LAS VEGAS - The two best junior middleweights in the world will meet to decide 154-pound supremacy Saturday, July 12 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez will square off against WBA Junior Middleweight World Champion Erislandy "The American Dream" Lara in a 12-round bout. The event will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV.
Lara was originally scheduled to defend his WBA title against Ishe Smith on Friday, May 2 in Las Vegas to kickoff Cinco de Mayo Weekend withdrew from the fight to face Canelo.
"This fight against Erislandy Lara is very important for my career because it is an opponent with vast experience in both the amateur and professional field, and I am sure our fighting styles will provide an explosive battle and great atmosphere that night," said Canelo Alvarez. "Lara, the media and the fans around the world wanted this match to take place, and here I am fulfilling their request since I have no doubt that everyone will be completely satisfied."
"I give Canelo respect for accepting this fight, and even though it took him a while to step up, we're going to give the fans a great performance on July 12," said Lara. "I'm coming to show the world I'm the best fighter at 154 pounds. This is the biggest fight of my career, and beating Canelo will get me closer to my ultimate goal, a showdown with Floyd Mayweather."
"Canelo has always been a true warrior who insists on fighting the best, and this is just another example," said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. "Beating Erislandy Lara is a huge challenge for any fighter, but if anyone is up to the task, it's Canelo."
"Canelo vs. Erislandy Lara, a fight between the two best junior middleweights in the world, is yet another great example of the competitive, highly compelling and star-studded marquee matchups that SHOWTIME has become known for," said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. "We are proud to see Canelo Alvarez continue his quest to take on the best boxers in the sport today. Lara, one of most skilled boxers in any division, is highly motivated by his own quest for a career-defining victory. I commend both Canelo and Erislandy for stepping up to the challenge and delivering the fight that boxing fans want."
"We have already had the opportunity to host a number of sensational fights in 2014," said Richard Sturm, president of Entertainment & Sports for MGM Resorts International. "The summer heats up with another great event as we welcome the return of Canelo Alvarez to MGM Grand following his dominating performance in March."
On a collision course for years, the highly anticipated matchup between Lara and Canelo will finally come to fruition following big wins over Austin "No Doubt" Trout and Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo, respectively.
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico's Canelo Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KOs) is one of the most compelling figures in the fight game today. A former world champion and still just 23-years-old, Canelo has captivated fans around the world with his exciting fighting style and charisma in and out of the ring. A professional since 2005, Canelo won the WBC Junior Middleweight Title in 2011 and successfully defended it five times before unifying the championship with a 2013 victory over Austin Trout. A mega-fight with Mayweather followed five months later. Although he lost a hard-fought decision to the pound-for-pound king last September, Canelo got back on track in March with a 10th round-technical knockout win over Alfredo Angulo.
Slick southpaw Erislandy "The American Dream" Lara (19-1-2, 12 KOs) graduated from the renowned Cuban amateur boxing program and migrated to the United States to pursue a professional boxing career. As a young contender on the rise, Lara suffered a controversial decision loss to Paul Williams in 2011. Since then, he has done his best to take it out of the judges' hands by knocking out Ronald Hearns and Angulo, with the latter victory earning him the WBA Junior Middleweight World Championship. In his most recent bout, Lara won a 12-round unanimous decision over Trout on Dec. 7, 2013, and now the 31-year-old, who makes his home in Houston, will attempt to give Canelo a boxing lesson on July 12.
"Canelo vs. Lara," a 12-round junior middleweight fight taking place Saturday, July 12 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. The event will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The event can be heard in Spanish using secondary audio programming (SAP).
Tickets priced at $750, $500, $250, $150, $75 and $50, not including applicable service charges and taxes, are on sale now. Tickets are limited to eighteen (18) per person with a limit of eight (8) at the $75 and $50 price ranges. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com .