Former WBA junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara 25-3-2 (14) is looking to kick-start his career with a win over Argentinean WBA ‘regular’ champion Brian Carlos Castano 15-0 (11) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on March 2.
The 35-year-old Cuban-born southpaw has not fought since April last year when he was dropped in the final round to lose a razor-thin split decision to Jarrett Hurd 23-0 (16) by scores of 114-113, 113-114 and 113-114 in a WBA and IBF unification bout.
“Everybody knows that I wanted the rematch with Jarrett Hurd, but he had a shoulder injury and wasn’t willing to fight me coming off it. I wanted the rematch and it wasn’t available for me,” Lara told Boxing Talk.
“Sometimes in boxing you have to go with the best guy available and I feel like that guy is Castano for me.
“I think people criticize the secondary title when they choose to because some people are out there crowning Canelo for winning a secondary title and treating him like he’s King Kong, but I just got to focus on Castano.
“He’s a world champion, he went to France to win the belt and he’s a real fighter with a serious amateur background. He’s got wins over Errol Spence and [Sergiy] Derevyanchenko, so I have to be at my best to win this fight.”
The classy Lara, whose two other losses came against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez by split decision and Paul Williams by majority decision, believes he deserved the nod in the Hurd fight and won’t be leaving anything to chance against Castano.
“Coming off a fight like Hurd where it was a great fight that I thought I won, I got to make sure I don’t leave any doubt,” he said.
“I’m not trying to have two losses in a row on my record. I’m going out there to beat this young champion and to take his belt. After that if Hurd, [Jermell] Charlo, [Tony] Harrison, any of them. If they want a big name I’m going to be here waiting for them.”