By Rick Reeno
WBA interim-junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara (18-1-2, 12KOs) is still looking to secure the big names. Back in June, he overcame two tough knockdowns to stop dangerous contender Alfredo Angulo in the tenth round at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
Lara sat down with BoxingScene.com to discuss Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Saul Alvarez, Angulo's recent comments that he cheated during their fight, and more.
BoxingScene.com: What where your thoughts about Mayweather vs Canelo fight?
Lara: Mayweather is a great fighter. He is the best in the world and there's no question about it. He's very smart in that ring and I really enjoy watching him fight. Canelo is also a very smart fighter who tried to do his best but I feel he lacked experience and conditioning. I think he needed to fight a few more fights before fighting the best. It was a great promotion and I really enjoyed the entire card. I have to give a lot of credit to Golden Boy promotions and Richard Schaefer for putting on a great event for the fans.
BoxingScene.com: If you got the opportunity, how would you deal with a fighter like Mayweather?
Lara: Mayweather is a great fighter who I have a tremendous respect for. He reminds me a lot of a Cuban fighter because he's so intelligent in the ring and is a great counter puncher. Saying all that, I would love the opportunity to share the ring with a fighter who possesses great knowledge to test my abilities and ring IQ. I feel I have the style, smarts and experience to compete at his level. But just like any fighter, I want to earn that shot, and that's why I want Canelo, Martinez, Trout or rematches with Molina or Angulo. I don't care I'll fight anyone, I've proven that.
I feel I can beat any fighter in the world. We are all human and no one is invincible. I feel I have the experience and abilities to beat Floyd. And I say this with all the respect in the world, Mayweather is my favorite fighter to watch and it would be an honor to fight him.
BoxingScene.com: What are your thoughts about the recent comments from Alfredio Angulo, who still believes you thumbed him?
Lara: We’ve had our back and forth on what he feels. Everyone can look at the fight and have your own opinion. He is a very strong fighter with a lot of heart and guts. I feel he's still trying to find an excuse to why he quit in the ring that night. I know he hit me with some great shots that night but I was willing to die and I'm willing to do it again if he wants a rematch. I fought him in his hometown, in a 17 foot ring with a bed mattress as a ring mat. Angulo had all the advantages and I still beat him. Next time I will retire him.
BoxingScene.com: When are we going to see you back in the ring?
Lara: I'm just waiting on my advisor Al Haymon and manager Luis Decubas Jr. to give me the green light. I've been training, staying in the gym, and I'm always ready all year long. Ronnie Shields and I will pick it up next week. We are ready.