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The two reasons why Canelo will beat Lara

Canelo Alvarez Erislandy LaraBy Bakary “Deus Ex” Sanou: Over the past few days you have probably read everywhere that people were picking Erislandy Lara (19-1-2, 12 KO’s) to upset Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KOs) or at least saying that it’s a 50-50 fight. Here are the 2 reasons why this is not true.

1. Canelo is the A-side fighter

The A-side fighter is the one who has the ability to pick his opponent. For example, Floyd Mayweather Jr has always been the A-side fighter – except against Oscar De La Hoya. I could talk about the fact that the A-side fighter can choose: the place, the size of the ring, the gloves, the referee and the judges. But I rather focus on a simpler thing:
You don’t pick an opponent that you think you’re NOT sure to beat.
The A-side fighter is not always a cherry-picker but he will never pick a fight that he knows he will lose for sure… Unless the B-side fighter brings a lot of money on the table. It’s the rule of “risk/reward”.
Here are few examples:

Sergio Martinez vs. Gennady Golovkin: The fight never took place because Martinez (A-side) knew that he would lose for sure.

Mayweather vs. Canelo: The fight took place because Mayweather (A-side) saw many flaws in the Canelo-Trout fight.

Miguel Cotto vs. Golovkin: The fight will never take place because Cotto (A-side) knows that he would be crushed.

Cotto vs. Martinez: The fight took place because Cotto (A-side) knew that he would win.

This is the best example because Cotto was clearly the challenger and almost everybody (including me) believed that Martinez would knock him out in few rounds. Nobody thought about that: “Why Cotto picked Martinez?”. The answer was simple: Cotto knew that he would win because he already studied the physical and technical weaknesses of Martinez. Martinez – as the B-side fighter – took the fight because there was no way to make as much money as a Cotto fight out there. And it was also a way to duck Golovkin one more time.

Now, you can ask yourself:
“Why Canelo, the A-side fighter, picked Lara for his next fight?”
Of course you already found the answer but I give it to you anyway:
Because Canelo already found a way to win against Lara. Canelo would NOT be there if he and his trainer didn’t think that he could clearly beat Lara. Maybe the fact that Lara has been dropped twice by the flat footed and technically poor Angulo is a clue. Canelo probably think that if Angulo dropped Lara twice he can surely do better. And he is probably right. People will say “Yes, but Canelo struggled against Trout whereas Lara gave Trout a boxing lesson”. Well, check the answer to this in my second point

2. Lara is not good enough against orthodox fighters

If you take a closer look at Lara’s record you could see 5 notable fights:
Majority draw vs Carlos Molina
Majority loss vs Paul Williams
Technical split draw vs Vanes Martirosyan
TKO 10 win vs Alfredo Angulo
Unanimous decision 12 win vs Austin Trout

The thing is that Lara pulled his most tremendous performances against southpaws Paul Williams and Austin Trout. He obliterated their game with the overhand left. Don’t look at the fact that Lara lost on the scorecards against Paul Williams, it was probably one of the best hold-up of the history of Vegas. Anyway, the best weapon of the Cuban, this overhand left, is useless against orthodox fighters. I mean, his straight left is very good too but not as much as his overhand. Also, The Molina fight showed that Lara is only average at fighting on the inside. And the Angulo fight showed that he is vulnerable to body shots combine with left hooks.

3. Conclusion

After a studying first round Canelo will try to get the body early in the fight with combinations to slow down Lara. But Lara will win more rounds convincingly. However, because of the body work effect, Canelo will be able to catch Lara’s head and hurt him badly with left hooks. The referee will step in to protect Lara in a sequence of combinations after a couple of knockdowns. Maybe the stoppage will be controversial but in the end it will be a 7th round TKO victory for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez over Erislandy Lara.

And even if Canelo doesn’t stop Lara, dropping him will be enough (like the Trout fight) to get at least a split decision even though Lara win obviously more rounds. After all, Canelo is the A-side fighter and sadly this is how boxing works…

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