There’s an unwritten rule in the Cuban boxing community — hell, probably in any boxing community — that when one of your own gets in the ring, you get their back. It’s a natural form of nativism that develops when fighters grow up competing beside or against one another in the amateurs at both the national and global level, all while representing the same flag.
Junior middleweight Erislandy Lara apparently violated this sacred code of ethics when Cuban light heavyweight Sullivan Barrera faced Andre Ward in March.
Rather than cheer on his countryman, Lara was riding with Team Ward that night. And the funniest part about it is that Barrera must be quite the lurker on social media to have uncovered this one.
The beef spawned from Andre Ward commenting, “Thank you for your support Champion!! @erislandylara_oficial,” on one of Lara’s Instagram posts, to which Lara replied, “Eres el mejor @andresogward (You are the best @andresogward).”
Totally innocent, right? Barrera didn’t seem to think so. After losing a 12-round decision to Ward, Barrera took to Instagram himself to share his feelings on Lara’s lack of loyalty.
Luckily, it looks like the two fighters have talked it over and somewhat moved on, as evidenced by the deletion of Barrera’s anger-driven Instagram post. Of course, that didn’t prevent the wonderful thing known as the Internet from capturing a screen grab of Barrera’s statement.
Michael Woods of RingTV.com even did a story on the beef and got some good quotes from Barrera.
“(Lara) is a friend of mine from the national team and my family raised him like he was my brother,” Barrera said. “But I found out he did not support me when I fought Ward. He instead supported Ward, so I was angry.”
It’s unclear to what extent the two fighters have made amends, but Barrera’s erasing of his Instagram post is at least a positive step toward eventually repairing their friendship. Given how personally Barrera took Lara’s “support” of Ward, there is likely still a little bad blood between them. Barrera unequivocally supports his fellow Cuban peers at all times, often posting stuff like this on his social media accounts:
Lara (22-2-2, 13 KOs) has an upcoming showdown with Vanes Martirosyan (36-2-1, 21 KOs) on May 21 in Las Vegas. Barrera (17-1, 12 KOs), meanwhile, is taking his time to heal up following his loss to Ward (29-0, 15 KOs) but should be back in the ring in a few months.