Erislandy Lara vs Brian Castano

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Erislandy Lara vs Brian Castano
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Saturday, March 2, 2019
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
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Fan Cards: Erislandy Lara vs Brian Castano

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Champion97's picture


Interesting fight, good match up.

Lara is very good, has great skills, he is old at 35, been in a couple of damaging fights, the Hurd fight was a war, it was extremely close, but Lara had a bad finish to that fight, got caught flush a few times, dropped, and now he comes back after 11 months out, so questions have to be asked in terms of what Lara has left.

Castano is untested, unproven, he is relatively inexperienced, but his opposition has stepped up in his last couple of fights. Castano was a good amateur, he beat Errol Spence Jr, fought in a world tournament, fought in the Olympic trials, didn't make the Olympics, but still had a decent amateur career, and he beat Sergiy Derevyanchenko in the World Series of Boxing (paid fights, but not considered part of professional boxing). This is a big step up for Castano, this is his chance to prove himself, it is a big ask, if he isn't a good fighter at world level, he won't win. Castano has one win which is meaningful at world level, to a degree, he beat Michel Soro (30-1), it was a close win, an SD, but probably a fight he learned and improved from, and Soro is not bad at any level. Apart from his win over Soro, I don't think anything can really be said for Castano's previous opposition.

Lara is the much more experienced fighter, he has been in against Alvarez, Hurd, came very close against both of them, both split decision losses, he beat Trout, Angulo, Martirosyan, suffered a very controversial loss to Paul Williams, which was a majority decision, a fight almost everyone thinks he won. Lara has had double the fights Castano has had, done over double the rounds, fought at the higher level, had big fights, and Castano might have been a good amateur, but Lara had a better amateur career, beat Demetrius Andrade, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, won a gold and silver medal in world tournaments, had a longer amateur career than Castano. Lara has not fought in 11 months, but it has been 12 months since Castano's last fight, and inactivity will probably be less of an issue for the more experienced fighter.

Time is definitely on Castano's side, being 29, he's in his prime, Lara is past his prime at 35, and although Lara doesn't have that many miles, isn't known for being an all action fighter, he was in damaging fights against Angulo and Hurd. Castano comes off a late stoppage win, so the momentum should be with him.

Both fighters have been dropped, Lara was down twice against Angulo, and in the last round against Hurd, he doesn't have a granite chin, doesn't have a weak chin, but he can be hurt. Castano has been down once, that was against Emmanuel de Jesus (17-1), not a world level fighter or a devastating puncher, but he could punch a bit. Being dropped suggests Castano doesn't have a granite chin, but just because he's suffered one knockdown, doesn't mean he doesn't have a good chin.

Castano has 73% KOs, that suggests he is a puncher, Lara has 47% KOs, he can punch a bit, he is not a non-puncher, but he is not a puncher either, and he doesn't have a lot of power. Although there probably isn't as much in it as the percentages suggest, Castano probably has more power than Lara.

For size, it is interesting, Castano might be naturally bigger, he is 6'1, Lara is 5'9, but on the other hand, Lara has 7 inches of reach on Castano, both fighters have fought at light middleweight in at least their last 4 fights, but Castano weighed in at 148-149 against Vitu, a career lightest, he has fought at middleweight a few times, Castano, and at 6'1, you would think he must be big for 154, but having made 149 in his last fight, that can't be the case. The Alvarez fight was at 155, but apart from that, all Lara's fights since 2012 have been at 154, like Castano, he has fought at middleweight, but is really a light middleweight. I don't think size will be a factor in this fight.

If Lara loses this fight, I think he should retire, he has nothing to prove, and he will only decline. I think the pressure is on Lara, but Castano as well, less so, but this is a big opportunity, he is getting Lara at the right time, he might not get a better and more realistic chance to prove himself at world level if he loses this.

It is a very tough fight to call, it depends more on Castano than Lara. I think Lara might still have too much skill, too much pedigree, and he might have the beating of Castano. I think this will be a decent fight, interesting fight, on the inside, it's Castano's fight, on the outside, it's Lara's fight.

I think this will be a close fight, Lara is past his best, will probably be slower, fade earlier than in recent years, and Castano will be aggressive, win the rounds when the fight is at close range, but in a lot of the rounds, Lara will be too technically skilled, will outbox Castano, use his reach, and pick him off at long range. I think it will be close, but Lara will edge the fight, maybe by MD.