By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Erislandy Lara understands Demetrius Andrade’s frustration.
There was a time when the Cuban southpaw’s career was stalled, and he couldn’t get the type of fights and purses he sought. That’s why, according to Lara, Andrade has called him out repeatedly for what would be one of the best fights that could be made at 154 pounds.
“Andrade’s frustrated,” Lara told BoxingScene.com through a translator. “He’s got no money. He’s broke. And I’d probably be acting the same way as him.
“He’s desperate. When you’re without money and you’re without fights – I know what it’s like. I fought plenty of fights for $10,000. No one wanted to fight me. I had to fight Paul Williams for a fraction [of what it was worth]. It’s all about business. He can call our team and we’ll make the fight. Trust me, I’m not afraid of Andrade at all.”
The 34-year-old Lara (25-2-2, 14 KOs), the WBA/IBO super welterweight champion, easily defeated previously unbeaten Terrell Gausha (20-1, 9 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-round main event Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The 29-year-old Andrade (24-0, 16 KOs) will return to the ring this Saturday night in Verona, New York, where he’ll square off against Alantez Fox (23-0-1, 11 KOs) in a 12-round middleweight match at Turning Stone Resort Casino.
HBO will televise the Andrade-Fox fight, the first of Andrade’s new three-fight deal with the premium cable network, as part of a “Boxing After Dark” tripleheader (10:05 p.m. ET/PT). Andrade, the WBA world super welterweight champ, told BoxingScene.com recently that he will compete at 154 pounds and 160 to keep his options open.
Lara would face Andrade next, particularly if he cannot secure a fight against WBC champion Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) or IBF champion Jarrett Hurd (21-0, 15 KOs). Charlo knocked out mandatory challenger Erickson Lubin (18-1, 13 KOs) in the first round Saturday night at Barclays Center, right before Hurd stopped former WBA champion Austin Trout (30-4, 17 KOs) after the 10th round.
“Come on, now,” Lara said. “Everyone knows I fight the best. Look at my resume. I already beat Andrade in the amateurs, easily, handily [in the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro]. As a matter of fact, Andrade looks like he’s getting worse. And personally, I think Andrade is weaker than Hurd or [Jermell] Charlo. That’s not a question. He hasn’t been active. You look at the [Jack] Cuclay fight, he was falling all over the place. I beat Cuclay in the amateurs, too. I’ll beat them both on the same night.”
Andrade, of Providence, Rhode Island, won his piece of the WBA super welterweight championship by edging Ecuador’s Culcay (22-2, 11 KOs) by split decision March 11 in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.