(Photo credit: Esther Lin/Showtime) Erislandy Lara (19-1-2, 12 KO’s) is going to have more motivation on Saturday night in his fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KO’s) in their Showtime pay-per-view fight, as Lara sees this fight as one for him family rather than himself.
Lara wants to make as much money as possible with his boxing career so that he can give his children a good life, and the best way he can do that is to make sure that he beats the 23-year-old Canelo in their fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. A victory over Canelo will go a long ways to making Lara a millionaire by putting him in a good position to make a bundle in a rematch against the red-haired Mexican fighter.
But a loss will leave Lara as a weakened WBA junior middleweight champion. He’ll still have his WBA title, because the Canelo-Lara fight on Saturday will be at a catch-weight of 155 pounds, which makes it a middleweight fight rather than at junior middleweight. But Lara will lose a lot of status in getting beaten by Canelo, and he can’t afford that to happen, especially if he wants to get a big money fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr, as farfetched as that dream might be.
Lara said “When I arrived to the United States from Cuba, times were tough. I’ve built what I have from nothing. I take pride in the opportunities that this country has given me. And I’m not about to let this one go by. On Saturday I will trudge through the doors that my boxing skills have opened up for me and the world will know who I am.”
This is the biggest fight for Lara’s pro career, and his big opportunity to display his talent in front of huge amounts of American boxing fans. An impressive win over Canelo will put Lara on the boxing map, and make him a viable star in the sport, as long as he looks really impressive in beating him. The southpaw Lara already has a fighting style that is similar in some ways to Mayweather Jr in terms of his hand speed, defense, and ability to land clean pot shots from the outside. But unlike Mayweather, Lara hasn’t had the names on his resume to help make him a star.
Few of the top fighters in the division have wanted to share the ring with him. Indeed, Lara has been ignored by Miguel Cotto, and he was inviable to Canelo until the stunt Lara pulled last March when he came up to the podium and interrupted Canelo at his post-fight press conference after his win over Alfredo Angulo at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lara said “I feel very special to be here right now. I don’t feel any pressure because I am ready to fight. They can say what they want Canelo is Canelo. I’m ready to fight because I believe the best should fight the best. Right now Canelo is my enemy and this is war now. “I trust my trainer Ronnie Shields. He knows exactly what he is doing. Ronnie is the best trainer that I have ever had. I had great trainers as an amateur, but Ronnie is the best professionally. I’m fighting for my family, to put food on the table for them. No one can take that away from me.”