Lara vs Castano : Lara is 35 years old, and he’s facing his third undefeated opponent in a row. Castano, meanwhile, has never faced an opponent as skillful as Lara. But Lara’s best days might be behind him, and it’s unclear if he’s still good enough to defeat an emerging talent like Castano and take his secondary junior middleweight title.
Erislandy Lara vs Brian Castano
Place: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Time: 9:00 pm ET
Lara vs Castano Live Stream
“Brian Castano is coming into this fight with an undefeated record, but it’s nothing I haven’t seen before,” Lara said. “I’m taking this very seriously. Stylistically, I feel I’m the superior fighter, but he’s a very strong champion. I will be prepared to take back a title in this great division, then look to the biggest fights that are out there.”
The last time we saw Lara in the ring, he was engaged in the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Fight of the Year vs. Jarrett Hurd. Lara’s reputation at the time was that he was a boring yet highly effective fighter. His battle vs. Hurd, though, was exciting. Take a look at the highlights and see how Lara lost by a slim split decision.
Nearly a year later, Lara (25-3-2, 14 knockouts), a Cuban defector, said he still believes he beat Hurd.
“The fight against Hurd was a great fight for the fans, but I felt I won seven or eight rounds that night,” he said. “To be on the wrong end of another close decision left a bad taste in my mouth. That fight being recognized as ‘Fight of the Year’ shows my versatility as a fighter. I was on the ballot before with Alfredo Angulo [in 2013], so it was good to get recognized for being a warrior, not only a craftsman.”
He might have to be a bit of both vs. Castano (15-0, 11 KOs), a 29-year-old from Argentina.
Lara vs Castano : Showtime
“I’ve been boxing since I was a small child and now this is my opportunity to prove myself on the biggest stage,” Castano said. “This fight is the moment I’ve been waiting for and the kind of tough challenge that I love. I want to make a statement to the American audience against one of the best fighters in the world.”
So far, Castano’s résumé is fairly thin. He barely squeaked by his best opponent, Michel Soro in 2017, and four fights ago, Castano was battling an opponent with an 18-16-4 record. In other words, Castano has never faced anybody as remotely as good as Lara, who is still one of the top junior middleweights in the world and who is a -170 betting favorite (meaning you’d have to bet $170 on Lara to win $100).
“On paper we know that Lara is a slick fighter that can be difficult to catch, while I’m more like a demolisher that goes after you all fight,” Castano said. “Lara moves around the ring very wisely and has great timing on the counterpunch. In the ring, you never know how it can play out though. I probably haven’t faced someone like him before, so I have to cut off the ring in an even smarter manner … This is the opportunity that I’ve dreamed of ever since I was a little kid and I have to be ready to rise to the occasion.”