By Bill "Two Scoops" Emes
Teddy Atlas, expert analyst for ESPN's Friday Night Fights, explained why he believes WBA 'regular' junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara (19-2-2, 12KOs) should have won a decision over Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (44-1-1, 31KOs) last Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
He felt Canelo was exposed at times by Lara, in the same way Floyd Mayweather Jr. was able to exploit Canelo's weaknesses last September at the same venue. Canelo was unable to land anything of note when Lara controlled the distance and accurate punches.
"I thought Lara won, I understand 115-113 [for Canelo]...no problem either way. Either you like the aggression or you like the boxing. I thought Lara when he was on the outside used the blueprint that was shown to him by Mayweather. You change range, you give movement, you give angles - Canelo's exposed. [When you do that] he's got problems, but when you stand in front of him he could do better," Atlas told BoxingScene.com.
"He exposed him in those kind of ways, early in the fight especially by changing range, by changing angles, by pot-shotting. Then when Canelo started going to the body, he won those rounds. He was the physically superior, stronger guy in those dimensions. As far as Canelo, he didn't use the jab enough. And when he didn't use the jab, he allowed Lara from the outside to pot-shot, to sniper him if you will, to pick those spots. When [Canelo] got in close, it was his fight, it was his round, it was his moment. When he was on the outside, he didn't control Lara."
Atlas also explained that is most scenarios, when a fight is close and heads to the judges - the fighter who draws the most money, and belongs to the promoter of the event, is usually the person who comes out on top with the judges.
"When you watch a fight, and it's a close fight, I would love someone to do a breakdown of the percentages of how often - when it's a competitive fight - or it's a halfway competitive fight or maybe it's not even competitive - but how many times does the decision go to the promoter's fighter....99% of the time? Is that an accident or is that following the money? I thought that in this business you are supposed to follow the punches, but I've been proven wrong. I'm slow, I get it after a while - follow the money," Atlas said.
"And the promoter was [Oscar] De La Hoya. And in this case De La Hoya had Canelo, the second biggest star in the business behind Mayweather. And he's basically out of business [if Canelo loses]. I made a joke that if Canelo loses, the next day it's not Golden Boy Promotions - it's Bronze Boy Promotions. There is a garage sale, there is a problem, so follow the money."