Current WBA “regular” junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara addressed the media during a call before his bout with Greg Vendetti.
Erislandy Lara defends his WBA “regular” junior welterweight title against Greg Vendetti on Saturday, Aug. 29. Lara’s advancing age proved to be a hot topic.
Lara (26-3-3, 15 KOs), 37, who lives in Houston by way of Cuba, won the title in 2019 by knocking out Ramon Alvarez in two rounds. It was a departure from his normally cautious boxing style. He recently told Boxingscene.com that he wants to excite fans now that he’s towards the end of his career.
On Wednesday, Aug. 26, Lara and Vendetti (22-3-1, 12 KOs) addressed the media via a conference call days before their scheduled contest. Here are the highlights of their conversation.
Erislandy Lara quotes
“I feel better than ever. I’ve been training hard and working well, heading into this fight. I feel stronger than I did a couple of years ago, and I’m totally ready for this fight on Saturday.
“The difference people have seen in my last few fights isn’t about my fighting style or even about trying pleasing the fans. I just do what is needed inside of the ring. I have to see what each fight requires me to do. If it pleases the fans, then that’s great. But I’m always focused on doing what I have to do in each situation during each fight.
“I firmly believe that I can be the undisputed best fighter in this division. Most of the other champions haven’t faced me yet. We’ll see how it plays out, but I believe that I can come out on top against anybody at any time in a very competitive division.”
Greg Vendetti quotes
“I look at it like this is just another human like me that I’m facing. He’s made of skin and bones, and I’m sure he has his doubts about himself. Maybe about his age and about if I can get to him. I don’t get intimidated by anything in the ring. I’m just really excited to test myself against one of the best fighters of this generation.
“I’ve approached this fight like I’m getting the best version of Lara that’s ever existed. I’m not taking him lightly at all. But if you look at his performances as of late, it’s not the same Lara you saw against Angulo and Canelo years ago. The agility is not there as much. It almost seems like he’s doing just enough to try to win these fights and not really going the extra mile to dominate.”
The primary undercard leading into Lara vs. Vendetti is an IBF super middleweight title eliminator between Caleb Truax and Alfredo Angulo. Both were victorious in their last fights and want a shot at the current champion Caleb Plant.
“First thing’s first, I have to focus on Saturday night,” said Angulo. “Whatever comes next, including a possible fight for the world title, it will only happen if I win. This will be an interesting fight and a great challenge for me.”
“Whoever wins could get that opportunity against Caleb Plant, which you have to acknowledge, but none of that happens without going through Angulo first,” said Truax. “So, I have to take care of what’s in front of me Saturday.”
You can watch Lara vs. Vendetti and Truax vs. Angulo on Saturday, Aug. 29, on FOX, starting at 8 p.m. ET.