Ricky Hatton's 'southpaw' preparations began with a Vegas sparring session with World Amateur champion Erislandy Lara.
27 year old Lara won three consecutive national amateur championships at welterweight (2005-07), and was the world champion at welterweight in 2005.
Lara, who was considered to be one of the favorites at welterweight for the 2008 Beijing Olympic games, left the Cuban amateur boxing team on July 22, 2007 during the Pan-American games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Lara left the team with Guillermo Rigondeaux Ortiz, and initially was reported to be turning professional with ARENA Box-Promotion and Ahmet Oener.
However, Lara was subsequently arrested with Rigondeaux, and stated that he wanted to return to Cuba.
Lara subsequently escaped from Cuba again via speedboat to Mexico. He has since signed with Arena Box-Promotion and turned professional in July 2008.
Anyone know if this is true?