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BIG MAC'S PREDICTION PAGE: They Like Canelo Over Lara...What About YOU?

BY Kelsey McCarson ON July 10, 2014
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ALVAREZ-LARA

Color me shocked when Canelo Alvarez decided to meet Erislandy Lara on July 12 in Las Vegas. Lara, long regarded as one of the most fierce and trickiest southpaws in the junior middleweight division, isn’t the kind of fighter a soon-to-be 24-year-old who has struggled against elite-level boxers would normally want to face.

But to his credit, Alvarez picked Lara for his next gig. Either Alvarez thinks he’s improved enough since eeking out a win over Austin Trout and getting his ears boxed off versus Floyd Mayweather, or he doesn’t believe Lara is as competent a boxer as most are led to believe.

Regardless, on paper the Canelo-Lara promotion is the best matched fight of the year, so I polled the smartest folks in the business to see who would win.

TSS Crew Likes Canelo 6-1

I'm picking Canelo to beat Lara by decision. He's a pressure fighter who knows Alfredo Angulo gave Lara a lot of trouble and the blueprint to defeat the Cuban dandy. It won't be easy, but Canelo is stronger than Angulo and will use that strength to wear down Lara. -- David Avila, The Sweet Science

Lara is certainly the most exciting fighter in this bout, but his performances are inconsistent. Alvarez is steadier and will control this bout. Alvarez by decision. -- Aaron Tallent, The Sweet Science

Lara is super inconsistent and you don't know what you're getting. He's looked average at times and special at others... I'm not willing to bet on a temperamental performer. I'll go with the speed and power of Canelo to catch an overly aggressive Lara for a late knockdown to give him the edge on the cards (or possibly KO him). Genuine toss-up, though. -- Blake Hochberger, The Sweet Science

This is a tough one to call. I can see Alvarez landing the heavier punches which should be enough to impress the judges and get a close decision. Lara will likely make things very tricky and bring some frustration for Canelo, but I don't see him landing enough hurtful blows. Could be similar to Alvarez versus Trout. -- Ronan Keenan, The Sweet Science

Lara and his team have wanted this fight for over two years. They finally got it. While Alvarez has improved drastically over that stretch of time, there is nothing in his performances against Austin Trout and Floyd Mayweather that tell me he knows how to fight a stylist like Lara. I’m picking Lara by majority decision. -- Kelsey McCarson, The Sweet Science

Eeshh, the guy who drew with Vanes Martirosyan thinks he has a chance to beat young gun Canelo Alvarez…Wait, the guy who fought Martirosyan in a stink-bomb bout then came out and looked like a pugilist-specialist against a top grade technician, in Austin Trout, in his last bout? I'm frazzled....OK, I gotta say first and foremost, I love pick em bouts. This is a coin flip special for me…but I'm going with the Mexican here, with the belief that physicality, strength and accuracy, will win out over the Cuban style of Lara, who could well spend more time being evasive than in launching and landing enough shots to convince the judges he's done more. Canelo wins by a three point margin. -- Michael Woods, The Sweet Science

I haven't seen either guy fight live so I can't make a confident prediction, but there is enough positive buzz around Lara that he is definitely a very live underdog. I think his draw with Martirosyan probably means a lot more than credited. Still, if I had to make a bet, considering risk reward margins and the ol' Vegas breeze, I would lean toward a big win (mid-rounds TKO) for Alvarez. -- Phil Woolever, The Sweet Science

Other Experts Pick Canelo 8-1

I think Canelo's activity and punching volume will be enough to carry the fight. Lara's best chance to win will be by knockout or a series of knockdowns, but Alvarez's chin has looked pretty good at 154 to this point. Saul Alvarez wins by competitive unanimous decision. -- Adam Abramowitz, Saturday Night Boxing

Saul Alvarez is not nearly as fast as he thinks he is. Erislandy Lara is not nearly the boxer his supporters think he is. Alvarez tends to fade in fights' second halves because he commits fully to nearly every punch. Lara tends to waste significant stores of energy by taking way too many steps. Lara will take Alvarez into the late rounds and exhaust him, yes, but he'll not know what to do with an exhausted Alvarez when he gets him there. I'll take Alvarez, UD-12.-- Bart Barry, 15Rounds.com

As much as Lara is the more skilled fighter of the two, the jury is still out as to whether or not he can rise to the occasion in a huge fight and put forth a performance as bold in the ring as he was outside of it to secure the fight. While Canelo's overall craft remains underrated, he'll need to find the perfect balance between counter punching and attacking in order to get the win. In the end, Canelo's well-timed bursts of activity each round and hard punches should be enough to sway the judges in a close fight. Lara will certainly have his moments, but his passive stretches of inactivity throughout the fight will hurt him in the end. Give me Canelo by split decision in close fight. -- Brian Campbell, ESPN

