Former world champion Erislandy Lara 25-3-2 (14) is confident he will return to the winner’s column when he takes on WBA ‘regular’ junior middleweight titleholder Brian Castaño 15-0 (11) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn this Saturday night.
The 35-year-old southpaw is coming off a razor-thin split decision loss to world champion Jarrett Hurd last April.
“I had a great fight against Jarrett Hurd. There was a height and weight difference on fight night but that whole experience is history now. My focus is on Castaño and making this another great fight. It’s great to be a part of awards like Fight of the Year, but now I have to move on to what is next,” said Lara, who lost by scores of 113-114, 113-114 and 114-113.
“I just want the biggest fights. There are a lot of great fighters at this weight and around it. I’m going to be ready for anyone who steps up to the challenge.
“I’m here to win and show everyone that I’m the best 154-pounder in the world. I’m going to take a big step in cleaning out the division on Saturday. I’m going to be at my best and bring home the victory.”
Argentinean Castaño, 29, is looking for a breakthrough win on Saturday night against the well-credentialed Lara.
“There’s nothing left to say, on Saturday night, it’s going to be a war. The best fighting the best. This is a truly elite super welterweight I’m facing and that’s what I want. I want to face the best,” said Castaño.
“A fight is a fight. It doesn’t matter who is in front of me. Lara is a great fighter, but we have to beat him to get where we want to go. This is the path we’ve chosen to get to that ultimate goal.
“I think Lara and I are both very well-conditioned and well-prepared for this fight. I’m in the final stages of my work for this fight. All of the toughest and hardest work is already done.
“I’m anxious to get in the ring and hear that first bell. I can’t wait to go in there and get to work on Saturday night.
“I worked so hard for this fight because I know how much is at stake. I’ve been looking for this fight, even before Lara lost to Hurd. Luckily everything came together for me to fight Lara on Saturday.
“I am a crowd-pleasing fighter. I’m going to be aggressive. That’s just my style. But I can also adapt to my opponent. You have to do different things to win a fight of this caliber.”