Canelo-Lara: Making The Case For 117-111

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    By Steve Waters

    Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Erislandy Lara – Round by Round

    The fact that this fight took place at a catch-weight of 155 lbs (just 1 lb above the light middleweight limit) was further proof of just how insignificant championship belts have become.  As with most big fights, this meant so much more than belts. For Lara, a win would make him a big player in boxing and if he looked great in victory, he would no doubt find his name propelled into the Mayweather sweepstakes as a potential future opponent for the ageing pound for pound king.
     
    For “Canelo” this fight was one that his Golden boy team had advised against him taking, a fight he didn’t need but in doing so, the popular, 23 year old, cinnamon haired Mexican had to win in order to secure an astronomical pay-day against the recently rejuvenated, new middleweight champion and future hall of famer Miguel Cotto. 
     
    Round 1
    Erislandy Lara came out extremely confident showing great accuracy and landing some good shots making use of his superb jab. His speed and reach advantages were very evident in this round. As expected “Canelo” was the aggressor but didn’t land much.  
    10-9 Lara
     
    Round 2 
    With their feet getting tangled, Lara was caught off balance early on in the second, which got the predominantly Mexican crowd excited. “Canelo” had a little more success this round and landed well to the body but Lara finished strong, a difficult “swing-round” to score.
    10-9 Alvarez
     
    Round 3
    The crowd begin to start booing at the running away style of Lara early on in the third but it didn’t bother the Houston based Cuban who continued to make a frustrated Alvarez miss, using good footwork and picking off some good shots.
    10-9 Lara
     
    Round 4
    Just when you started to wonder if this fight would be a repeat of his only loss to Mayweather, Alvarez starts to cut off the ring much better than he had previously and had success landing heavy shots to the body of Lara, who perhaps feeling the power was on his bike even more so than he had been in the earlier rounds.
    10-9 Alvarez
     
    Round 5
    Using excellent hand speed the “American Dream” initially came out strong but “Canelo” responded well with a good combination of shots to the body.  Lara neglected his jab in this round and after feeling the body shots finally began to show signs of slowing down
    10-9 Alvarez
     
    Round 6 
    Alvarez stalked Lara showing better head movement when coming forward than he had previously, perhaps this was due to having more time to-do so because Lara’s footwork was no longer as quick but it was a quiet round with not much happening however “Canelo” was forcing the action.
    10-9 Alvarez
     
    Round 7
    Entering the second half of the fight with the advice of his trainer Ronnie Shields, Lara came out using his jab again, he had some good early success until “Canelo” hit him with some big body shots before landing a huge left lead uppercut which resulted in a cut above Lara’s right eye.
    10-9 Alvarez
     
    Round 8
    Lara was dabbing at his eye and Alvarez was clearly the more confident of the two fighters, bullying his opponent and landing good body to head combinations.  It was clear in this round that “Canelo” could hurt Lara but there hadn’t been anything significant to indicate Lara could hurt Saul.
    10-9 Alvarez
     
    Round 9
    Canelo managed to find his range early on. There was a disputed warning by veteran referee Robert Bird for a clash of heads for “Canelo” at the midway stage of the round. Lara landed his best shot of the fight so far, a clever, more powerful looking right hand before slipping in the corner but despite this his confidence looked drained and he was clearly uncomfortable with the damage to his eye.
    10-9 Alvarez
     
    Round 10
    Lara had his best moment for a long period of the fight, landing a good combination early on, building some much needed confidence before the marching forward Mexican landed another significant flurry to the body.
    10-9 Lara
     
    Round 11
    Lara boxed well in the 11th but every-time “Canelo” landed a huge left hook to the body it put the trailing Cuban in reverse, who lifted his hand on the way back to the corner to suggest he had done enough to pinch the round but despite landing a few shots he really didn’t land enough in this “swing round”.
    10-9 Canelo
     
    Round 12
    The 12th round started off with the now familiar sight of “Canelo” stalking Lara but Erislandy landed some good shots and both fighters fought at a faster pace but again Alvarez landed the much heavier punches.  Lara landed the odd cute shot showing good movement but again the pressure from the Mexican gave him the “swing round”
    10-9 Canelo
     
    My Scorecard 
    117-111 Saul “Canelo” Alvarez
     
    The official judging ringside was split, one judge scored the fight for Lara 115-113, the second judge had it 115-113 for Alvarez and the third judge scored the fight the same as me, 117-111 in favor of “Canelo” 
     
    Despite the predictable cries of a robbery for the losing fighter, “Canelo” summed it up in his post fight interview “I came to fight, I didn’t come to run here, if they (Team Lara) wanted to go to a marathon, then go to a marathon.  You don’t win by running here (Vegas) you win by fighting”. 

     

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