Exclusive: Lara discusses Zaveck challenge, aims to clean out 154

Credit: Lucas Noonan
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Unified super welterweight world title holder Erislandy Lara is hoping victory over seasoned challenger Jan Zaveck on November 25 will set him up to add more belts to his haul.

The highly-talented Cuban, who combined the IBO championship with the WBA version by outclassing Delvin Rodriguez in June, has big plans for the future - but on the other hand, is refusing to overlook the Slovenian ex-IBF champion.

“Anytime you can unify titles it’s a great accomplishment, and I have my mind set on being victorious against Zaveck,” Lara exclusively told World Boxing News.

“I’m always ready to put my titles on the line to prove I’m the best in the division. The ultimate goal is to unify all the titles, and if given the opportunity, I believe I can do it as my goal is to unify all the belts at 154 pounds.”

Asked his thoughts on imminent opponent Zaveck, who fights in the USA for the third time following losses to Keith Thurman and Andre Berto, Lara was predictably respectful in his reponse.

“He’s a very durable fighter, even though he tends to get hit a lot. He likes to keep his hands up and throw power punches. His only losses have come against top level competition and he’s on a three fight winning streak. Zaveck is worthy of a title shot.

“I’ve seen his previous fights in America and like I said he’s a tough guy. He went the distance with Thurman to everyone’s surprise. Most people thought he was going to get knocked out, but again he’s a very durable fighter. Against Berto, Zaveck was coming on strong, but unfortunately he got cut and the fight was stopped early. Berto was on his way to losing that bout, so it proves that Zaveck is a very good fighter.”

With just three weeks to go until the bout at Hialeah Park Race Track in Florida, Lara is deep in camp for the contest that will see ‘The American Dream’ fight for the 26th time professionally since entering the paid ranks back in 2008.

“Training is going good. Ronnie and I are working hard and I’m sparring guys in the gym that like to come forward. Everyone is giving me good looks and I’m very sharp right now. Everyone can expect me to be the same on fight night.

“I know that Zaveck is a rough guy who likes to come forward, so I know he’s going to come with a lot of pressure. I’ll have to prepare for a rugged fight,” he added.