Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Erislandy Lara Defends Title Against Jan Zaveck: Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN

By Peter Silkov

Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 25, see’s Erislandy Lara (21-2-2) defending his WBA world light-middleweight championship against Jan Zaveck (35-3) at the Hialeah Park Race Track, in Hialeah, Florida.  The fight will be on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on ESPN. It will be Lara’s second defence of the title that he won on December 12, 2014, with a point’s victory over Ishe Smith.  It is ironic that Lara should be defending his title just days after Saul Alvarez beat Miguel Cotto for the WBC world Middleweight championship.  18 months ago, Lara lost a highly debatable split decision to Alvarez, after a 12 rounds non-title fight in which many believe Lara gave the Mexican a thorough boxing lesson.  However, as is the way with boxing, following a brief explosion of controversy and debate about the split decision victory for Alvarez, the storm soon died down, and has been more or less forgotten about, very conveniently for Alvarez.

Although he has since picked up his world title, Lara’s success has been bittersweet.  While Alvarez has gone on to have high profile, big money fights with James Kirkland and Miguel Cotto since his scare against Lara, Erislandy meanwhile has struggled to gain attention and big fights, despite being a ’World champion.’  The problem for Erislandy is that, like his countryman Guillermo Rigondeaux, he may be too good for his own good.  Lara is an intelligent and slick boxer, with the kind of ability that doesn’t just beat opponents, but makes them look bad.  If there’s one thing most boxers hate even more than losing, it’s looking bad, especially if they’re losing at the same time.

Lara’s only other defeat came against Paul Williams on July 9, 2011, and was another point’s loss that many disputed.  Lara’s nickname is ’The American Dream’ but like his fellow Cuban defector Rigondeaux, Lara has found success in America to be a bittersweet affair.  He has won a world title, but like Rigondeaux, is struggling to secure opponents to defend it against. 

Lara’s challenger on Wednesday is Jan Zaveck, a good solid boxer, who is the former IBF world welterweight champion.  At 39 years old, Zaveck is past his prime, and is not what could be described as an ’exciting’ challenger for Lara.  This should be a straightforward defence for Lara, providing he is not taking Zaveck too lightly.  Yet, Lara’s sights are already set higher, he has stated that he would like to move up to middleweight and fight the dynamite-punching World middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.  There could even be a rematch with Alvarez, although that looks pretty remote.  Lara will be hoping to get past Zaveck with the minimum of fuss on Wednesday, with the hope that bigger challenges and bigger paydays are just round the corner for him.

Final press conference:

 Watch the fight:

Copyright © 2015 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com

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