By Jake Donovan
Erislandy Lara takes his second straight attempt at reclaiming a piece of the super welterweight crown, while Ramon Alvarez’s goal of upsetting the apple cart took a hit at the scales.
Drama ensued at Friday’s official pre-fight weigh-in ahead of their scheduled 12-round secondary title fight—which takes place Saturday evening at The Armory in Minneapolis, Minn. (Fox, 8:00pm ET/7:00pm local time)—as Alvarez was more than four pounds above the 154-pound division limit.
Lara (25-3-3, 14KOs) did his job, checking in at 153.75 pounds in hopes of putting another title around his waist. Alvarez didn’t even come close, as the Guadalajara, Mexico native showed up more than an hour late and still came in at 158.6 pounds, as reported to BoxingScene.com by Fox Sports boxing historian and unofficial scorer Marcos Villegas.
According to Fox Sports’ Kate Abdo, the show will still go on with only Lara eligible to win the “Regular” version of the World Boxing Association (WBA) super welterweight title at stake.
Cuba’s Lara (25-3-3, 14KOs)—who relocated from Guantanamo to Houston, Texas but is now based out of Las Vegas, Nev.—enters on the heels of a 12-round draw versus Brian Castaño this past March. The bout marked his first fight since suffering a hard-fought 12-round defeat to Jarrett Hurd last April in their unification bout which earned honors by several outlets as the 2018 Fight of the Year.
Mexico’s Alvarez (28-7-3, 16KOs) rebounded from a knockout loss to Brandon Rios last November with a 10-round split decision win over Argentina’s Jose Carlos Paz in April. In badly missing weight, he ruins any chance of making history for his fighting family. Younger brother and reigning World middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez enjoyed two tours as a super welterweight titlist before abandoning the division for good following a Sept. 2016 154-pound title-winning effort over Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith.
Rigoberto Alvarez also enjoyed a brief stay as a divisional titlist.
A win by an in-weight version of Ramon Alvarez would’ve marked the first time ever a trio of boxing brothers claimed a title in the same weight division. That dream realistically ended earlier in fight week, as Fox Sports’ Heidi Androl reported that Alvarez has struggled for days to make weight.
A battle of towering super welterweights serves as the evening’s chief support, as 6’7” Sebastian Fondura faces 6’2” southpaw Jamontay Clark.
Fundora (13-0, 9KOs), from Coachella, Calif. by way of West Palm Beach, Fl., checked in at a lean 153.5 pounds, while Cincinnati’s Clark (14-1, 7KOs) came in right at the 154-pound limit.
Dubbed ‘The Towering Inferno’, Fondura enters riding a five-fight knockout streak. Included among the run are stoppage wins over previously unbeaten foes Donnie Marshall and Hector Manuel Zepeda, both in 2019.
Clark bounced back from his lone career loss to Jeison Rosario last summer with a 10-round decision over previously unbeaten Vernon Brown this past March.
Opening the telecast, unbeaten Cuban export Frank Sanchez (12-0, 10KOs) collides with Puerto Rico’s Victor Bisball (23-3, 17KOs) in a 10-round heavyweight attraction.
Sanchez, from Las Vegas, Nev. by way of Guantanamo, Cuba, checked in at 224 pounds, while Bisbal tipped the scales at a beefy 275.25 pounds.
All three bouts air live in primetime on Fox, beginning at 8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox