Canelo passes the maturity test against Lara
By Yannis Mihanos: Former WBA/WBC junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KO) proved last Saturday night that he has matured a lot by beating a difficult and skillful fighter Erislandy “The American dream” Lara (19-2-2, 12 KO) by a 12 round split decision at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Golden Boy promotions president Oscar De la Hoya was very much nervous about Canelo taking this fight as it was considered a high risk fight for the 23-year-old Canelo. Oscar would have preferred an easier fight than having Canelo fight a dangerous guy like Lara. But Canelo insisted that he wants Lara to fight next and he was proved right.
Lara came from a big school of boxing (the Cuban way) and knew well the sweet art of boxing. And that’s what he tried to do from round 1 to round 12. He went around Canelo and tried to get him out of balance and hit him at the most vulnerable moment.
That method worked well in the early rounds but not in the later ones as Canelo knew what to expect for and kept on coming with forceful body punches. These punches rocked quite a few times Lara. Lara was also cut in the right eye after a left uppercut from Canelo
In the match, Lara appeared to get tired halfway through and got trapped many times near the ropes. He did escape from most of the punishing and had some good hand combinations but nothing to really rock Canelo.
It was a competitive and I do believe that the point’s difference was much less than the 3rd judge gave (117-111). On my scorecard, I had Canelo winning by 2 points (115-113)
Lara did win many points throughout the rounds even if he was not inflicting similar damage as Canelo did.
This was definitely a big graduation moment for Canelo. At now 23 years of age proved that he is a top performer. A fighter that the future is bright. Some critics tried to dispel him as a promising but consumed force, a paper champ, after his clear loss out of the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr. But now they have to eat their words.
The big difference with the match of Canelo against Mayweather and now against Lara was that he was body and mind present in the ring and also that Lara didn’t present the same stamina and elusive qualities like Mayweather.
The big sellout audience that was overly Mexican didn’t get at all onto his head.
What’s now for Canelo?
For Canelo the road is long and full of challenges from now on there is nothing to stop him: Miguel Cotto, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather 2,Lara 2, you name it.
No one was humble after the fight, Canelo and Lara continued to exchange bitter words about each other and something tells me that it’s not over yet between these two.
But for the moment lets allow to Canelo enjoy his victory and 24th birthday, he deserves it.
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