Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez will go toe-to-toe with Cuban star Erislandy Lara on Saturday night for the right to be crowned king of the 154lbs division.
Alvarez, 23, who fought Floyd Mayweather Jr last September losing to a majority decision, will attempt to climb back onto the boxing scene with a big win over the slick southpaw at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
After defeating Alfredo Angulo on his return to the ring in March, Lara was on hand to call-out Alvarez at the post-fight press conference, challenging him to a bout. The trash talk worked and now both fighters will let their fists do the talking in the ring.
Right time for Canelo?
Lara, 19, (12KO)-1-2, beat previously unbeaten Austin Trout to claim the interim WBA light-middleweight title. However, being out the ring since December last year won't have helped his preparations and Canelo could have his got man at the right time.
The 31 year-old Cuban suffered his only defeat against Paul Williams, who at the time was ranked number two at the weight behind Sergio Martinez. Since then, Lara has gone unbeaten with notable wins against Trout and Angulo - who Canelo last fought.
What to we expect on fight night
Lara is a tricky southpaw with skill and intelligence. A highly-drilled seasoned amateur, Lara could give Canelo problems in the opening rounds with his jab and accuracy.
Whether his lack of power will be able to keep Canelo away for the full 12-rounds is yet to be seen, but we do know that the Mexican will have the strength should his stamina prevail heading into the back end of the fight.
Canelo has fought 44 times, registering 43 victories with 31 coming by knockout. His biggest win to date was a points victory over veteran Shane Mosley. He has also secured victories against Trout and Josesito Lopez.
Reliant on throwing combinations to the head and body, Canelo may have to be patient in getting to Lara which could lead to mistakes which he is not accustomed to.
A crowd-pleasing volume puncher like Alvarez will not like Lara, who will move around the ring keeping the fight at distance for as long as possible.
Looking to win on points is Lara's likely bet, but in boxing anything can happen.
If Canelo is to prevail, I expect him to bully Lara early on or wait until the later rounds to inflict his damage.
The 23-year-old will have to wait for his opportunity should one open up and with questions over Lara's chin, the Mexican will be confident of hurting his opponent.
What we do know is styles make fights and if someone asked me to pick a winner, I would say just enjoy the fight.
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