Canelo vs Lara prediction: Breaking it down

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On Saturday July 12th, one of the most anticipated match-ups of 2014 will take place as Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (43-1-1 31KOs) takes on Erislandy Lara (19-1-2, 12 KOs).

This is a pick’em fight as fans and members of the media are split on who they think will win.

Here’s a breakdown of the advantages each man has.

Speed- There’s no question that Lara is the quicker of the two men in both hand and foot speed. This will be Lara’s biggest advantage in this fight as Canelo tends struggle against fighters with speed who can move and attack at different angles. Advantage: Lara

Power- Both men are solid punchers as evident by the fact they are the only fighters to knock down Austin Trout. Although many of his knockouts have come against lesser opposition or smaller men, Canelo is the harder puncher of the two. Advantage: Canelo

Chin- In his fight against Alfredo Angulo in June 2013, Lara was knocked down twice. In comparison, when Canelo fought Angulo in March, Angulo couldn’t hurt or stun Canleo. To date, Canelo has never been knocked down in 45 professional fights. Advantage: Canelo

Stamina- Canelo tends to fatigue during the second half of fights. Many attribute this to Canelo's struggles to make the junior middleweight limit of 154 pounds. Perhaps that's why the limit for this fight is 155 pounds. Lara, on the other hand, hardly shows signs of fatigue, and seems to gain momentum as the fight progresses. Advantage: Lara

The X Factor: Canelo’s fan base and marketability- Canelo is vastly more popular than Lara as this is his second PPV fight as the A-side fighter so there’s much more money invested in him. In fact, there’s even talk of a mega fight with Canelo and new WBC and Ring Middleweight champion Miguel Cotto sometime in the next 12 months; so a loss to Lara may jeopardize a bigger fight with Cotto.

Judges seem to tend to favor the bigger draw the benefit of the doubt in rounds that are close so Lara may actually need to win nine rounds if he hopes to win a decision. Lara was the victim of judges favoring the bigger name fighter in July of 2011 when he lost a majority decision to Paul Williams. Most ringside observers and fans thought Lara won that fight.

Since Canelo is leaps and bounds a more popular fighter than Paul Williams it would be a tall task for Lara to win a decision. In fact, some would argue that Canelo has already received preferential scoring from judges in his fight in 2013 against Austin Trout. Ringside observers thought Canelo won a close fight, but the judges had it by a wider margin (115-112, 116-111, and 118-109).

Could the same thing happen again on July 12?

Adavantage: Canelo

Prediction: This will be a highly competitive fight from start to finish. I see two of the judges favoring Canelo’s harder punches, and they may be influenced by the crowd’s reaction when Canelo throws combinations that may or may not land cleanly on Lara.

Prediction: Canelo by split decision


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