Lara wants GGG after Martirosyan fight
By Dan Ambrose: IBO/WBA junior middleweight champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (22-2-2, 13 KOs) has already targeted two names for his next fight after he deals with #15 WBA fringe contender Vanes Martirosyan (36-2-1, 21 KOs) in their rematch this Saturday night on Showtime Championship Boxing at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lara, 33, says he wants either IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin or former two division world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez next. Lara says he prefers a fight against GGG. He doesn’t say why, but it could that Canelo’s star power has diminished due to him giving up his WBC middleweight title on Wednesday of this week rather than keeping the belt for the Golovkin fight.
Some fans believe that this was either a ducking move to avoid the dangerous Golovkin fight or a move to exert pressure on him to fight at a catch-weight of 155lbs.
Martirosyan, 30, and Lara fought four years ago in 2012 with the fight ending in a 9th round technical draw after Martirosyan suffered a cut over his left eye from a head-butt. Lara was taking control of the fight at the time, as Martirosyan appeared to have gassed out and was starting to wilt like he sometimes does late in his fights.
“I felt that I was a better fighter than him the first time and I’m a little better in almost every area since,” Lara said via Fight News. “One of the most important things is my way of training and my way of getting prepared. I feel that I am much more mature…after I win Saturday, I would love to fight GGG or Canelo, but I would prefer GGG. It’s not frustrating that I’m not fighting the biggest names all the time. I’m a headliner.”
The odds of Lara getting a fight against Golovkin are almost zero. Golovkin is still trying to negotiate a fight against Canelo. Whether the Canelo-Golovkin fight happens is not clear at this point. If Canelo chooses to insist on a catch-weight handicap designed to weaken Golovkin, I don’t know if the fight will take place.
Golovkin is also interested in facing WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders so that he can try and win the last remaining middleweight title not in his possession. Golovkin also could soon be facing WBA (regular) middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs. That would figure to be a great fight if it can get made. I’m not sure if can though because Jacobs fights on Showtime and Golovkin on HBO.
Lara has virtually no chance of fighting Canelo because it’s not big money fight for Canelo, and he almost lost to Lara when the two of them fought each other in 2013. The constant movement that Lara used in the contest virtually assured that he would lose.
To beat a fighter like Canelo, you’ve got to be able to stand in front of him and show that you can dominate him. Lara didn’t do that. He chose to use movement for the entire 12 round fight, and there was no way the judges would give a loss to a popular fighter like Canelo under those circumstances, even though you can argue that Lara did enough to deserve the victory.
Martirosyan has lost two out of his last five fights in defeats against Demetrius Andrade and Jermell Charlo. In both of those fights, Martirosyan started off well in the first six rounds and then faded in the second half of the fight. If he had been able to fight hard for the full 12 rounds, he would have gotten the wins.
Many fans feel that Martirosyan did enough to deserve the win over Jermell, but the judges gave it to the unbeaten fighter. It’s not surprising that Martirosyan lost to Charlo because he was facing a highly hyped prospect that a lot of boxing fans are excited about. To beat someone like that, Martirosyan needed to do more than just barely beat him. He needed to dominate him in a one-sided fashion, and he didn’t do that.
“This is going to be a tough fight. I hope he comes to me,” said Martirosyan. “It makes for a good fight. Actually, I think he is going to come forward a little more than people expect, but I’m prepared to chase him. Whatever it takes to be effective. If he is aggressive, once he feels my power, he is going to go back to what he does best – running.”
Lara will probably use a lot of movement in the first six to eight rounds, because he doesn’t have the chin to stand in front of Martirosyan when he’s fighting at full strength. But in the last four rounds, you can bet that Lara will be taking the fight to Martirosyan to try and get the victory. If Martirosyan doesn’t have anything left in the tank by that point in the fight, then he’ll lose this time.