Erislandy Lara claimed his first world title -- sort of -- on Saturday night with a dominant and very impressive win over Austin Trout, and has his sights set now on a fight with Canelo Alvarez, the Mexican superstar who is due to return to the ring on March 1, likely on Showtime pay-per-view.
Alvarez (41-1-1, 30 KO) lost his last fight in September to Floyd Mayweather, who simply outclassed the 23-year-old in the biggest revenue-generating fight of all-time. Lara (19-1-2, 12 KO) believes the fight would be easy for him:
"I'm a world champion and Canelo is not. He lost his last fight clearly. I have no problem giving him the opportunity. Canelo just has to get in the ring. ... I'm not that confident Canelo will fight me because I think he's scared of me. I think the fight would be easy for me, no problem. It would look like the Mayweather fight, exactly like that."
The Cuban southpaw would likely be favored by a good amount of boxing fans to win the fight, but I think a few things are certainly worth noting:
- As good as Erislandy Lara is, he's not Floyd Mayweather.
- Erislandy Lara isn't stupid and he knows this, but there's no "opportunity" for Canelo here unless Alvarez is obsessed with winning a secondary paper world title. The opportunity in this fight would be all for Lara, who would get a chance to beat a legitimate star fighter. Lara's the one calling out Canelo, not the other way around.
It's a really good fight if it can be made, and no doubt it's dangerous for Alvarez, who has a lot to lose and only credibility to gain, and credibility in boxing doesn't really make the world go around. Activations By Richard Schaefer™ is what makes the world go around.
Since I expect the general consensus will be that Canelo would lose to the classy operator from Cuba, because we most recently saw Canelo get outclassed and Lara dominate, which is the sort of thing that leads people to suddenly demanding Felix Sturm fights and the like, let me ask this: do people just forget that Lara was put on his hindquarters twice by Alfredo Angulo and was damn lucky to get a draw against Carlos Molina? Would you give Canelo a good chance in this matchup?