Brian Castano vs Erislandy Lara Preview Mar. 2nd
Unbeaten WBA Jr. Middleweight Brian Castano of Argentina will be defending his title against former IBO and WBA Champ Erislandy Lara of Cuba at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York this Saturday, March 2nd. The 12-round bout can be seen live on Showtime in the USA and on TSN 4 in Canada. Lara’s last bout was in April of last year when he dropped a split decision to IBF Champion Jarrett Hurd in a highly entertaining bout. Castano hasn’t fought since last March when he defended his title against Cedric Vitu via a 12th-round TKO.
Castano vs Lara Betting Odds
- Brian Castano +140
- Erislandy Lara -165
The 35-year-old Lara is a southpaw who now fights out of Houston, Texas. He climbs into the ring at 25-3-2 with 14 Kos under his belt. He’s elusive with a lot of boxing skills, but doesn’t have too much in the way of one-punch power as his knockout ratio currently stands at 47 per cent. He’s just 5-feet-9-inches tall with a 74-inch wingspan. Lara won the vacant IBO title by beating Delvin Rodriguez via unanimous decision in June of 2015. He won the interim WBA title in June, 2013 by stopping Alfredo Angulo in the 10th round after being dropped in the fourth and ninth rounds.
As well as defending his titles against Yuri Foreman, Vanes Martirosyan, and Delvin Rodriguez, Lara also defended them against Ishe Smith by decision in December of 2012 and Jan Zaveck by third-round knockout in November of 2015. Lara’s other two pro defeats came at the hands of Paul Williams by controversial majority decision in 2011 and a controversial split decision to Saul Alvarez in July of 2014. He also fought to a nine-round technical decision draw with Martirosyan in 2012 and a 10-round majority draw with Carlos Molina a year earlier.
Lara is an excellent technical boxer and his power may be a bit underrated. He’s often not the most exciting boxer around though, but bucked that trend against Hurd. He’s boxed 199 rounds since turning pro in 2008. Before that he enjoyed an excellent amateur career in which he won numerous titles, including three straight national crowns in Cuba as a welterweight. He has a bit of an awkward style, but has become more fan friendly lately by letting his hands go and throwing more power shots. He’s sometimes dominant, too defensive and hard to hit and that can lead to boring fights.
Castano is 29 years fold and won the interim WBA crown in November of 2016 when he stopped Emmanuel de Jesus in the sixth round of a slugfest in which both boxers were down. He then defended the belt against Michael Soro by split decision and Vitu. Castano owns a perfect record of 15-0 and has 11 Kos under his belt. He’s certainly got some power in his hands with a current knockout ratio of 73 per cent. Castano is four inches taller than Lara at 6-foot-1 but his 67-inch reach means he has a big seven-inch disadvantage.
Castano turned pro back in 2012 and has boxed a total of 79 rounds since then. He’s fought the majority of his career in his homeland against numerous unrecognizable opponents, but this will be his fifth contest in the USA. Castano also had a fine amateur career with several medals to his name as a welterweight and beat Errol Spence at the 2011 Pan America Games qualifying tournament. He also fought for Argentina in the World Series of Boxing and defeated Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Lara has a lot more experience against top-level opponents and that will help him. He also has a solid chin and slightly better boxing skills. However, Castano is more fan friendly due to his power and his boxing skills shouldn’t be taken lightly. Remember, this is a guy who outboxed Errol Spence as an amateur. Lara will be in trouble if he underestimates Castano, who’s also six years younger than him. If Lara’s chin holds up and he lets his hands go this could be an exciting fight. Castano has a decent chance to retain his belt here, but I think Lara has enough left in the tank to win a close fight, especially if he uses his reach advantage.
Lara’s experience should be the difference, but it’s still a close call.
Play: Lara -165 @ BetOnline.ag
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