Old Man Winter of Middleweight Division, Erislandy Lara is the American Dream

Editorial By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent

 Southpaw World Boxing Association World Middleweight champion Erislandy Lara, 29-3-3 with 17 knockouts, Houston, Texas, by way of Guantanamo, Cuba, has truly lived the American dream, which is why his nickname is ‘The American Dream’.

 At age 39, Lara is second only to Gennady ‘GGG” Golovkin as the two are the senior players atop the middleweight division. Lara’s 14 year career has seen him go the distance three times in brilliant but losing efforts, with Paul ‘The punisher’ Williams (a fight he appeared to win but did not get the decision), Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, and Jarrett Hurd.

 Lara is a big name, but not a big draw name like Canelo Alvarez or GGG. Lara most certainly is NOT a Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Carlos Monzon or Sugar Ray Robinson, or Jake LaMotta. Lara is durable like the late Emile Griffith. Lara’s career has been carefully managed. Lara is one of the new weave generation of Cuban warriors who left Cuba ins search of boxing fame, money and glory. Lara is probably one of the best Latino middleweights in the post-Carlos Monzon, Rodrigo Valdez since Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright and Tito Trinidad, and Oscar De La Hoya.

 The middleweight division is a tricky division. Lara is a veteran of 14 world title bouts, one regional title bout and two eliminators. Professionally speaking, Lara has been around the block and has been well-promoted. From heavyweight Luis Ortiz to bantamweight Guillermo Rigondeaux, Cubans have tried their hand in the professional ranks with opportunity. Perhaps the moral of the story is the Cuban government should be more open to allowing its athletes to compete in sports professionally outside of the country. Given the current state of the Pandemic, fewer Cuban athletes are being seen in international competitions.

 Lara is a known commodity, and an accepted name at the top, but Lara is not a big money fighter and never was. Lara probably has a few big fighters remaining as he still holds the WBA regular title. Thomas LaManna and Gary ‘Spike” O’Sullivan, Lara’s last two opponents, clearly had no business in WBA world title bouts, indicating Lara is still worthy of better opposition in 2022. Lara is truly the ‘Old Man Winter’ of the division, as he is heading into the second half of 2022 with a world title, but few worthy opponents lined up at this point, the twilight stage of his championship career.

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