Erislandy Lara will be as heavily favored to win his first fight in almost a year as he was the last time he stepped into the ring.
FOX and Premier Boxing Champions announced Saturday night during the network’s Jamal James-Thomas Dulorme telecast that Lara will headline its August 29 show against Greg Vendetti. The unknown Vendetti is the WBA’s 11th-ranked contender for Lara’s world super welterweight title.
The Lara-Vendetti card will take place at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, the same venue where James and Dulorme headlined FOX’s first boxing broadcast in five months Saturday night.
FOX’s three-bout broadcast August 29 also will include Alfredo Angulo and Caleb Truax in a 12-round IBF super middleweight elimination match. The third fight of FOX’s telecast wasn’t announced Saturday night.
FS1 will air Lara-Vendetti undercard fights before FOX’s tripleheader begins August 29, but none of those matchups were announced Saturday night.
In the main event, the 37-year-old Lara seemingly has been afforded a second straight relatively easy fight.
Lara (26-3-3, 15 KOs) knocked out Mexico’s Ramon Alvarez (28-8-3, 16 KOs, 1 NC) in the second round of his previous appearance, last August 31 at The Armory in Minneapolis. The Cuban-born southpaw won the then-vacant WBA world 154-pound crown by beating the completely out-classed Alvarez, who came in 4½ pounds overweight and thus wasn’t eligible to win that title.
The 30-year-old Vendetti (22-3-1, 12 KOs), of Stoneham, Massachusetts, has won two straight bouts by unanimous decision since French contender Michel Soro (35-2-1, 24 KOs) stopped him in the second round of their December 2018 meeting in Levallois-Perret, France.
The winner of the Truax-Angulo bout can climb the IBF rankings, toward a shot at champion Caleb Plant (20-0, 12 KOs).
The 36-year-old Truax (31-4-2, 19 KOs, 1 NC), a former IBF 168-pound champ from St. Michael, Minnesota, is ranked third in the IBF’s 168-pound ratings. The 37-year-old Angulo (26-7, 21 KOs) is rated 12th, but the Mexican veteran upset former WBO middleweight champ Peter Quillin (34-2-1, 23 KOs, 1 NC) by split decision in his last fight, a 10-rounder last September 21 in Bakersfield, California.
The top two spots in the IBF’s super middleweight ratings are vacant.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.