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Canelo Alvarez vs. Erislandy Lara: Which boxing school is better?

Canelo Alvarez Erislandy LaraBy Gerardo Grandos: I was talking to a friend about the upcoming fight between former light middleweight champion Mexican Saul Alvarez and the current WBA Regular light middleweight belt holder Erislandy Lara, when my friend asked which boxing school is better; I told him that it is not about a boxing school or boxing style but more of the capacity of the fighters who display their abilities inside a ring at that exact moment.

But he wasn’t pleased with my answer so I had to elaborate while doing a quick research on internet to explain myself. I think both boxing schools are great but their boxing styles are different as well as successful.

Cuban boxing school (I would rather call it boxing style) produces the best amateur boxers in my personal opinion; they are a force at both the Olympic Games and World Amateur Boxing Championship having won approximately: 31 gold, 15 silver and 12 bronze Olympic medals; also 67 gold, 30 silver and 24 bronze Amateur Championship medals. The names of Teofilo Stevenson, Felix Savon and Guillermo Rigondeaux are just an example of their dominance. Meanwhile Mexican boxing school has only produced 1 bronze at the Championship and 1 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze Olympic medals.

Now, that is not a definitive factor to decide which one is better because the Mexican boxing school perhaps is one of the best at professional boxing and his prize fighters have been highly successful. So to be fair, we are talking about pro boxing so let’s see how the comparison results.

Let´s begin by listing the IBHOF members from both boxing schools. For Cuba we found: Kid Gavilan, Jose Napoles (Cuban born but naturalized Mexican), Luis Manuel Rodriguez, Sugar Ramos and Kid Chocolate. For Mexico we found: Ruben Olivarez, Salvador Sanchez, Carlos Zarate, Miguel Canto, Vicente Saldivar, Jose Cuevas, Daniel Zaragoza, Humberto Gonzalez, Ricardo Lopez and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.

But if you take in account the Mexican-American fighters then you can add: Bobby Chacon, Orlando Canizales, Michael Carbajal, Danny Lopez, Oscar De la Hoya, Carlos Palomino and Manuel Ortiz; also the names of Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Johnny Tapia, Tony Tiger Lopez, Jesse James Leija, Genaro Hernandez, Juan Diaz and Diego Corrales could be considered as candidates.

Many boxing fans give valor to the awards given by The Ring Magazine so let’s take a look at the fight of the year award to see how these boxing schools have performed.

1980 fight of the year award went to Matthew Saad Muhammad (USA) vs. Yaqui Lopez (Mexico).
1982 Bobby Chacon (Mexican – American) vs. Rafael Limon (Mexico).
1983 Bobby Chacon (Mexican – American) vs. Cornelius Boza Edwards (Uganda).
1984 Jose Luis Ramirez (Mexico) vs. Edwin Rosario (Puerto Rico).
1986 Stevie Cruz (Mexican – American) vs. Barry McGuigan (Ireland).
1988 Tony Lopez (Mexican – American) vs. Rocky Lockridge (USA).
1990 Julio Cesar Chavez (Mexico) vs. Meldrick Taylor I (USA).
1991 Robert Quiroga (Mexican – American) vs. Akeem Anifowoshe (Nigeria).
1993 Michael Carbajal (Mexican – American) vs Humberto Gonzalez (Mexico).
1995 Saman Sorjaturong (Thailand) vs. Humberto Gonzalez (Mexico).
1997 Arturo Gatti (USA) vs. Gabriel Ruelas (Mexico)
1999 Paulie Ayala (Mexican – American) vs. Johnny Tapia I (Mexican – American).
2000 Erik Morales (Mexico) vs Marco Antonio Barrera (Mexico).
2004 Marco Antonio Barrera (Mexico) vs. Erik Morales II (Mexico).
2005 Diego Corrales (Mexican – American) vs. Jose Luis Castillo (Mexico).
2007 Israel Vazquez (Mexico) vs Rafael Marquez II (Mexico).
2008 Israel Vazquez (Mexico) vs Rafael Marquez III (Mexico).
2009 Juan Manuel Marquez (Mexico) vs. Juan Diaz (Mexican – American)
2010 Giovani Segura (Mexico) vs Ivan Calderon (Puerto Rico).
2011 Victor Ortiz (Mexican – American) vs. Andre Berto (USA).
2012 Juan Manuel Marquez (Mexico) vs. Manny Pacquiao (Philippines).

It is not the same to fight 3 rounds at the amateurs wearing head gear with a scoring system not used at pro boxing than to fight to entertain the audience who pay to watch for at least ten rounds so I would say that the Pay Per View factor must be taken in account to decide which boxing school is better. There is not much need to elaborate on this issue because the reader can compare the media attention that Erislandy Lara gets compared to the one that Saul Alvarez has received; or the pay per view numbers generated by Juan Manuel Marquez in his last fight compared to the one of Guillermo Rigondeaux.

While Guillermo Rigondeaux is an exquisite boxer and his boxing skills are simply superb his boxing style doesn’t please the crowd at pro boxing; but, that doesn’t mean he can´t defeat any top fighter from any “boxing school” be it Mexican, European, African or Asian. So to say a boxing school is better than the other will depend on the personal boxing taste. If I was a prizefighter then I would like to please the crowd just as IBF featherweight champion Russian Evgeny Gradovich “The Mexican Russian” tries to do to be able to have the opportunity to earn big bucks but if I was to fight on a street fight then I would simply try to do what Guillermo Rigondeaux does so masterfully.

Personally I believe that the best boxing school is the U.S. boxing school, it has developed the best pound for pound prizefighters thru the history of professional boxing while also have made millions out of it and have received a lot of attention from the media around the world. And at the amateur level have been very successful as well.
This is only a personal opinion and many readers must disagree with it. So, for the readers the question is: which boxing school is better?

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