Junior middleweights Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout have each expressed the desire to face each other in what would be a clash of southpaw contenders, meaning that all it will take is for their mutual advisor, Al Haymon, to work out a deal for a matchup that would likely be promoted by Golden Boy.
Lara (18-1-2, 12 knockouts) rose from knockdowns in the fourth and ninth rounds to score a 10th-round stoppage of Alfredo Angulo last month that helped him to rebound from a disputed draw with Vanes Martirosyan in November of last year.
Trout (26-1, 14 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to RING champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez last April.
A Lara-Trout fight would pair two young veterans widely considered to be among the best 154-pounders this side of Alvarez, who will be facing Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sept. 14.
RingTV.com spoke to Lara about his recent victory over Angulo and his desire to meet Trout in this Q&A below.
RingTV.com: What did you learn from your last fight with Angulo?
Erislandy Lara: Angulo is a very difficult fight for anyone. He applies tremendous amounts of pressure, but I love fighting guys like him.
As an amateur or pro, I had never been dropped in a fight before, so I learned how to deal with that adversity and made it fan-friendly fight, so I’m happy.
RTV: What did you demonstrate by rising from the canvas twice?
EL: It showed that I will do whatever it takes to win a fight, and that I have a big heart to win. I have to give a lot of credit to my team for getting me in great shape and having the right diet to be strong coming into the fight. It was a good lesson, moving forward in my career.
RTV: Was the resulting action in the fight the result of your underestimating Angulo or did you fight the right fight?
EL: I fought the right fight for the fans. My last fight, I had a fractured knuckle entering the fight and couldn’t put on an exciting performance, and I still won. But fans weren’t happy. I want to put on action fights, moving forward.
RTV: Is there anything you would have done differently against Angulo in retrospect?
EL: I might have clinched him up a bit when hurt, but I feel I gave the fans a great night of boxing. Those are the things you learn from these experiences.
RTV: What do you believe led to Angulo’s resigning and essentially — I don’t want to say quitting — but turning and walking away, leading to the stoppage?
EL: I was hitting Angulo with a lot of shots to that eye. I can see that the swelling was affecting him, so I kept targeting him there.
I think he took enough punishment and saved his career by turning away. There was no need for him to continue if he was badly hurt, which he was, and I was coming on strong.
RTV: Do you believe that you would have eventually knocked him out, and, if so, why and how?
EL: Yes, I believe I would have stopped him because he was starting to get reckless and he knew he was behind and felt he could try to put me away, and that’s how I walked him into the fight-ending punch. I was ready to turn up the pace.
RTV: Would you like to fight Austin Trout next?
EL: Since Canelo and Mayweather are fighting, Austin Trout is someone that I would fight. If you look around, I don’t want to wait to fight the best guys I want them now. I don’t want to wait, so let’s get it on. He says he wants it, I want it, let’s do it.
RTV: If you and Trout wind up fighting, how do you believe that fight would go?
EL: Since Trout and I are southpaws, it would be interesting. I feel I would stop him. There’s a difference between getting hurt and trying to survive and getting hurt and weathering the storm and fighting hard. If we fight, and I hurt him, I will look to stop him and not let him survive.
RTV: Would you like to be on the Mayweather card?
EL: I want to fight the best guys and looks like Trout is the best available guy so if it’s on that card or any time I’m ready.
Photo by Emily Harney, Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]