WBA light-middleweight title challenger Erislandy Lara is clearly still rankled by his July defeat to Canelo Alvarez as the Cuban prepares to face Ishe Smith in San Antonio, Texas on Friday night.
‘The American Dream’ was on the wrong end of a 117-111, 115-113, 113-115 reverse against the Mexican in his career-definer in the summer, but plans to put it all behind him and claim the world title outright for the first time.
“I have been working on making it absolutely clear there is no question of who won the fight (against Canelo). As fights go on, you have to keep getting better and keep improving,” said Lara.
“You take an experience from every fight. I think there is no question I won over seven rounds of the fight. If you want to give Canelo some of the rounds I wasn’t punching, that’s no problem, but you are not going to tell me I wasn’t punching and that he beat me in seven of the rounds. That’s crazy.”
Lara has always called on the best fighters out there to meet him in the ring, and once he takes care of Mayweather protégé Smith, the Cuban southpaw says he is setting his sights on the main man himself in 2015.
“I just want to fight the best. I want to fight Floyd Mayweather. I want to fight Cotto. If Canelo dares to do it again, I’ll beat him again. I’m not afraid of fighting anyone. I’ll fight the best. Look at my record, it speaks for itself.”
“People make excuses (for not wanting to fight me). It has a lot to do with my style. I’m a crafty fighter but I can also punch. I look at it as excuses. Look at my record, look at all the styles I have fought. In 23 fights, there is not one guy in the sport who has fought all the guys that I have fought.
“I have fought (Carlos) Molina, Paul Williams, Alfredo Angulo, Canelo, (Austin) Trout. That’s six top 10 guys in 23 fights. Not even Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao have fought that type of opposition in 23 fights.”