Lara Looking at Kirkland, Ishe Smith, Martirosyan Next

BY Michael Woods ON August 12, 2014
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erislandy-lara

Erislandy Lara hasn't seen the light, had an epiphany after seeing an L attached to his name following his July 12 fight against Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas. Nope, his advisor Luis De Cubas Jr. tells me, the Cuban born hitter believes he won the fight, no matter what some judges say, and he resolved to keep on schooling' foes in that Cuban brand of pugilism.

"Lara will be returning in November or early December," De Cubas told me. ""We're working on opponents and he will be defending his (WBA 154 pound) title."

Some possibilities include bomber James Kirkland, and Ishe Smith and Vanes Martirosyan, he stated. I told him I liked the Kirkland plan best and he chuckled, and said he does too. That said, Lara hasn't been licking his wounds, or going back to the drawing board, to refashion his style. "It's not the first time he got jobbed. Against Paul Williams, as well…So he feels one hundred percent he won the fight, so he's good."

The boxer, De Cubas said, feels that the best man doesn't always win, but usually, the bigger name wins, no matter what style is used by both men. "Lara doesn't feel he has to change his style, because he's never lost," he said. De Cubas said that a win is a win, but acknowledges that his man does give himself the best chance to get the W if and when he offers a bit more of an offense-heavy strategy. Thus, more combos could be in the offing, perhaps, if moving forward Lara's POV on how judges see fights evolves. De Cubas said that Levi Martinez, who saw Canelo a 117-111 winner, and the folks who tallied up the 2011 Paul Williams (MD12) clash were errant, but apart from that, he doesn't slag judges as a group. "I feel he's undefeated," he stated. "And don't tell me the Dolphins have to beat Peyton Manning by seven points to win, not by a field goal, because Manning will draw more eyeballs. Winning is winning, and things should be fair for everyone in any sport."

Your take, Forum heavy-hitters? Should a boxer with the talent level of a Lara tweak his style to play to judges who dig volume and unsubtle power-punching?

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Comment on this article

oubobcat says:

I think Lara is going to face Ishe Smith next. Remember, they were scheduled to fight in May but then Lara was moved into the Canelo bout. I have a feeling as part of that agreement Smith was told he'd get a crack later at Lara if he still wanted for a nice payday. For Lara, well frankly Smith should not be too difficult and its a good opponent for him coming off the Canelo fight to probably look pretty good against. It makes too much sense not to happen next for both men.

A fight with Kirkland would be interesting, absolute classic matchup of divergent styles. Kirkland probably will be in with Canelo later this year but somewhere down the road I wouldn't rule that fight out. As for Martirosyan, well Lara already fought him once and that was a clunker of a fight to say the least. Lets please not see that one again. Please...

amayseng says:

But is anyone "looking" at Lara? That is the question.

After he stunk up the joint against Canelo on a PPV in his opportunity of a lifetime I have no interest in watching him. And I appreciate his skills and style, he just doesn't give enough of it to be entertaining.

oubobcat says:

But is anyone "looking" at Lara? That is the question.

After he stunk up the joint against Canelo on a PPV in his opportunity of a lifetime I have no interest in watching him. And I appreciate his skills and style, he just doesn't give enough of it to be entertaining.


I think when he fights next people will be paying attention. He is hit or miss when he fights. For example, his fight with Angulo was very entertaining. The manner though in which he fought Canelo and Martirosyan left something to be desired.

Lets keep in mind to that he is advised by Al Haymon. So he will be fighting again on a premium network card. From the ratings that Showtime got for this garbage card on Saturday, there will be plenty of eyeballs still on whoever fights on their championship cards regardless of what fans and experts may ultimately think of the card itself.

Carmine Cas says:

Lara should look to improve/add dimension to his game. No athlete should ever be complacent, they should always be looking to improve. He needs to learn to how to clinch, smother shots, and fight on the inside better. Boxing is a dirty game and he's got to adapt.

The Shadow says:

Lara should look to improve/add dimension to his game. No athlete should ever be complacent, they should always be looking to improve. He needs to learn to how to clinch, smother shots, and fight on the inside better. Boxing is a dirty game and he's got to adapt.


Preach, baby! PREACH!

You know, he's friends with Andre Ward. I don't know if he's doing it already but Erislandy needs to take the first Greyhound to Oakland so he can take some classes at Professor Ward's Pro School. Old school.

Any school! To add to his Cuban school.

As he's fighting right now, he won't maximize his potential.

Speaking of which, I heard Ishe Smith talk smack about the Cuban school, saying how he needs track shoes for that.

How about some Kleenex for them tears?

The Commish says:

After the "Erislandy Invitational Track Meet" vs Canelo Alvarez, Lara can only be put in with a power & pressure slugger like James Kirkland. Does anybody really want to see him vs. Ishe Smith? Carlos Molina? Austin Trout? (Prolonged yawn!).

Big Al has his work cut out for him.

-Randy G.

riverside says:

After the "Erislandy Invitational Track Meet" vs Canelo Alvarez, Lara can only be put in with a power & pressure slugger like James Kirkland. Does anybody really want to see him vs. Ishe Smith? Carlos Molina? Austin Trout? (Prolonged yawn!).

