Canelo Alvarez clashed with Erislandy Lara on Saturday night, July 12, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and on Showtime pay-per-view. The Cuban boxed in ultra-crafty fashion, using his feet even more than his fists, to keep Canelo a step or two behind. We went to the cards, cognizant of a typical judges' dislike for "runners." Dave Moretti saw it 115-113 (Alvarez), Jerry Roth 115-113 (Lara) and Levi Martinez had it 117-111, for Canelo.
To Jim Gray, Canelo insulted Lara, for running. You win by punching, not running, the Mexican said. He did that the whole fight, the winner said. Did he not expect that? No, he wanted a toe to toe fight. He said Lara is a great boxer but needs to throw more blows. Would he fight Lara again? "When he learns how to fight, then I'll give hima rematch," he said. Is Cotto next? In November? He said he will rest, party for his birthday, then decide.
Gray asked Lara if he thought he won. Yes, one hundred percent, the Cuban said. Lara said the people present, "especially the Mexicans," that he won. He said Canelos' body shots had no pop. And does he now respect him? No, he said...and he still wants a rematch.
Canelos' inability to shrink the ring, make Lara go where he didn't want to go, cease his movement, hurt him. Will there be a push to switch trainers?
Lara went 107-386 to 97-415 for Canelo.
Both men weighed 155 pounds on Friday. Canelo was 171 to 166 on fight night.
In the first, the 31 year old Lara (19-1-2 entering) moved, moved, popped the jab with the longer arm. Canelo (43-1-1 entering), almost 24, followed the mobile Lara.
In the second, a right sent Lara sprawling back. He then ate a straight left which made the crowd buzz. Canelo picked up Lara in a clinch and threatened to dump him at the 46 seconds mark. He wanted to show his strength. Eddy Reynos asked Canelo to watch out for the left, and move at the waist after the round.
In the third, Lara mostly moved, but also landed a clean left, while the crowd got edgier. Lara mostly moved right, and Canelo was late with long rights.
In the fourth, Canelo got cooking early. His attitude was fiercer, but there was a mouse under his right eye. Reynoso told the kid to not get desperate.
In the fifth, Canelo ripped to the body. The distance between the men had closed some. But Lara was still able to dictate the distance between, mostly. He landed one vicious right hook on the Mexican, too.
In the sixth, Lara moved too much for the fans' liking. Canelo followed but without much luck. He missed badly a few times, showy, ugly misses.
In the seventh, Lara moved, flurried, and then slid away, with Canelo staring after a miss. A punch caused by a punch formed on Lara's right eye. It might have come off a leaping left uppercut by Canelo.
In the eighth, Lara moved but forgot to throw. His trainer Ronnie Shields told him to use the jab, and the one-two. "The guy is walking right to it," Shields told the Cuban.
In the ninth, we saw Lara paw at his eye, and Canelo look more confident. Lara slipped in a wet corner and the crowd roared. As with every round, it was tight.
In the tenth, Canelo swung wildly, as he looked to land a bomb on the slippery Lara. A Lara combo landed clean, and his movement was back to being constant and quick. He took the round…
In the 11th, the slippery eel Lara managed to get away from Canelo, even when he was a foot in front of him. A right hand caught Lara as he was pulling out, at 50 seconds. Reynoso told Canelo it was a "very close fight." In the 12th, Canelo came out crazed. But Lara came out the same savvy cat. No knockdowns, we went to the cards...