Erislandy Lara (17-1-2, 11 KO) and Alfredo "Perro" Angulo (22-2, 18 KO) will battle on Saturday night in a bout between contending light middleweights.
The 154-pound division isn't the most glamorous weight class in boxing today. Aside from Canelo Alvarez, there aren't many appealing names. Lara is one of the more underrated fighters in the world, but he doesn't have a magnetic personality or a huge following.
He will be tested by a rugged opponent who has been through a tough ordeal outside the ring. The fight is a boxing fan's dream that takes place on the undercard of the Josesito Lopez vs. Marcos Rene Maidana welterweight clash.
It should be an interesting battle of contrasting styles. Here's how you can watch and some analysis about the matchup.
When: Saturday, June 8 at 10 p.m. ET
Where: Carson City, Calif.
Live Stream Replay: Showtime Anytime the following day (pay service)
The Book on Lara
Under the Radar
Lara has only one loss on his record—if you want to call it that. Anyone who saw him lose to Paul Williams knows Lara didn't deserve the loss. Nonetheless, Williams was awarded the majority decision when they met in July 2009.
That fight was the key for Lara to move to the next level in his career, but instead he had to regroup. He had won two fights in a row before settling for a technical draw in his last fight with Vanes Martirosyan.
The facts that Lara doesn't speak English and fights a style that is more technical than brawling hurt his popularity. In addition to that, fans haven't seen a lot of him.
Though he's 30 years old, he has only 18 professional fights. Like many Cuban fighters, he had an extensive amateur career before turning professional.
Lara is the type of fighter whom champions will avoid because he's a tough matchup and not a household name.
In the Ring
Lara has received the label of a dirty fighter. His head has come into play on a few occasions, most recently in his last fight against Martirosyan.
Beyond the questionable weapon in close quarters, Lara is a slick, defensive southpaw with very good hand speed. Though he isn't a punishing puncher, he does have solid power. Take a look at this devastating KO win over Ronald Hearns.
He takes calculated risks and looks to dismantle his opponents after feeling them out in the early rounds. Against Angulo, he will be using his counterpunching ability primarily. It is a role he's comfortable with and how he usually finds success.
The Book on Angulo
Back From a Dark Place
Angulo spent seven months at the Immigration Detention Justice Center despite never being charged with a crime, per Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports. He had a history with the Immigration Department, but there are accusations that Angulo was treated on a personal level, per Angulo's attorney Kelly O'Reilly.
Ultimately, he was released, but the imprint made on Angulo's life is hard to gauge or imagine. Boxing fans haven't forgotten how exciting he was before he was detained.
Since his release, he has won his last two fights. He's taking on a very tough fighter in Lara, but he will have the crowd behind him on Saturday.
He lives in Coachella, Calif., and many will be rooting for him to take a step toward a title shot at 154 pounds.
In the Ring
Angulo wants to brawl. He doesn't have great hand or foot speed, but he has a great chin and incredible resolve. He'll have to rough Lara up to try to control the tempo of the fight.
He has no chance to match Lara's speed, but if he can make this an ugly fight, he has a chance to have his moments.
Because of his bone-crushing power, all he really needs is a moment to change the night. The fighter who can force his style will have the edge.
This is going to be a boring fight for some, but I'll enjoy seeing Lara's underrated skill at work. He will likely box circles around Angulo and frustrate him with his hand speed.
It will be an easy unanimous decision for Lara.
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