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Oscar De La Hoya: Canelo vs Lara was not my first choice, but it was Canelo's decision

Oscar De La Hoya says that credit for Saturday's fight being made belongs to Canelo Alvarez, as the promoter's first choice was not for his money fighter to face Erislandy Lara.

Victor Decolongon
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Promoter Oscar De La Hoya admits that he wasn't exactly keen on making a bout between big money fighter Canelo Alvarez and dangerous Erisalndy Lara for Saturday night on Showtime pay-per-view, but that as a former fighter, he understands Alvarez's desire to face the best, and that ultimately, it was the fighter's decision.

"When people say I didn't want this fight for him, obviously it wasn't the first choice," De La Hoya said. "As a promoter you don't want the most difficult fight out there for him.

"But this is what Canelo's all about, ultimately it's his decision, and his decision is a very calculated decision. He's confident in his abilities, and he wants to fight the very best. That's the bottom line.

"And me as a promoter and me as an ex-fighter, I look at it in two ways. Here I was as a fighter fighting the very best, just like Canelo's doing, and as a promoter this wasn't my first choice. But you have to go with what the fighter says, with what the fighter feels. And this is what is most admirable of Canelo Alvarez is that he wants to please the fans. He wants to give the fight fans the most difficult fights out there."

De La Hoya the promoter believes that the fight is certainly difficult for Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KO), but also trusts that the fighter and his team see vulnerability in Lara (19-1-2, 12 KO) that they can exploit, as was the case with Austin Trout in 2013.

"Canelo's a fighter who continues to improve, who continues to grow. He is a fighter who has tremendous, tremendous abilities inside the ring," said De La Hoya. "We feel that with Austin Trout, Canelo saw things in Austin Trout, we saw things in Austin Trout, and the same here with Erislandy Lara.

"Yes, he's very difficult and it's a difficult style, it's a tough test in front of him, but like we saw something with Austin Trout, you always see something with Erislandy Lara, you see things that obviously Canelo can do and take advantage of. But only the fighter can tell you. The fighter can tell you exactly what he saw and what makes him believe that he can beat him."

Oscar also told media this week that there have been no discussions about what might be next for Alvarez, as the entire team is focused solely on beating Erislandy Lara first.

"We haven't even discussed it. We haven't even talked about it," he said. "The focus is 100 percent on Lara. After the fight, we will either make an announcement, or just sit down and discuss it with Canelo and his team, and come out with a plan. This fight is so difficult and dangerous that we cannot look past Erislandy Lara. So, no, we are not looking past him right now. Canelo is solely focused on Lara."

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