Lara wants Mayweather, Cotto and Golovkin
By Dan Ambrose: After his one-sided 12 round unanimous decision over a totally outclassed #12 WBA contender Delvin Rodriguez (28-8-4, 16 KOs) last Friday night at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois, WBA World junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara (21-2-2, 12 KOs) says he wants to fights with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Gennady Golovkin or Miguel Cotto.
Whether the 32-year-old Lara will get any fights of those kind would seem to very unlikely. Lara’s loss to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez last year took a lot of steam out of the Cuban fighter’s career, even though he barely lost the fight. I don’t like Lara’s chances of beating Mayweather, Golovkin or Cotto. Lara throws mainly left-hand pot shots, and he doesn’t have amazing hand speed or power. Mayweather would easily out-box him, and Golovkin and Cotto would very likely knock Lara out in one-sided fights.
It’s more of a case of Lara’s fighting style being a major reason why he could find it next to impossible for him to get the fights he wants for the remainder of his career. That doesn’t mean that Lara can’t get fights against some of the other top junior middleweights like Demetrius Andrade, the Charlos brothers, Austin Trout, James Kirkland and Vanes Martirosyan. However, those aren’t the big money fighters that Lara wants to fight.
“I’m going to sit down with my team and Al (Haymon). The future is clear,” Lara said after his one-sided win over Rodriguez last night. “We want the best. We want Floyd Mayweather. We want Miguel Cotto. We want Gennady Golovkin at 160 lbs.”
If Lara picks up some solid wins over quality fighters that are a couple levels above the likes of Delvin Rodriguez in terms of talent, then there’s a small chance he could one day get a fight against Golovkin, but right now I don’t think that Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler is going to be interested in matching him against a junior middleweight like Lara. There’s no upside to the fight. With the way that Lara fought last night, he looked like Willie Monroe Jr. 2.0. You can make an argument that the two fighters are roughly the same. Lara might be a little bit better than Monroe Jr., but not by much.
Lara defeated Rodriguez, a former ESPN regular, by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores of 120-107, 120-107 and 120-107. In the 6th round, Lara dropped Rodriguez with a straight left hand to the head. In the 11th, Lara just barely missed getting a knockdown after dropping Rodriguez with another left hand. However, Rodriguez partially tripped over Lara’s right lead foot, and the referee ruled that it wasn’t a knockdown.
If Lara wanted to impress boxing fans, he shouldn’t have fought Rodriguez. That’s not a match-up I would have made for him given Lara’s high aspirations in terms of wanting to fight Cotto, Mayweather and Golovkin. If Lara wants to fight those guys, then he needs to fight the best all the time, not just when he’s making his mandatory defenses.
Last night’s fight was little more than a title-milking fight for Lara rather than a fight that was meant to be competitive. When you want the best, you don’t milk your title. You fight the best available guy. In this case, Lara should have been looking to fight Andrade, the Charlo brothers, Joshua Clottey, Trout, Bundrage, Anthony Mundine or Vanes Martirosyan. Those are the guys that Lara needs to be fighting. If not them, then Lara needs to be trying to fight the top middleweights like Marco Antonio Rubio, Matt Korobov, Peter Quillin, Tureano Johnson, Billy Joe Saunders, Andy Lee, Daniel Jacobs, Chris Eubank Jr., Willie Monroe Jr., Arif Magomedov, Martin Murray, David Lemieux, Hassan N’Dam, Sergio Mora and Curtis Stevens. Lara certainly has the size to be fighting middleweights. There’s no excuse for Lara fighting guys like Delvin Rodriguez. That fight shouldn’t have happened if Lara is serious about wanting to fight Golovkin, Cotto or Mayweather.