By Keith Idec
Erislandy Lara isn’t the least bit concerned about Jarrett Hurd using Alfredo Angulo’s game plan against him Saturday night.
Hurd has stated throughout the buildup toward their super welterweight title unification fight that he’ll apply pressure and attack Lara the way Angulo did during his eventual loss to Lara, and then some. That’s fine by Lara, who overcame knockdowns in the fourth and ninth rounds to stop Angulo in the 10th round of their 154-pound title fight in June 2013 in Carson, California.
Mexico’s Angulo was still in his physical prime when he battled Lara, but he suffered what he thought was a broken orbital bone around his left eye and couldn’t continue. The Cuban southpaw warned Hurd during a recent conference call that he’ll suffer a similar fate if Hurd approaches him like Angulo did.
“Every fighter wants to knock you out when you get in that ring,” Lara said. “Paul Williams wanted to knock me out. Canelo, Vanes [Martirosyan]. He keeps mentioning how it’s gonna be Angulo and this and that. Well, Angulo connected on me twice. But don’t forget how that fight finished. I ended Angulo’s career. I ruined his career and I put him out of the top level of boxing.
“And if Jarrett Hurd thinks he’s gonna come like that, I’m gonna end his career, too, at 27 years old. So come April 7th, I’m hoping he puts that pressure, so I could ruin his career for all the talking he’s been doing.”
The bigger, seemingly stronger Hurd didn’t react to Lara’s threat when asked on that conference call what he thought of Lara’s assessment.
“I mean, here’s the thing, man – we all know that Lara has the experience,” Hurd said. “He’s seen every style from right-handed to southpaw to anything you give him, he has seen it all. But one thing he has not experienced [is] what I’m about to give him. So it’s not about the styles you’ve seen. It’s about what you’re about to experience.
“So this is a whole different ballgame when you get in there to fight with Jarrett Hurd, and you see how they all end. I speak from the heart, man, basically and I say what I feel. I’m not just out here talking just to talk. I’m putting in the work. The way my camp is going and the way I see this fight playing out, there’s no way that Erislandy Lara is gonna come out on top.”
The scheduled 12-rounder between the 27-year-old Hurd (21-0, 15 KOs), of Accokeek, Maryland, and the 34-year-old Lara (25-2-2, 14 KOs), a Houston resident, will be the main event of Showtime’s tripleheader from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). They’ll fight for Hurd’s IBF 154-pound championship and Lara’s IBO ad WBA super welterweight titles.
Mexico’s Angulo, meanwhile, will take on former WBC 154-pound champ Sergio Mora (28-5-2, 9 KOs) in a non-televised eight-rounder on the Hurd-Lara undercard. The 35-year-old Angulo (24-6, 20 KOs) is 2-3 in just five fights since Lara stopped him nearly five years ago, including a completely one-sided, 10th-round TKO defeat to Canelo Alvarez in March 2014.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.