Thursday, February 26, 2015
Erislandy Lara - Is Miguel Cotto Interested?
So now word around the twitterverse is that lineal middleweight champ Miguel Cotto may indeed be interested in fighting Erislandy Lara. This comes as a bit of surprise, for Lara may be as avoided as Gennady Golovkin, a man who we're widely told Cotto is afraid to get in the ring with.
Of course there are differences between the middleweight they call GGG and Lara. Golovkin is a predator who destroys what's in front of him. Lara, on the other hand, is a world class Cuban slickster. Highly polished, extremely skilled, the guy is hard to catch, much less beat. And yet people love to give him a bad rap.
Truth be told, I felt Lara was robbed when he fought Saul Canelo Alvarez last year - and I'm a Canelo fan. Sure, it was a close fight, but I felt Lara owned it in the end. Then again, there are many out there who disagree. That being said, there are many people who simply don't like Lara because of his frustrating style. And that's unfortunate.
Not liking a fighter because he doesn't get beat up is like not liking a major league pitcher because he keeps you from seeing homeruns, or an athletic NFL quarterback who keeps you from seeing sacks. It's ridiculous when you think about it.
Lara, simply put, is one of the best athletes in the world. Annoyed by his style? Cheer for the other guy. Don't cheer for the man not getting fights, though. That's like wanting the Super Bowl to get cancelled because you hate the New England Patriots.
Boxing is a sport, not a popularity contest. And the 20-2-2 Lara is one of the best athletes the sport has to offer. Besides, it's good to keep in mind that over half of Lara's victories have been by knockout. It's not like the man is disinterested in getting a KO, after all.
So, will Cotto take the bait and get in the ring with the Cuban immigrant who calls himself "The American Dream?" I wouldn't be disappointed if he did. It would show that Cotto isn't afraid to risk another loss on his record - and it would give Lara another chance to prove himself amongst the sport's elite.