If history has taught us anything, its that it will repeat itself.
If at once there was ever a Caesar (and there was), all he did was pave the way for Hitler, who in between no doubt learned to be a monster from other predecessors of evil.
Throughout our time [using the same premise], history and the collective thought process of a populace that spans so many generations has been running away from an inexorable truth: Man has always produced tyrants of greater degrees.
While Erislandy Lara may have survived Fidel Castro, he’s about to meet his very own Antichrist in the form of Saul Canelo Alvarez.
Not to go all Larry Merchant on your ass (I happen to like the cranky bastard, and miss him on main HBO telecasts), but Lara strikes me as this incalcitrant demigod with ties to a global throne that exists in a utopia only he’s aware of.
It’s the only thing that went through my mind when he sauntered across the stage and crashed Canelo’s post fight press conference following his masterpiece of a beating on Alfredo Angulo. I really found myself in admiration of him for this. I mean, can you imagine where Andre Ward might be today if he actually used his HBO broadcast platform to challenge Adonis “Superman” Stevenson following his demolition of Chad Dawson?
It was a brilliant tactical move on a chessboard, but I think he was more or less a knight moving on the orders of a king. Now, he’s gonna have to fight like one without his imaginary crown (or without his interim WBA super welterweight title, which Canelo refused to fight for).
SAUL CANELO ALVAREZ VS. ERISLANDY LARA
When I was a boy, my uncle took me to see Davey Moore vs. Roberto Duran. No one could have expected the evening that unfolded. Through all the booze, the smoke, gangsters and wild women mixed with all their stinky fragrances, I’ll always remember Billy Collins Sr. going over to shake the hands of Luis Resto and all that happened afterwards.
But as bad as what happened to his son was, nothing could compare to the savage way Duran assaulted Moore that night.
The era’s are as different as Lara and Alvarez are now, but Lara’s arrogance and demeanor leading up to tonight’s bout is reminiscent of Moore’s back then. Duran seethed – fire boiled in his eyes and gut – and I can see the same thing in Alvarez right now. Duran didn’t say much, but his punches screamed at Moore throughout the fight, particularly to the body. They could’ve fought for $3 minus taxes and he wouldn’t have given a sh*t.
It was personal – as will this fight be tonight.
Forget all the talk going around about Alvarez telling members of the assembled press that he’s going to “box” Lara. That is complete bullsh*t and total gamesmanship. This will be at first a very intense tactical war that will turn into an all out war, which will then give way to a gradual massacre.
People really only started talking about Lara after the grand larceny he was subjected to against Paul Williams in summer 2011. He looked great against Williams, one of the game’s best offensive forces ever, but Paul was always about as hittable as a cheap hooker needing bus fare.
In his fight before that against Carlos Molina, he was very bothered by the nuanced aggression of the very tough Mexican, and was undone by his body attack. He was never able to really land anything effective against Molina – who figured out his rhythm, and reduced him to a mobile athlete who survived. He’s not much different today.
When I rolled back the tape of both their fights against Alfredo Angulo and Austin Trout, the one thing that occurred to me is that Lara really doesn’t want to fight at the elite level. He ran from Angulo and he also ran from Trout, who’s a natural boxer/counter-puncher. He doesn’t really want to engage at all, and its not all that different from what we see in fellow countryman and budding all-time great Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Its just that Rigondeaux is much better defensively and technically than Lara.
As soon as he finds out he can’t really land his straight-left on Alvarez with any great effect while feeling the impact of Alvarez’s punches, he’ll know that he’s in with an angry and much more refined blend of Angulo and Molina.
Canelo’s evolution since his delusional showing against Floyd Mayweather will be very evident in tonight’s bout, for he’ll fight Lara the way he should’ve fought Floyd. Spurred on by the San Antonio sized mouth of the brash Cuban, Alvarez will attack him like a bear would a human being in the wild, unleashing never-before-seen hell.
Lara will look for the bicycle he likes to ride, who’s tires Alvarez will have already flattened, and will be forced to walk through fire until he’s extinguished.
In a superstar caliber performance that will send him soaring up the pound-for-pound ranks, Saul Canelo Alvarez will grind, breakdown, beat up and completely dismantle Erislandy Lara over 10 brutally personal rounds.