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Erislandy Lara to fight on 11/14 on ESPN

Erislandy Lara Kell BrookBy Dan Ambrose: IBO/WBA World super welterweight champion Erislandy Lara (21-2-2, 12 KOs) will be defending his WBA 154lb title against an opponent still to be determined on Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN on November 14tth at a still to be determined venue in Miami, Florida.

Since the 32-year-old Lara has had back to back voluntary defenses against Delvin Rodriguez and Ishe Smith since losing a non-title fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in July of 2014, you would think that it’s time for Lara to get around to defending against his WBA mandatory challenger.

It’s hard to understand how the WBA works, so it’s possible Lara’s next fight will be another voluntary defense for his November 14th fight. But if Lara does face a top contender, then it could be #1 WBA Jack Culcay. It’s not likely that will happen though. Lara has had the WBA title for two years and hasn’t made one mandatory defense.

Lara recently called out Floyd Mayweather Jr., saying “I want to fight Floyd Mayweather. He’s one of the best.” Mayweather is now retired from boxing, but if he does return to the ring in 2016, he’s probably not going to be fighting Lara. There’s no money in that fight, and it would be like Mayweather fighting a slightly bigger version of himself but without the hand speed that he has.

Lara’s last fight against Delvin Rodriguez was a really bad mismatched last June with Lara beating Rodriguez badly. Lara knocked Rodriguez down in the 6th round and did pretty much what he wanted to do. Lara wants to get a rematch against Canelo, but that’s not going to happen. Lara isn’t fighting the right type of opposition for him to get a rematch with Canelo.

For Lara to even be considered for a fight against Canelo, he’s going to need to up the level of his opposition by beating guys like Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Vanes Martirosyan, Julian Williams, Anthony Mundine, John Thompson, Joshua Clottey, Willie Nelson and Michel Soro. These are all guys that Lara isn’t fighting right now. He did fight Martirosyan three years ago in 2012, but the fight was scored a 9 round technical draw. There wasn’t a rematch between the two fighters.

A lot of boxing fans believe that Lara was robbed in his 12 round split decision loss to Canelo last year. They felt that Lara had done enough to get the victory. But the reality is that Lara didn’t do enough to try and win the fight. Lara was more focused on not getting hit than he was in trying to win, and that’s why the judges gave it to the more aggressive fighter in the bout and that was clearly the 25-year-old Canelo.

Kell Brook vs. Diego Chaves to be televised on Showtime on October 24th

U.S cable giant Showtime Sports will be televising next month’s clash between IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (35-0, 24 KOs) and #4 IBF Diego Chaves (23-2-1, 19 KOs) on October 24th on their network. The Brook-Chaves fight will be taking place overseas at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England.

By televising the Brook vs. Chaves fight, Showtime is helping to set up future big fights involving Brook against possibly Amir Khan or other fights against the likes of Adrien Broner, Shawn Porter, Marcos Maidana or Danny Garcia. Brook is still an unknown in the United States right now as far as casual boxing fans go, but it helps that his fight against Chaves will be televised on Showtime so that he can get more visibility.

“We’re excited to be back in business with Kell Brook, Matchroom Boxing and Eddie Hearn and to deliver this exciting matchup of top 10 welterweights to the U.S. audience,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports. “Kell won the world title on SHOWTIME in an action-packed victory over Shawn Porter last fall, establishing himself as one of the top welterweights in the world – but Diego Chaves is a rugged fighter who has also proven that he can compete with the elite of the division.”

This will be arguably the toughest of the 29-year-old Brook’s three title defenses, as he’s had an easy time in his last two bouts in beating the over-matched Jo Jo Dan and Frankie Gavin. Chaves can punch and he’s got the kind of talent that could give Brook trouble if he stands in front of him and tries to punch it out.

Chaves has problems with body punchers, and fighters that work their way in close. Brook isn’t that type of a fighter. He tends to stand at medium distance to his opponents looking to slug it out. The only time in his career when he broke from this pattern was in his fight against Porter last year. Brook used the punch and grab technique for that fight.

Brook is hoping to fight WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley in the summer of 2016, and then face Amir Khan late in the year. Khan has said he’ll fight Brook if he gets some good wins under his belt. If Brook can beat Bradley, it will likely be a good enough win to satisfy Khan.

The fighters that Khan wants to see Brook fight are Bradley, Marcos Maidana, Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman. By fighting Bradley, Brook will have satisfied one of the names that Khan has asked for him to fight. Brook likely won’t fight Maidana, Garcia or Thurman, because his promoter Eddie Hearn has never mentioned any of those fighters as possibilities for Brook. Hearn appears to prefer the Brandon Rios, Chaves, Gavin, Jo Jo Dan and Bradley types for Brook.

Brook must get by Chaves so that he can get to the bigger fights like Bradley and Khan. It helps that Brook is fighting at home in front of his own boxing fans at the Sheffield Arena on October 24th. This means that if the fight is close, Brook will likely be the winner.

The Brook vs. Chaves fight will be televised on Sky Box Office in the UK.

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