Boxing


Erislandy Lara-Ronald Hearns Verbally Agreed To For Ortiz-Berto II Card

Erislandy LaraBy James Slater: Fans are already excited about the rematch of the April thriller between welterweights Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto, with the Feb. 11th fight officially announced. But the card looks set to deliver even more value for money, with a quality fight as support.

Dan Rafael of ESPN.com has written how light-middleweight contenders Erislandy Lara and Ronald Hearns have verbally agreed to fight at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas. According to Lara’s promoter Luis DeCubas, the fight will take place at a maximum weight of 157-pounds.

DeCubas says Lara is a threat to “anyone at 154.” The 28-year-old Cuban southpaw was last seen losing a highly contentious decision to Paul “The Punisher” Williams; the July fight up there with the most controversial fights of 2011.

A former amateur standout, Lara, 15-1-1(10) well and truly made a name for himself at pro level against Williams, even though he was judged a loser. Hungry and ready, he says, for the best at 154, Lara will be welcomed back by the U.S fans.

32-year-old Hearns, 26-2(20) was last seen being stopped in the 7th-round by defending WBA middleweight ruler Felix Sturm. The son of the great Thomas Hearns was a big underdog going into the February fight, and as expected Sturm was just too good for him. “The Chosen One,” as Hearns is known, gave it his best shot, however. Having campaigned down at 154 prior to the Sturm shot, Hearns will no doubt feel more comfortable against Lara.

Hearns will have a significant height advantage over Lara, and having been in with a physically strong 160-pounder in Sturm, Hearns fans will feel Ronald has a genuine shot at beating Lara. Neither guy is a massive puncher, yet both guys can box well.

This one could be a chess-match-type fight. Having had a year out of action by the time the fight rolls around (Hearns saw a September fight with World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight titlist Julio Cesar Chavez fall through), Hearns could be a touch rusty. This aside, I think his fast hands, good boxing skills and heart will stand him in good stead.

Lara looked great against Williams, but is “The Punisher” a shot fighter? I think a distance fight is likely, with both men having a great chance of winning the decision.

Also set to appear on the February card that will go out on Show Time is unbeaten featherweight prospect Gary Russell Junior, who will face a TBA according to ESPN.com

Article posted on 20.12.2011



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