WBA and IBO Super Welterweight champion Erislandy Lara looks to stay busy as he awaits a big money fight with the other champions in his weight class. The 33-year old Cuban faces former champion Yuri Foreman on January 13th in Hialeah, Florida.
Red Hot Division
2016 saw the rise of boxing’s 154-pound division with the arrival of the Charlo twins. Jermall and Jermell winning world titles made the light middleweight division more interesting enough for Canelo Alvarez to return to the division he once dominated. Alvarez won the WBO version of the title by beating Liam Smith last September. With three big names holding the other three belts, Erislandy Lara must stay relevant to get one of them.
After losing a disputed split decision to Canelo in 2014, Lara has won four fights in a row. In his most recent outing, Lara scored an impressive UD win over Vanes Martirosyan in May of 2016.
Yuri Foreman won the WBA Super Welterweight title in 2009 by defeating Daniel Santos. He lost it in his first title defense against Miguel Cotto the following year. During that loss, Foreman tore his ACL and took nine months off before losing to Pawel Wolak in his next fight. The Fighting Rabbi then took 22 months off before his current six-fight winning streak against unknown competition. He’s boxed over 200 rounds in his career and has faced some quality opposition along the way. There is no way to disrespect Foreman, but it’s unlikely he will get past Lara.
Cherry Picked Opponent?
Lara is a huge -7000 pick to beat Foreman who is currently at +3000. During his prime, Foreman was a solid boxer with excellent defense. But that was before he had his injuries and long layoffs. He hasn’t fought a meaningful bout since Cotto and hasn’t been really impressive against low quality opposition either.
Many think Foreman is simply a cherry picked opponent to keep Lara busy. Lara is younger, faster and stronger than the aging Foreman and he has the tools to make this an easy looking fight. If you are looking to bet on a knockout though, this isn’t the fight to bet on. Twelve of Foreman’s last 14 victories have been by decision while Lara is known as a technical fighter who uses excellent defense to avoid getting hit. He also owns a 74 inch reach that keeps him out of danger against any opponent. We’re picking Lara to win by a wide unanimous decision.