Lara looking for revenge against the "other" Alvarez
By Bill Tibbs
The name “Alvarez” gets former WBA super welterweight world champion Arislandy Lara’s (25-3-3, 14 KO’s) blood boiling, but he’ll get a chance to do something about it Saturday night when he battles Ramon Alvarez (28-7-3, 16 KO’s) for the vacant WBA super welterweight title on the FOX network. There is a history between Lara and the ‘Alvarez’ name as Lara lost a close, and controversial, decision Ramon’s brother Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, one of the biggest stars in boxing, back in 2014.
A win over a mega-star like Saul Alvarez would have done great things for Lara’s career, but he was denied a win in a fight he insists he won. And, in truth, he may not be wrong as many, if not most, people thought Lara had done more than enough to get the nod. While Saul has moved on to bigger (literally, he is talking about moving up to 175-pounds to fight Sergey Kovalev) fights, at least Lara can look to add an "Alvarez" to his win column if he can come out victorious on Saturday night in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Ramon doesn’t have the star power of his famous younger brother but he has had a very good career in his own right and holds wins, and ring time, with some very good fighters. Both boxers are in their early-mid 30’s so while they aren’t old, they have more years behind them than ahead. For Alvarez, he would love to add a world title to the Alvarez family trophy case while Lara is looking to get back what he feels is rightfully his.
Let’s take a look…
Age: Alvarez is 33 while Lara is 36 but in reality Lara may be the younger fighter in terms of wear and tear. Alvarez fights in a more aggressive style than the southpaw, sharp shooting Lara and while Alvarez’s style may get the fans more excited at times, it doesn’t bode as well for ring life. Lara is a young, well preserved 36 and could easily go until he’s 40.
Style: Alvarez has a more rugged and crude game than slick-ster Lara but he is also easier to hit because of it. Look for Alvarez to try to walk Lara down and impose himself on his Cuban foe. Lara has said in this fight that he will be aggressive and looking for the knockout. In reality, his best game is being a sharp shooter from the perimeter and I look for him to do that.
Lara for the “W”: Lara, a long reigning WBA super welter king, has an impressive resume that includes wins over Alfred Angulo, Austin Trout, Ishe Smith, Delvin Rodriguez, Vanes Maritrosyan and Yuri Foreman.
Lara coming up short: Lara has been held to draws with Vanes Martirosyan, Brian Castano and carlos Molina. He has also picked up razor thin losses to Saul Alvarez (SD), Paul Williams (MD) and Jarrett Hurd (SD).
Alvarez for the “W”: Canelo’s brother has some nice wins including Omar Chavez, Vivian Harris, Ben Tackie and Jorge Paez Jr.
Alvarez coming up short: Along with 3 draws, a resume that has 4 earlier losses, along with 3 dropped to the more known Omar Chavez, Antonio Margarito and Brandon Rios.
Strengths - Alvarez - will go into this fight motivated and relaxed with nothing to lose in his first world title try. In reality, the pressure is all on Lara who is expected to handle him. He is aggressive, and applies pressure, and he should do both all night long.
Strengths - Lara - Simply the better fighter – they are worlds apart in overall skill set and Houston, Texas-residing Lara is just a much better technician. He is a sharp shooter who works off a stinging right jab and should use it to break down, and bust up, Alvarez.
Prediction: Alvarez has little to lose and should let everything he has go Saturday night because he’ll likely struggle to secure another world title fight if he loses. Canelo-light should make it a dogfight and try to get Lara out of his rhythm and into a shoot out. This still might not work but if he gets into a boxing match he’ll get lumped up and stopped. Lara is the better fighter and he just needs to stick to what he does best – skillful boxing and shooting from the outer range all night. I know he wants to get a stoppage but he does his best work as a boxer and counter puncher, so he should focus on that and he might find the stoppage anyway. In the end, Lara easy distance win or later stoppage.