It's Monday, two days have passed, and the ire hasn't dimmed. Erislandy Lara is still quit angry that two of three judges saw Canelo Alvarez as the better man in their twelve round clash Saturday night in Vegas.
The judge who scored widest for Canelo, one Levi Martinez, drew special scorn from the Cuban, who went from insinuation to straight up allegation as he drew a bulls-eye on Martinez, who declared with his card that the Mexican beat Lara, 9 rounds to 3.
Lara, in many circles, isn't getting much support, as many folks think he spent far too much time “running” from Canelo, the guy who they say was the only guy trying to make the fight a fight. The Cuban talked a great and ferocious game pre-fight, and at the weigh-in, when he said he wanted to break Canelo's face, then and there…but during the fight, spent the majority of rounds in “don't let me get hit” mode, rather than fighting with an intention to inflict harm on his opponent.
Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal said he spoke to the two top men at the Nevada Commission, Francisco Aguiler and Bob Bennett, and both men said the Martinez card “concerned them” and would be studied.
Here is the release sent out by Team Lara today (Monday):
LAS VEGAS (July 14, 2014) – After landing more punches and connecting with a higher percentage, Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (19-2-2, 12 KOs) feels he was robbed in his fight with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) that took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this past weekend.
Fact, Lara landed 107 total punches to Alvarez's 97 and had a higher connect percentage (28% Lara – 23% Alvarez). The body shots that Alvarez landed were grazing shots that Lara blocked with his elbows, and most of them came in the round he got cut.
Erislandy sounds off on why he feels he won the fight and deserves an immediate rematch.
“Before the decision was announced, I felt 100% confident I won the fight,” said Lara. “The facts don't lie, I landed more total punches. Looking at it from the punch stats, you're supposed score based on clean and effective blows landed. Most of the shots that Canelo landed were body blows that didn't even land cleanly, and most of them came in the round where I got cut. All my punches were clean shots. I out jabbed him and boxed his ears off. The punch stats don't lie…there is no way I lost to Canelo.”
“I'm very disappointed in Judge Levi Martinez for his horrendous score. How in the world did he score it 117-111? Before the decision was announced, I stood across the ring and saw Team Canelo and their body language said it all. You could see the depression in their eyes. Everyone on their whole team had a look of despair because they were defeated. When the final score was read, their look went from despair to relief. They knew they lost the fight, period.”
“Levi definitely needs to be investigated and he should never be appointed to judge a big fight again. I'm not sure if he's dishonest or inept to be judging at this level, either way he needs to be reprimanded for this horrible decision. This is the second time this has happened to me and I wouldn't want to see this happen to someone else. Like what happen to the judges in New York in the Williams fight, Levi should be suspended. I left communist Cuba to escape corruption and now I see it happening here in the boxing world.”
“Oscar De La Hoya said that I have to wait in line to fight Alvarez again because there are 10 others ahead of me. That speaks volumes because he knows Canelo got a gift.” Lara concluded. “Who are these 10 guys he's talking about…I want to know. I won this fight and a rematch needs to happen right away.”
Strong words from Lara, using the “c” word, corruption, apparently while having no proof, beyond his heated opinion. I'm not prepared to go there, and would say, with all due respect, that Lara maight have swayed Dave Moretti, who had it 115-113 Alvarez, if he'd attacked Canelo with a similar level of fire he shared in this release, than he showed at the MGM.
As for the rematch talk, I'd be less surprised if Kate Upton reached out to me on Facebook, and expressed her desire to snuggle with me in a cocoon of enchantment than if Lara were able to secure a rematch. Canelo's next foe will be a straight ahead banger, in the Alfredo Angulo mode, the sort which plays into his strengths and away from his obvious weaknesses.
Boxing is a sport, but more importantly to the ones who promote it, a business, a business in which “entertainment” is supposed to be at the forefront. Lara's style, when he uses the one he used vs. Canelo, is not one that appeals to the masses..and therefore, he shouldn't be surprised if his opportunities shrink as a result. It will be interesting to see if Lara “gets it,” or he clings to his POV on this subject…
Let me finish by making clear I respect Lara's boxing talent, and the need for scorers to reward the ring generals, and not simply be power worshippers. But I do think Mr. Lara and a couple other guys out there who get accused of being too cute would only be serving themselves, in the popularity and revenue generating department, if they concentrated on the offense a tad bit more than their instincts direct them to do during fights.
Your thoughts, readers?