Fighters, or their team, picking and choosing their way through a division has become an all to regular occurrence in boxing over recent times. It has improved recently in that respect, and it has had to thanks to the UFC and their competitive matchmaking stealing some of the spotlight.
Further evidence of that was exhibited this week when it was revealed that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has agreed a deal to fight Erislandy Lara at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas on July 12. After Alvarez’s lopsided dismantling at the hands of Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, many people doubted whether Alvarez or his people would agree to take on Lara, who would pose a similar stylistic matchup for the Mexican. Alvarez will have a lot of questions going into this fight, and because of that and people will compare Lara to Mayweather stylistically and wonder whether Alvarez will be able to deal with that type of style better this time around.
Can he cut off the ring against the fleet-footed Cuban? Can he make adjustments this time, if necessary? Or will he get disheartened if things are not going his way again? The one obvious note to remember, though, is that Lara is not Mayweather. He’s stylistically similar, but that is all; don’t expect Lara to rout Canelo like Mayweather did.
For Alvarez, it will be a great opportunity to show exactly what he has learned from the Mayweather fight and a chance to show that it was a learning experience. After only having one fight since the Mayweather loss, it is commendable that Alvarez has not only taken the fight, but that he has taken it so soon.
Alvarez and Lara are the two premier junior middleweight boxers in the world — if you count Mayweather as a visitor, taking fights where he pleases. It’s the fight that, if the fans could have chosen, they would have picked. The fans, of course, did not get to choose, but the fight is happening anyway. And that is not only a good thing for the fans, but it’s healthy for boxing itself.