Unlike a lot of other folks whose opinions I've seen this week, I like Canelo here. Mayweather made him look awful, but Lara is no Mayweather. I think he can be gradually beaten up as he was in the Angulo fight, meaning Canelo either does enough to get the late stoppage "El Perro" might have gotten with clear eyesight, or wins enough rounds outright to take a close decision. -- Lyle Fitzsimmons, CBSSports.com

I'm picking Canelo by a knockout between 6-8 rounds. He is too strong for Lara and quick enough to cut off the ring. -- Gordon Marino, Boxing.com

This fight has a bit of a late-money feel and I expect the poll to be close...that said, I reckon Canelo is slightly the better man for all that Lara enjoys the bones of a style advantage. Alvarez, for me, is coming to grips with the problem he's had at the highest level, namely the third punch he throws in combinations and I expect him to start finding Lara in the middle rounds with good shots. His work will be more pleasing to the eye and that will get him over the line in a mildly controversial fight that stirs without really hitting the afterburners. -- Matt McGrain, Boxing.com

Had this fight taken place a year ago, the temptation to join the herd and say Erislandy Lara would prove Canelo Alvarez's kryptonite would have been too much to resist. But Canelo has grown and matured since then. He's taken the experience of fighting a couple of cagey boxers—Austin Trout and Floyd Mayweather—and used it to refine his game and become a more well-rounded fighter. This is a statement fight for him—remember, he didn't need to take this fight, he wanted to—and his aggression, combined with an early knockdown, will make up the margin of a split-decision victory. -- Kevin McRae, Bleacher Report

The Lara fight was perhaps Richard Schaefer's finest piece of maneuvering during his on-going war with former business partner Oscar De La Hoya. It's an incredibly dangerous bout for Canelo, De La Hoya's last remaining PPV chess piece, one most promoters would run from at a full sprint. Much respect to Canelo for taking it. That took cajones. Too bad he's going to lose. (Lara, Decision). -- Jonathan Snowden, Bleacher Report

It's going to be a war, but Canelo is out to prove something and his heart will lead him to a victory by decision. Two tough boxer-punchers, it will guarantee be an action-packed fight. This is a tough one, but I see Canelo winning. -- Kaliesha West, World Champion Boxer

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Comment on this article

deepwater2 says:

Lara wins. (He will get robbed on the cards if it is close)

The American Dream will win the respect of The People. Canelo will have the Big Money behind him.

riverside says:

Lara wins. (He will get robbed on the cards if it is close)

The American Dream will win the respect of The People. Canelo will have the Big Money behind him.


I hear you Deep, Canelo pretty much needs to be flatfooted with a still target to be effective, Money May exploited that, but I like the way improved Canelo dance around Perro Angulo, But Lara is a total different breed??, I'll take a gamble and go with Canelo stopping Lara in the late rounds, canelo's faster hands and his improve mobility will make the difference. Lara taking too many hard shots will take a toll.

Skibbz says:

I'll take that too Riverside, I'm going for Canelo TKO. Lara has legs but too many defensive flaws that even Angulo managed to exploit. And you can cut off the ring, sink shots below his guard and pop him over the top when he brings those elbows down. A great night for Canelo and his fans.

oubobcat says:

On record, I am saying that Canelo will dominate Lara and stop him in the 6th round. I have stated my reasons several times on previous threads but to summarize quickly thing Canelo's style is a difficult one for Lara to deal with. Lara needs to fight at his pace and be in control and that is something Canelo will not allow. In addition, Lara very vulnerable to straight rights and left hooks to the body which happen to be very good weapons for Canelo (the left hook to the liver in particular). I will go as far to say Canelo stops Lara with a left hook body shot.

How about the undercard? Here are my predictions:

Mares TKO6 Oquendo - I think this one may get ugly at times and would not be surprised if one or both men get penalized for low blows at some point. The big question is what does Mares have left in the tank following a brutal four year schedule and KO loss to Jhonny Gonzalez. Personally, I think a lot and that will show in this fight. Oquendo has been knocked out twice when he stepped up and this will be the third time.

Vargas TKO 2 Lopez - I think Lopez is shopworn. Vargas is a sharp puncher and finds it easy to land on Lopez early. Lopez's heart gets him through troubles in the first but can't survive another onslaught in the 2nd.

Herrera SD 12 Perez - Perez is a good fighter and showed a lot of improvement of late. Herrera can't help but be in a close fight regardless of who he faces it seems. This will be close but I will say Herrera ends up being a little busier which helps him carry some of the close rounds and helps him edge out a close split decision win.

