By Ryan Burton
WBA "regular" junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara congratulated Canelo Alvarez for his dominating stoppage victory over Alfredo Angulo that took place in March at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Now Lara and Canelo will meet in the same ring on July 12th in a bout televised by Showtime pay-per-view.
Lara faced Angulo last year and while he also scored a stoppage victory, it didn't come nearly as easy. Lara was knocked down twice as a relentless Angulo kept attacking the Cuban. Lara was able to recover from the knockdowns and eventually forced Angulo to quit as he suffered a hideous hematoma around his eye.
The 31-year-old Lara said that you really can't compare the two fights and their results. He feels that Angulo suffered a severe beating in their fight and that it showed in his performance against Alvarez. He didn't see the same Angulo as the one that he faced last June
"He lost a lot in our fight. He took a ton of punishment and I think it showed when he fought Canelo. That wasn't the same Angulo as the Angulo that I fought," Lara explained.
Lara has called for a shot against the Mexican superstar for many years. When asked why he thinks that Canelo finally accepted his challenge, Lara said that the answer is simple, he has ran out of credible opponents.
"He had to fight me. What other high caliber opponents are there? If he wants to stay at this level he has to fight top guys so I think he had to fight me," Lara told BoxingScene.com.
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