By Rick Reeno
Eric Gomez, Vice President and head matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions, rejected any claims that his company mistreated WBA 'regular' junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara (19-1-2, 12KOs) or showed any favoritism in Lara's upcoming fight against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (43-1-1, 31KOs), which takes place on July 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In an earlier article on BoxingScene, Lara made it clear that he wasn't under a promotional contract with Golden Boy and voiced his displeasure with the way he was treated by their company.
While Lara is managed by Luis DeCubas Jr., he is also advised by Al Haymon, who works closely with Golden Boy Promotions and has the majority of his stable fighting under the Golden Boy banner.
"Canelo is Golden Boy's boxer, that's why I'm going after him. I used to be a part of Golden Boy but now I have nothing to do with them. They gave him the best fights and me being a better boxer than him, they ignored me. They threw me to the wolves so they could take my head off. Thankfully I came out on top, always proving myself and proving myself until now and we are here facing Canelo," Lara stated.
Gomez was shocked when he read Lara's comments and feels very strongly that his company did everything possible to get him the biggest fights - including the upcoming career-defining showdown with Canelo.
"We were shocked, because this is the fight that he was asking for. Throwing him in with the wolves? We thought that's what he wanted. That's what he's been asking for - the big fights and the big paydays. If we're doing something by doing that [for him], then I guess we must be in the wrong business," Gomez told BoxingScene.com.
"To get a Canelo fight. It's a big gamble and it's a big risk, but that's the kind of fights that he's been asking for and we're happy to get him in those positions. It's very surprising that he would be upset at that. Maybe it's the amount of attention that Canelo is bringing, maybe it has something to do with that. Canelo has done that on his own."
"Canelo is the A-side, obviously. Unless it's Mayweather he's fighting, more often than not he's going to be the A-side. For [Lara] to be in this position to have a Canelo fight, to have the ability to change his life around, to get the biggest payday of his career, I think we are doing a pretty good job promoting him. I know he thinks there's been some favoritism, but we are treating Lara in the same manner. He probably doesn't see it right now. But once we get to fight week he will see that he will get the full respect, everything that we've always provided to him and there will be no favoritism. We're really happy for him [that he's getting to fight Canelo]."