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Erislandy Lara

Height – 5-8
Weight – 154 (junior middleweight)
Born – April 11, 1983
Hometown –Guantanamo, Cuba
Residence – Miami, Florida
Pro Record – 19-1-2 (12 knockouts)
One of the greatest amateur boxers to emerge from Cuba, Erislandy Lara is now on his way to establishing himself as one of the greatest professional fighters to hail from the boxing-rich nation.
Owner of a nearly endless list of amateur accolades, Lara won three consecutive national titles at welterweight, a world championship in 2005, and he was seen as one of the favorites for a Gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games before he decided to defect from Cuba in 2007 during the Pan Am Games in Brazil. Subsequently detained and returned to Cuba, Lara eventually left for good in 2008 and settled in Hamburg, Germany.
Turning pro on July 4, 2008 in Turkey with a four round decision win over unbeaten Ivan Maslov, Lara has since dazzled fight fans in Europe and the United States with his speed, aggressiveness, and punching power. Three of his first four pro bouts ended in the first round, including a 69 second stoppage of 3-0 Keith Gross on February 20, 2009.
After helping to prepare Ricky Hatton for his showdown with Manny Pacquiao, Lara returned to the ring on the Hatton vs Pacquiao undercard in Las Vegas on May 2, 2009 and scored an impressive shutout win over Chris Gray, and he has since stopped 37 fight veteran Edwin Vazquez (May 22), decisioned crafty Darnell Boone (July 17), and knocked out Jose Varela in the first round (September 19), putting his pro record at a perfect 8-0 with 5 KOs.
On December 12, 2009, Lara closed out the year with a near-shutout 10 round decision over Luciano Perez, and he began his 2010 campaign on January 29th with a bout against his toughest foe to date, veteran and winner of ‘The Contender’, Grady Brewer. But in typical Lara fashion, the Cuban made the fight look easy, as he nearly shut out Brewer before stopping him in the tenth and final round.
Next up for Lara was an April 2010 bout in Las Vegas against another hard-nosed vet, Danny Perez, but the result remained the same, as he dominated from start to finish, scoring a 99-91 decision win across the board to improve to 11-0.
In July, Lara dropped William Correa twice en route to a first round TKO win, and on August 18th, he returned to action with a first round stoppage of veteran Willie Lee.
Lara’s next ring appearance was on November 27th in Las Vegas, and he made it three first round wins in a row with a 98 second stoppage of 10-1 Tim Connors that earned him his first pro title, the WBA Fedelatin junior middleweight title.
On January 14th, Lara began his 2011 campaign with his fourth consecutive first round knockout, this one coming against Delray Raines, but on March 25th, he was forced to settle for a 10 round draw with tough Carlos Molina.
Eager to get back on the winning track, Lara returned in the summer of 2011 for a July 9 bout against former world champion Paul Williams, yet despite doing everything he needed to do to score the victory, the judges ruled otherwise, awarding a 12 round majority decision win to Williams in a widely criticized verdict that was seen by boxing observers as one of the most controversial of the year.
Disappointed but undeterred, Lara returned to the ring on February 11, 2012 to face Ronald Hearns, and the Cuban brought his own judges into battle in the form of the blazing fists that ended the fight in just 94 seconds. On June 30, the most feared junior middleweight in the world won a 10 round decision over Freddy Hernandez, and after a controversial nine round technical draw with Vanes Martirosyan in November of 2012, Lara finally put a world title belt around his waist on June 8, 2013, rising from two knockdowns to score a 10th round technical knockout victory over Alfredo Angulo and take the interim WBA junior middleweight championship.
On December 7, Lara will face Austin Trout for the WBA 154-pound crown.