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In one week, the two best Junior Middleweights in the world not named Floyd Mayweather, Erislandy Lara (19-1-2, 12 KOs) and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KOs), will clash on July 12, 2014 at the MGM Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nev.
Lara is challenging Alvarez to show the world that he’s the best in the Junior Middleweight division. In boxing, styles make fights, and it’s no different in this situation between the two highly rated combatants.
On one hand, Lara is the pure boxer, a slick southpaw and counter-puncher. On the other hand, Canelo is the boxer-puncher.
Alvarez has good power in both hands and has great hand speed as well.
Could it be deja vu for Canelo against a master boxer like Mayweather? Or will Alvarez determine his fate by earning a decision victory and validating that he is the best contender for Mayweather’s WBA/WBC Junior Middleweight title?
The boxing community will have to wait for the outcome of the fight next Saturday.
One major question going into the bout is if Lara’s reach is going to be a problem for Canelo.
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Lara will want to control the battle from the outside, so he can pick and land his counters wisely against Canelo.
Will Lara be able to fully control the fight from the outside and not allow Alvarez to close the distance?
Will Canelo be successful in closing the gap and apply vicious pressure against Lara?
If so, Lara will have to engage at moments throughout the fight against Canelo to keep him honest. There might be moments throughout the fight where Lara will have openings in his defense, and Alvarez must take full advantage of.
Lara’s foot speed versus Canelo’s hand speed will be a key component to watch. Which ability will prevail? Both Lara and Canelo depend heavily on these attributes to contribute to their victories.
For the southpaw Lara, his excellent speed adds to his complete make up as a very difficult opponent to square off against. This is what makes him a very dynamic boxer. Lara’s speed could be one of the main reasons why he will be able to frustrate Canelo and earn the biggest victory of his career..
The hard hitting boxer-puncher, Alvarez flashes relies on flashy hand speed and this identity defines him as one of boxing’s most popular stars.
All of these attributes make Canelo a very good boxer. Alvarez will need to illustrate his brilliant hand speed throughout the fight in order to connect first with his heavy hands on Lara’s body.
If Canelo can demonstrate that he’s landing the stronger punches and heavy bombs to the body first, Lara could crumble and Canelo could earn a personally gratifying knockout victory.
Header photo by Gabriel Gonzalez/Hogan Photos