By Keith Idec
Erislandy Lara would love to challenge Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Sept. 15 in Las Vegas.
The Cuban southpaw just isn’t optimistic about getting that opportunity. Lara, who’ll face Freddy Hernandez in a 10-round junior middleweight match Saturday night in Indio, Calif., expects his representatives at Golden Boy Promotions to pick another opponent for the unbeaten WBC super welterweight champion.
“We’re trying to put all the pressure on them we can,” Lara said, “but I don’t think the fight will happen because I think Canelo’s afraid of me. Canelo knows I’ll beat him and he’s scared to get exposed to the boxing public.”
Lara (16-1-1, 11 KOs) and his handlers haven’t heard anything definitive from Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy Promotions’ chief executive officer. Meanwhile, Lara is trying to remain patient and keep focused on Mexico’s Hernandez (30-2, 20 KOs), his opponent in one of three fights Showtime will televise from Fantasy Springs Casino (9 p.m. EDT/PDT).
“I don’t know what’s going on,” Lara, 29, said. “I’m going to wait to see what fight comes about, but [Alvarez is] the fight we want.”
Assuming Alvarez fights someone else Sept. 15, Lara hopes to find an opponent from his personal list of options.
“We’ve been trying to campaign for a fight against Sergio Martinez,” Lara said. “We think he’s the toughest fighter out there. That’s a fight I’ve been wanting, but obviously he’s got the big Chavez fight [also scheduled for Sept. 15 in Las Vegas]. So if not, there’s Austin Trout, there’s [Cornelius] Bundrage and the [Carlos] Molina rematch is a fight we’d love to do, to erase people’s minds on that fight. There are some possibilities, but we’ll leave it to our promoter.”
Bundrage (31-4, 18 KOs, 1 NC) will defend his IBF 154-pound title in a mandatory rematch against former champion Cory Spinks (39-6, 11 KOs) in the main event Saturday night in Indio.
If he wins, Bundrage is considered a possible replacement for Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs), whose upset loss to Josesito Lopez (30-4, 18 KOs, 1 NC) on Saturday night cost Ortiz the Alvarez fight. Trout (25-0, 14 KOs), who owns a version of the WBA’s 154-pound crown, also is a possible opponent for Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KOs).
Chicago’s Molina (19-5-2, 6 KOs), who fought to a 10-round majority draw with Lara 15 months ago in Las Vegas, doesn’t have a fight scheduled.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.