fight him.
There aren’t too many fighters in the division that could have taken the kind of punishment that Lara dished out on Angulo last Saturday night. Lara disfigured Angulo’s face with his straight left hands and had him looking beaten and bruised by the end of the fight.
Lara already proved that he’s better than Vanes Martirosyan in their fight last November. I had Lara easily winning that fight as he had put on the after burners and was pulling away from Martirosyan in a big way. The cut that Martirosyan suffered over his left eye in the 9th round saved him from getting beaten and possibly stopped in the last three rounds of the fight.
As I mentioned, Cotto probably will never agree to fight Lara, so I’d like to see Canelo face him and I think he might have to at some point. Golden Boy Promotions has been steering Canelo around Lara for the past two years for some reason, but now the Lara is the interim WBA junior middleweight champion, Canelo will have to fight him unless he wants to stay with just the WBC and fight those contenders.