Kameda UD 12 Sor Singyu - Sor Singyu has faced two undefeated fighters and lost both times. I say this is the third time he faces an undefeated fighter and comes out on the losing side of a decision again.

ultimoshogun says:

No gift decision or robbery needed here...Canelo wins convincingly, landing the bigger shots and scoring a couple knockdowns along the way.

the Roast says:

I agree with Deep on this one. Lara will outbox Canelo but get the shaft. Canelo has the money on his side. Lara will have to win very big, two knockdowns big, to get a win. Angulo was able to hurt and drop Lara twice in that fight but Lara got up and broke Angulo's spirit and will. He made Angulo quit. Alvarez cleaned up on a guy who has finished. Done. Beaten by Kirkland and then Lara. He was like a zombie in there. Just walking forward and taking shot after shot.
Compare the Trout fights. I thought the slick lefty Trout did enough to beat Canelo. The late knockdown gave the judges all they needed to give Canelo the nod. Lara dominated Trout. Beat him up and dropped him hard. The fighter A beat fighter B so he will beat fighter C thing is never set in stone but in this case I think it holds water.
Whatever happens I won't be watching. This fight would be a great Showtime fight but on PPV I will take a pass. Too many PPV's are keeping boxing down. You can't grow the fan base this way. When I was a kid only the best of the best was PPV. Leonard-Hearns. Holmes-Cooney. Arguello-Pryor was on regular HBO for Christ's sake.

Radam G says:

Lara will ride Canelo like the Long Ranger does Silver. He's going to stab him in the mug, give him a hug and Kid Gavilan bolo him in the liver. Big money powers that be are going to cry a river. They are going to double da fudge shiver. Lara is going be messing up there money. And in the end, I doubt that they willngive him the honey.

They may call it a draw. Because on the red-headed hype, "The American Dream" is going to put Canelo an "It's time to syet American Eagle's Claw." Canelo is the hero. And Lara is villainess outlaw. Holla!

brownsugar says:

good call Roach, I can see the pro's and the cons of the Lara Canelo debate,.... Lara has been known to be inconsistent against lower level fighters at times but so far he has consistently dominated the fights he has targeted.

he literally blinded the former great toe to toe slugger Paul Williams and gave him a tomato-sized hematoma on the right side of his face, it can be said that by extending the fight by staying on his feet...Williams suffered more in that fight than he did in his 2nd round KO loss to Martinez..... Lara may not be as strong as Canelo but he shatters orbital bones when he's focused due to the snap and velocity of his punches alone.

These are not thudding shots, they are punches that are grounded in the rules of physics, and the axioms of speed and velocity. if an object is traveling at a certain rate of speed and carries "X" amount of weight and density, the resulting cause-and-effects, .... shatters bone.

even a feather can be found lodged in a tree truck following a tornado.

Also if sparring with the Charlo brothers doesn't have Lara honed and primed for the fight of his life, then nothing can prepare him. Sparring with those guys is almost like practicing with Mayweather every day. Lara should be a polished gem by fight time and prepared for everything imaginable.

I give it to Canelo, in a way he reminds me of Chris Algieri, he's taken his limited experience and athleticism a long way further than his boxing skills every could. and he continues to learn.

If I'm wrong I'll congratulate Canelo and eat my warmed over plate of crow with copious amounts of hot sauce.... but no way will I bet on the fight. it's that close.

But the key to this fight is located in Lara's mobility. Footwork is a huge deficit Canelo must overcome. He's getting better and he's good at everything else, but he's like an albatross without a long enough runway to take flight.

Unless Lara gets caught with something stupid, he should prevail, (in spirit if not on the cards)

I put in some overtime today and will probably do some OT again in the early morning incase my addiction gets the best of me and I become possessed by the PPV button on the remote. it speaks to me sometimes and tries to compel me to watch undervalued PPV cards against my better judgement.

it tells me I might hit the lotto or to pay one of the utilily bills late with it's insidious demands. But I'm fighting it.

I'm thinking about taking the evil cable remote to my daughters house so she can lock it up for me for the weekend... I might even go to a few BA (boxing anonymous) meetings to receive some extra fortification against my PPV Demons.

may the best man win...

kelseym says:

Lara's gonna get it done!

deepwater2 says:

I have to increase my Lara to win bet.

Canelo might or might not have more power but Lara will never let him land it. Lara is the better boxer.

amayseng says:

This is a tough one to pick which makes it a great one to watch.


I just think Canelo will have more firepower and the more telling conviction on his shots to win him a UD.

Of course Lara will be more accurate while also being less active and Canelo's power and combination punching will put Lara on his back foot and cause him to retreat enough to where the judges will see it as effective aggression on the ginger's part.

The decision will be refuted back and forth with each fan having an opinion on what they feel wins fights.

Will it be effective aggression and the harder partially blocked shots for Canelo?

Or will it be Lara boxing while going away and landing less, although more accurate shots?

