The Lone Star State, is a state unified in its love for Texas. If there is one thing Texans love it’s Texas. Even yours truly has been known to wear his Texas credentials on his sleeve. However, there is a rivalry, a split that exists especially among sports fans in Dallas and Houston. There’s a bitter rivalry among the two towns that has grown stronger and more bitter over the past few weeks since the upstart Houston Astros won game seven of the World Series. A feat the Dallas area based Texas Rangers have never accomplished.
There is another Dallas/Houston all Texas shootout brewing. Not on the diamond or on a Texas gridiron, but in the squared circle. Work with me here. I know Erislandy Lara is obviously a Cuban native with a long accomplished amateur career as a Cuban national. That being said he resides in Houston and has so for years. He has been a part of Ronnie Shields thriving Houston based Plex Boxing Gym. In the other corner Errol Spence Jr is a Big D Dallas boy from the Oak Cliff section. So this fight makes sense on a variety of levels.
No one at 147 wants anything to do with Spence, that is abundantly clear.The IBF champ is seemingly being avoided by many of the top powers (Keith “No Time” Thurman) who looks like he is going to take a tune up in March now, not January. Then rematch with Showtime Porter who also doesn’t want anything to do with “The Truth” using the excuse of he doesn’t want anything to do with the IBF strap. Swift Garcia just wants nothing to do with him or anyone else at the moment. Spence has a January 20th date with Lamont Peterson, a respectable opponent who should put up a game effort, but one that Spence should get past. Additionally it looks like Crawford will be battling the Jeff Horn/Gary Corcoran winner. Which takes all of the other relevant welterweights off of the table for the foreseeable future.
The division just north of Welterweight is another ultra competitive, super talented division. Top Junior Middleweights, Jarrett Hurd and Jermell Charlo are calling each other out and it looks like they are going to get each other in an all action fight. Another top 154 pounder, Miguel Cotto, is fighting a farewell fight and then retiring and the other premier fighter in the division, Demetrius Andrade is now campaigning at 160. This leaves Lara without a big time fight again. The “American Dream” has often been called the most avoided fighter in boxing and that doesn’t seem to be changing.
Spence is a tremendously large Welterweight, Lara is not compared to other Jr Middle’s a particularly big for the weight class. There probably isn’t much difference in the walking around weight between the two. Especially considering in Spence’s last fight, his star making performance, his stoppage of Kell Brook, who is another very large Welterweight, who fought his previous fight at Middleweight and Spence was able to take his best shot walk him down and stop him. Suggests Spence shouldn’t have a problem going to 154 to fight Lara or Lara shouldn’t have a problem moving to a catch weight of 150 or 152.
Lara has been on the outside looking in on most peoples Pound for Pound lists. Just outside of the most elite level. He was robbed blind in his biggest fights against Paul Williams and Canelo Alvarez. He is now 34, and desperately looking for that win that major name on his resume. Errol Spence represents just that. For Spence nobody at 147 has him on his schedule. Spence has the size and strength to move up or catch up in between. This is the best name and best fight that Spence can realistically get anytime soon, assuming he gets pass Peterson. A win against Lara would put him in rare territory of holding belts in two different weight classes simultaneously.
There’s a natural home and market for this fight in the Lone Star State. After Spence disposes of Peterson as he should. Neither fighter will have anything on the docket and no other top fighters at the weight willing and/or available. Which makes late May or early June the ideal weekend for this Texas duel. It doesn’t have to compete against college football Saturday in Texas which would kill ratings and attendance. Sure as heck won’t have to compete with the Dallas Mavericks Playoff games for obvious reasons. The fight can be held indoors in either the Toyota Center in Houston or the American Airlines Center in Dallas or outdoors in Minute Maid Park in Houston where Canelo and Kirkland went at it a few years back. A Lara/Spence fight stylistically makes a ton of sense and would be a lot of fun to watch. The stalking and body attack of Spence trying to chop down the quintessential boxer/mover in Lara. They are both PBC fighters and it can headline a night of all Texas fighters. It makes all too much sense. Lara Vs Spence for the WBA 154 pound strap. Let’s sign on the line that is dotted. I see no reason not to!