By Ian S Palmer
Erislandy Lara vs Yuri Foreman Preview January 13th
Southpaw Erislandy Lara of Cuba will be defending his IBO World Super Welterweight and WBA Super World Super Welterweight Titles at the Hialeah Park Racing & Casino in Hialeah, Florida this Friday, January 13th when he takes on former WBA champ Yuri Foreman of Belarus. The 12-round bout can be seen live in North America on the Spike network. Lara, who know fights out of Houston, last fought in May when he beat Vanes Martirosyan by 12-round unanimous decision in a rematch. Foreman, who fights out of Brooklyn, New York, took on Jason Davis in June in his last outing and stopped him in the second round.
The 33-year-old Lara enters the contest at 23-2-2 with 13 Kos under his belt. He’s an elusive southpaw with a lot of boxing skills, but not too much in the way of one-punch power as his knockout ratio currently stands at 48 per cent. The champion has a two-inch height disadvantage since he’s just 5-feet-9-inches tall, but his 74-inch wingspan gives him a two-inch reach advantage. Lara won the vacant IBO title by beating Delvin Rodriguez by a unanimous decision in June of 2015. He won the interim WBA version in June of 2013 by stopping Alfredo Angulo and defended it by decision against Austin Trout six months later.
As well as defending his titles against Martirosyan, and Rodriguez, Lara also defended them against Ishe Smith by decision in December of 2012 and Jan Zaveck by third-round knockout in November of 2015. Lara’s two career defeats as a pro have been at the hands of Paul Williams by controversial majority decision in 2011 and a controversial split decision loss to Saul Alvarez in July of 2014. He’s also fought to a nine-round technical decision draw with Maritosyan in 2012 and a 10-round majority draw with Carlos Molina a year earlier. Lara is an excellent technical boxer and his power may be a bit underrated. He’s not the most exciting boxer around though and has boxed 171 rounds since turning pro in 2008.
As for Foreman, he’s now 36 years old and was inactive for two years between late 2013 and 2015. He’s fought twice now since returning to the ring. He stands 5-feet-11-inches tall with a 72-inch reach and has boxed 224 rounds since turning pro back in 2002. Foreman’s a hard worker, but lacks power as he’s stopped just 27 per cent of his opponents. He’ll be entering the ring with a fine record of 34-2 with 10 Kos. His two losses came against Pawel Wolak in March of 2011 when he was stopped after six rounds and against Miguel Cotto when he was halted in the ninth round a year earlier.
Foreman’s biggest wins have been over Jess Soto Karass, Troy Lowry, Andrey Tsurkan, Saul Roman, Anthony Thompson, Donny McCrary, and Daniel Santos. He also fought Cornelius Bundrage, but the fight was halted and called a no-decision after Foreman received an unintentional head butt in the third round and couldn’t continue. Foreman won the WBA Super Welterweight Crown against Santos in November of 2009 and lost it seven months later against Cotto.
Lara had a great amateur career and has successfully adapted to the pro game, but sometimes appears to be too good to be exciting. He can be dominant and hard to hit and that can lead to boring fights. He’s much more exciting when de decided to box offensively rather than defensively. When he lets his hands go he’s very effective and hard to beat, but he’s often too cautious. Foreman is a solid pro whose inactivity may cost him. He lacks the power to stop Lara and won’t be able to outbox him. Therefore, expect Lara to successfully defend his crown for the fifth time by decision or late stoppage.