By Miguel Rivera
It's nearly been a week since Cuba's Erislandy Lara defeated Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo in Carson, California; when Angulo refused to continue in the tenth round. Now the new WBA interim super welterweight world champion talks to BoxingScene.com about some of the things that happened before and after the fight with Angulo.
"First, I want to explain that a person came to us and told us clearly that on fight night I couldn't get into the ring with more than 10 pounds over the weight limit of our division. For that reason, we only went up to the limit of 164 pounds, but we were surprised that Angulo weighed 174 pounds that night, indicating to us that the 10 pound limit was only for Erislandy Lara. We had no written clause to talk about this weight limit, but they told us that and we followed this instruction," Lara said.
"Another thing is that both Angulo and me, we are both big junior middleweight and what surprised me was the ring size. I was surprised to see the ring was so small. Also, something unusual happened during the fight, a woman I guess designated by the California Boxing Commission, constantly preventing my seconds from putting water on me... I never saw this happen in any of my previous fights."
About the post-fight comments made by his promoter, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who says it will be tough to get Lara over with the public - the Cuban boxer said the statements were not surprising.
"It's something they have been saying since I’ve been a professional. However, I think they are the ones who don’t give me the opportunity to prove otherwise, when I'm not given the opportunity to be in the big fights. Everything that was said by Richard Schaefer about me are just excuses that read really badly because they come from someone who is supposed to work to promote my fights," Lara said.
And about Angulo:
"I don't think Alfredo Angulo deserves my respect and even more so he does not deserve a rematch. He requested that my gloves and wraps be inspected after the fight and making statements that I hurt him with my thumb is absurd and I consider that disrespectful. We are now looking at other targets, and our plans don’t have Alfredo Angulo's name attached to them. We think Miguel Cotto and Austin Trout are the battles that the boxing fans want to see. There, we can draw conclusions about what was said by Schaefer - and if those fights are done we will know if I can sell or not sell, as stated a person who should be working to make these fights and not giving bad statements about one of his fighters."
"It’s my duty to establish that we don’t have any fear to fight "El Perro" Angulo again. It’s not that, but the attitude of "El Perro" honestly freaked us out. I think the fighters deserve respect, and I think what was done by Angulo should be considered a lack of respect for me and for boxing. What would people think or how would they look at Erislandy Lara, if I attacked his decision not to continue fighting? So that rematch is not in our plans and if he was in our plans - Angulo's attitude is responsible for his elimination."
"Mentally, I'm a well-built athlete. I was, for a long time, the captain of the boxing team in my country, and that helps me to stay calm in all of my fights. That responsibility helped me maintain mind control and not despair in the match. Certainly, these two knockdowns in the fight with Angulo affected me emotionally, but in my opinion, the important thing was that I got to move forward and the final result when raising my arms was the reward for my bravery."
"I’m very happy with the result, and fight against him taught me many things. First, nothing is said and done, until the fight is over. We appeal to our reserves in every way, physically and mentally to win this fight. And there the two of us fought, and the results are speaking for us."
"I do not want to leave [this interview] without first saying a thank you to all the boxing fans. I do not forget that we are two men who went up there in the ring to fight with pride and courage. This career is not easy and the applause and support of everyone of you out there is something that is very important to me. Mexico and Cuba are countries with a long standing boxing tradition. Sometimes we win, sometimes they won, but beyond boxing our countries are like brothers and we share many things.