Time will tell

Springs Toledo says:

I'm going with Erislandy Lara, and it may be a clinic. There's a lot of certainty out there -and it's against one of the Cuban school's star graduates. Count me out. Too much is being made of Canelo's size and strength. At 5'9, Lara is the same height as Canelo with a five-inch reach advantage, and his level of ring generalship is closer to Floyd's than it is to Trout's. Lara will, by the middle rounds, exert technical mastery over Canelo, and then Canelo will have to make a decision. If Canelo fights harder (and the bull in a match-up like this is expected to), he will run into stamina issues and he knows it. If his stamina issues kick in, he will be preoccupied with preserving energy and will begin to concede rounds. He has shown a pattern of fighting only in spurts as fights progress and I see that happening late after aggressive moments early that may or not drop Lara. If Lara is still there after round 5/6, he takes over.

brownsugar says:

I'm going with Erislandy Lara, and it may be a clinic. There's a lot of certainty out there -and it's against one of the Cuban school's star graduates. Count me out. Too much is being made of Canelo's size and strength. At 5'9, Lara is the same height as Canelo with a five-inch reach advantage, and his level of ring generalship is closer to Floyd's than it is to Trout's. Lara will, by the middle rounds, exert technical mastery over Canelo, and then Canelo will have to make a decision. If Canelo fights harder (and the bull in a match-up like this is expected to), he will run into stamina issues and he knows it. If his stamina issues kick in, he will be preoccupied with preserving energy and will begin to concede rounds. He has shown a pattern of fighting only in spurts as fights progress and I see that happening late after aggressive moments early that may or not drop Lara. If Lara is still there after round 5/6, he takes over.



Springs summed it up very succinctly and economically. ..which I believe is sort of an anology to Lara's fighting style. Sharp, focused, accurate and economical.

I couldn't believe how the fans packed the venue for the weigh-in. I wish now that I'd taken some vacation and booked a room and some tickets.

There's nothing like two young lions stepping up to the scale wearing their pride and sisu on their sleeves for all the world to see.

Canelo looked a little num and reserved. You could see the realization of the moment pulsating just below the surface of his stone- like countenance.
I didn't say he was scared.....just concerned and there is nothing wrong with a little healthy concern the day before a fight.

In addition to this Canelo looked a tad malnourished which is not too unusual for an athlete participating in a weight based sport. Maybe the extra pound will prevent him from having a flat performance.

Lara looked relaxed and ready.. His body rippling with sinuous muscles tissue totally devoid of any visible body fat. In a subtle way Lara exhibited the body language of a bully as he stood face to face with the pride of GoldenBoy and did his best to appear menacing.

In the post weigh in interview he claimed he wanted to break Canelo's face right there on stage.

Did it work?

Canelo ....ever the classy and reserved pragmatist said the fight is tomorrow anyway so any theatrics at this point is strictly a waste of effort. He will show Lara his own superior ability in the ring on fight-night.

Lara gave a half hearted "Viva Mexico" as he left the stage with little to no response from the pro latina crowd while Canelo's exit was precipitated by raucus cheers of encouragement. Lara just has to be mindful that he has to be landing punches as he's moving out of harms way.

Its a difficult choice but since there has to be a winner and a loser I'm picking Lara.
50% of boxing is movement. A fighter whose has great foot work can virtually shut his opponent down. Even if his punches contain the concussive power of Thor's hammer, Miljolner.

stormcentre says:

Pressure, skill and stamina.

That’s what this one is all about.

Canelo needs to not forget about defence, and exert a lot of pressure so Lara skills don’t come into the fray and pay the dividends they are capable of delivering.

But the downside and/or cost of that is - as some other posters here rightly state - stamina reserves towards the championship rounds, and a possible strategy change if someone is seriously out of gas.

Lara, should look to control distance and tempo, so his skills and style control the tempo and fight.

I hear both Lara and Alvarez are in terrific shape with their sparring, so it should be a good scrap.

The Commish says:

No gift decision or robbery needed here...Canelo wins convincingly, landing the bigger shots and scoring a couple knockdowns along the way.


Bingo. My feelings exactly. Solid ref,solid judges. Canelo will simply outwork Lara, who will be too defensive-minded. Canelo should win comfortably (by four or five points).

I will be watching. Will most likely be giving a round-by-round breakdown here on a new Canelo-Lara thread.

-Randy G.

DaveB says:

Once again another fight that anyone could win. The outcome either way unless by early knockout will not surprise me. Lara got dropped not once but twice against Angulo, who is a lion with a lot of heart but not someone who is a great fighter. Canelo has his issues too with stamina and it is hard to get it out of my mind how he looked ordinary, very ordinary against Mayweather. I think he learned by that experience to pick up the pace and he will have to, to get it done and legitimately win this fight in the way that he needs to. The key will be body shots, jabs, conditioning and pacing. I think he has enough of these to get the decision. Canelo UD

Skibbz says:

My excitement's building commissioner, fast forward us a few hours and get that thread goin!

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