Big Al has his work cut out for him.

-Randy G.


Commish,I like that track meet.

patenosky69 says:

Lara is good quality of boxer but need trainer like good fredie rod and he go ahead
Lara , Gamboa And Regaoudox need a good trainer Fredie Rod
Kirkland vs Lara is good fight.smith is good boxer but may lara ko in 6 rounds

stormcentre says:

Kirkland represents almost everything that boxing's promoter's and paying spectator's want to see.

What Lara did with Canelo represents everything they (and I) don't want to see.

Bottom line; if you want the networks money and all the success and fame that goes with the high echelons of this sport winning and/or running is not enough; you must entertain and be significantly marketable.

You can teach skills but sometimes not an attitude.

Perhaps it's easier to teach Kirkland the benefits of a jab, defence, balance and boxing.

As that and their association to longevity (or return on investment in promoter parlance) is all that would change the first sentence of my post to . . . . .

Kirkland represents everything that boxing's promoter's and paying spectator's want to see.

I think - despite what he says now - Lara will try harder next time round.

The controversy allows his the luxury of denial.

But he better be careful, as a dog (I mean that in a nice and "tough" boxing way ) that's as live, ready, willing, hungry and able as Kirkland is will surely sniff out test Lara's chin much earlier and more significantly than Angulo did; if Lara doesn't run.

I hope it happens, but I can't see too many fighters - Lara included - risking the low reward and high risks associated with James; too soon.

I mean, how do you (properly) train and prepared for what, and all the pressure, Mandingo brings?

What hard hitting light middleweight or middleweight southpaw fighter are you going to call in for sparring that emulates James Kirkland, his ferocity, his punch resistance and his power?

I'd like to see Kirkland V 3G, or 3G V Lara; but I will settle for Lara V Kirkland.

With Kirkland you almost know someone is getting KTFO, or at least schooled in how violence can solve some issues.

And that's entertainment.

amayseng says:

Kirkland represents almost everything that boxing's promoter's and paying spectator's want to see.

What Lara did with Canelo represents everything they (and I) don't want to see.

Bottom line; if you want the networks money and all the success and fame that goes with the high echelons of this sport winning and/or running is not enough; you must entertain and be significantly marketable.

You can teach skills but sometimes not an attitude.

Lara seems to be doing a good job of reminding us that.

Perhaps it's easier to teach Kirkland the benefits of a jab, defence, balance and boxing.

As that and their association to longevity (or return on investment in promoter parlance) is all that would change the first sentence of my post to . . . . .

Kirkland represents everything that boxing's promoter's and paying spectator's want to see.

I think - despite what he says now - Lara will try harder next time round.

For now, the controversy associated with his last fight (Canelo) allows him the luxury of denial.

That luxury will disappear if his next performance is seriously criticized and/or flawed; even if he doesn't smack talk the fight into existence.

But he better be careful.

As a dog (I mean that in a nice and "tough" boxing way) that's as live, ready, willing, hungry and able as Kirkland almost always is, will surely sniff out and test Lara's chin much earlier and much more significantly than Angulo did; provided Lara doesn't run - again.

I hope it (Lara V Kirkland) happens, but I can't see too many fighters - Lara included - risking the low reward and high risks associated with James; too soon.

I mean, how do you (properly) train and prepared for what, and all the pressure, Mandingo brings?

What hard hitting light middleweight or middleweight southpaw fighter are you going to call in for sparring that emulates James Kirkland, his ferocity, his punch resistance and his power?

I'd like to see Kirkland V 3G, or 3G V Lara; but I will settle for Lara V Kirkland.

With Kirkland you almost know someone is getting KTFO, or at least schooled in how violence can solve some issues.

And that's entertainment.


Kirkland is a pitt bull on the terror.

If Lara ran from a calculated partially aggressive Canelo, he will run for his life against Kirkland and stink out the joint even worse.

I have no interest in seeing anyone try to chase down Lara for 12 rounds. He is boring.

deepwater2 says:

The best way to fight Kirland is how Ishida did it. Fight him. Lara needs a good fight before he becomes irrelevant. I thought Lara did enough to win vs Canelo but he should of known he needed to close the show in a fight like that.

oubobcat says:

The best way to fight Kirland is how Ishida did it. Fight him. Lara needs a good fight before he becomes irrelevant. I thought Lara did enough to win vs Canelo but he should of known he needed to close the show in a fight like that.


Absolutely the best way to go about fighting Kirkland. Remember Angulo and Tapia also almost got him out of there in the first few minutes as well.

For whatever reason, Kirkland starts very slow and is extremely vulnerable early in a fight to getting KO'd. But once he gets the blood flowing in the ring and a little rhythm going, he is very dangerous for anyone between 154 and 160.

I personally think a fight with Lara would resemble more of Lara's fight with Angulo than Lara's fight with Canelo. The pressure Kirkland applies is much different than the pressure Canelo applies. The pressure applied by Kirkland would make Lara dig in and fight more like he did against Angulo than get on his bike more like he did against Canelo.

I actually think a Kirkland-Lara fight could happen at some point but just not next for both men. Its a fight though I wouldn't be surprised to see materialize sometime in 2015.

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