Introducing Erislandy Lara

By Ryan Burton


Introducing Erislandy Lara

Former world amateur welterweight champion (2005) Erislandy Lara has left Cuba and is now pursuing a career in the professional ranks, where he is 2-0. Lara took time out from sparring in Primm, Nevada for an interview with Boxingtalk's Ryan Burton. The interview was conducted by Burton in Spanish. One result of note to American fans is that, in their only meeting, Lara beat 2007 world amateur champion Demetrius Andrade.

BT: Thanks for taking the time Erislandy. I believe this is your first time on Boxingtalk.  You are on the first ESPN Friday Night Fight card of the New Year.  Has your opponent been announced?

Erislandy Lara:  Yes.  I don't remember his name.  I know its a Mexican guy and I think his record is 3-2.  We will begin studying for him soon.

RB: It sounds like he's a young guy like you.  I assume you are confident that you will win the fight.

EL:  He has five fights and I have two as a professional.  Who ever does the best in the ring will win and I need to make sure I do what it takes to come out with the victory.

RB: Your story is truly amazing.  Tell us a little bit about what it was like escaping from Cuba in Brazil before the 2007 Pan-Am Games, getting caught and going back to Cuba and then escaping again to Mexico.

EL: I try to leave that all in the past.  Its a sad story.  I had to escape Cuba to make a career and thats why I ended up here in this free country.  Now I can do what I love which is boxing and I can move forward in my career.

RB: I have read now that Raul Castro has taken over leadership of Cuba that the people can use cellphones.  Do you think the conditions are improving?

EL: Yes, slowly they are changing.  We can access the Internet, use cellphones and go to some beaches that were off limits.

RB: What do you want in your boxing career?

EL: I want to move up in my career.  Keep winning fights so I can help my family and be triumphant. Any obstacle that comes, I am confident I will overcome them.

RB: Are your plans to make a name for yourself at 147 pounds or do you want to move up in weight?

EL: I want to stay at 147.  Thats where I am most comfortable.

RB: What did you think of the De La Hoya-Pacquiao fight?

EL:  I was surprised.  I thought De La Hoya's size and big fight experience would be the keys to him winning.  Pacquiao fought a great fight and you have to give him credit.

RB:  What would you like to say to your fans?

EL:  I want to tell all the Cubans that we have came to the U.S. for a reason.  We are the new generation and we all have the capacity to better our lives and make better lives for our families.  We have the opportunity now lets go out and do it.

RB: Last but not least remind the fans when your next figtht is.

EL:  Tune in to ESPN Friday Night Fights on January 9th.  See Yurkiorkis Gamboa, Odlanier Solis and Erislandy Lara all put on a great show.


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