Austin Trout battles Erislandy Lara on Saturday for vacant WBA 154 lb. title
By Dan Ambrose: Austin Trout (26-1, 14 KO’s) will be fighting for his old WBA junior middleweight title this Saturday night against Erislandy Lara (18-1-2, 12 KO’s) on a fight that will be televised by Showtime from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Trout, 28, lost his WBA title earlier this year in a 12 round decision loss to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez last April in San Antonio, Texas.
Trout has shown a lot of interest in facing Canelo again, but with no luck in getting him to take the rematch. If Trout can win back his WBA title, he’ll be in a good position to face Canelo at some point in the future due to him holding that belt. Canelo will eventually need to turn to him unless he’s going to focus on fighting welterweights and specific middleweights.
Lara, 30, is coming off of a 10th round TKO win over Alfredo Angulo from last June in a fight that was a lot harder than it was expected for Lara. Although he won the fight by a 10th round stoppage, Lara was knocked down in the 4th and 9th rounds and he was on his way to losing the fight until Angulo’s injured eye caused the fight to be halted in the 10th round.
Lara looked good at times, but he also showed problems taking body shots from Angulo. Lara’s stamina also didn’t look that good. Trout isn’t a great body puncher, and he tends to box more than punch, so it’s possible Lara could win this fight by pot-shotting Trout from the outside. It’s still going to be a difficult fight for Lara, because he’s struggled in fights against Angulo, Vanes Martirosyan and Carlos Molina. He’s there to be beaten by Trout if he can go after him hard with a fierce body attack.
Lara fought to a 9 round technical draw against Martirosyan last year in November. The fight was very close, but Lara looked like he was coming on at the time the fight was stopped due to a cut over Martirosyan’s left eye from a clash of heads in the 9th.
In his fight against Paul Williams in 2011, Lara was robbed in losing by a 12 round majority decision. Williams stood on the outside trying to box Lara, and he ended up getting picked apart by the Cuban. It was kind of a surprise when Williams was given the decision instead of Lara.
Trout can’t make the same mistake that Williams did by boxing Lara, because that doesn’t work due to his speed. The only way to beat Lara is to go after him hard and force him into a war for 12 rounds the way that Angulo and Molina did.