Who will fight Erislandy Lara next?
On the one hand, two-division champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (28-3-3, 16 KO’s) is in one strong position. He simultaneously holds the Regular WBA Super Welterweight and Middleweight world titles. Not to mention he is fresh off a calamitous one-punch, first-round knockout of the lippy Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna. These are all very great things. The trouble is, despite owning the dual pieces of hardware and a well-established name in the sport, Lara is having difficulty penning a meaningful bout.
Admittedly, he is getting long in the tooth and neither strap are the superior WBA titles. At the same time, The American Dream is still a quality fighter who is easily recognized by ticket-buying fans. If you let the Cuban tell it, he is trying his best to lure another marquee name in the ring. Yet, as the old adage goes, ‘it takes two to tango!’
The American Dream has been calling out WBA Super, IBF and WBC World Super Welterweight champion Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (34-1, 18 KO’s) since his fight with Jeison Rosario. Sadly for him, playing the role of squeaky wheel has yielded zero oil. Luckily, he is not easily discouraged and has no intention on falling silent now. This was a sentiment that he reinforced during his recent post-fight conference speaking through a translator.
“He’s says that he’ll fight anybody, he wants to fight the best. The problem here is all the guys that he wants to fight and they don’t! We’ve been trying to get the Jarrett Hurd fight immediately after the fight and you know he wasn’t successful doing that. Hurd didn’t want to fight.”
LEGACY OVER LOYALTY
With the LaManna fight standing as his first outing at middleweight, naturally super welterweight is where the majority of Lara’s work has been done. However, even when admitting that he felt strong at 160, Lara is still perfectly to willing to ping-pong back and forth.
“He’s definitely going back and forth but his preference is probably 154.”
His desire to fight premium opposition will even push any feelings of friendship to the side. Its no secret that Lara, Jermall and Jermell Charlo spent a slew of time together while they trained under chief second Ronnie Shields. During that extended period of time, the trio of pugilists forged a strong and legitimate bond. Nevertheless, when it comes the glory of the ring, Lara is absolutely fine shelving those warm fuzzy feelings for fight night.
“Jermall is like family to me, more Jermall than Jermell. We’ve worked together for a lot of years. But this is boxing, a sport, and I am pretty sure NBA players are good friends but have to play so if he’s got to fight, you’ve got to fight.”
With Iron Man Charlo owning three of the major belts, the only other champion at 154 is WBO Super Welterweight champion Brian Castano. Technically speaking there are more plentiful options at middleweight. There is Demetrius Andrade (WBO), Gennady Golovkin (IBF), Jermall Charlo (WBC) and Ryota Murata (WBA Super). The main problem here, once again, is the fact that Lara owns the secondary WBA title. With that being the case, The American Dream largely falls into the precarious trick bag of being “more trouble than he is worth”.
So, with belts in dual divisions and coming off an eye-catching win, it will be interesting to see which, if any, top fighter will agree to face Lara. Only time will tell. Regardless of the outcome, 3kingsboxing will be there to cover the latest developments.
By: Bakari Simpson