Let’s get into it
No great fights this weekend, but some interesting ones for sure.
Let’s get to it:
Criminally underrated Erislandy Lara fights Thomas Lamanna for something called “the regular” middleweight title. Um, OK.
Lara, a dominant force in the super welterweight/junior middleweight division, will be fighting at middleweight (160 pounds) for the first time in his long career. His record shows three losses in 30 fights, two debatable and one a flat-out robbery.
That one was against Paul Williams in 2011. Lara appeared to be in control the entire 12 rounds. His left couldn’t miss. Williams missed a lot. His corner looked depressed.
They knew their man had lost.
Nope. The decision went to Williams. An uproar ensued. The only good that came out of the travesty was following the bout when the three ringside judges were suspended indefinitely pending additional training.
Lara’s next alleged loss was against Canelo Alvarez three years later. Alvarez did some good bodywork while Lara countered and moved away. His style aggravates fight fans and opponents. He’s crafty as hell but sometimes isn’t aggressive. I remember scoring the fight a draw. Lara went to war with Jarrett Hurd in 2018. A knockdown scored by Hurd in the 12th and final round proved to be the difference. A heartbreaker for sure. Many thought Lara was finished as a championship-caliber fighter. They were wrong.
After a split draw against rising Brian Castano, Lara captured the WBA super welterweight title for the second time against Ramon Alvarez. Not sure how Alvarez earned (he didn’t) a title shot.
Thomas Lamanna, aka,“Cornflake” will be attempting to achieve his lifelong dream of winning a world championship. Why or how he’s getting a shot is a fair question (see Ramon Alvarez above) Oh yes, this is the WBA (World Boxing Atrocity) that of course did something that none of the other sanctioning bodies did. They ranked Lamanna in the top-ten.
Lamanna (30-4-1, 12 KOs) has dropped two of his last four fights. He likely won’t win Saturday. If Lara, already old at 38, gets older on fight night, Lamanna has a chance. If not, even a slower Lara should win pretty easily.
Former heavyweight champion Joseph Parker meets perineal contender Derek Chisora. Chisora challenged (on his cell phone) Parker, who quickly accepted. Both are good guys. Chisora has lost to several top heavyweights in the division, but he almost always gives a good account of himself. Things have looked up since former opponent David Haye took over his career. He pushed Oleksandr Usyk to the brink last year.
Parker needs an impressive victory. He won’t have to search to find Chisora. The Brit will be right there pushing him. Parker, who said after his loss to Dillian Whyte he’d fight “more aggressively” delivered in three straight bouts, all knockout victories. Then in his last fight, against big underdog Junior Fa, Parker looked flat. Curious. He won, but let trainer Kevin Berry go and brought in former champion Andy Lee. The pressure is on.
Undefeated light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol defends his title against Craig Richards. The buildup (if you call it that) has been interesting – as Richards, a huge underdog, has been doing all the talking. The WBA light heavyweight strap has been around Bivol’s waist for close to four years. He won’t lose it to Richards. I see a stoppage victory for the Russian.
Unified lightweight champion Katie Taylor gets reacquainted with former amateur rival Natasha Jones. Taylor met Jones before the 2012 Olympics. Taylor won. Jones has wanted a rematch ever since. She gained her opportunity by fighting highly published Terri Harper to a draw eight months ago. Most thought Jones deserved the decision. Look for Taylor to repeat her victory over Jones in another spirited affair.
And lastly, Chris "I am not arrogant" Eubank Jr. laces em up against Marcus Morrison. Eubank, who once bragged about not needing a trainer has one now.
Who is it? Some guy named Roy something - former multiple division champion.