Cuban veteran Erislandy Lara hopes to embark on a middleweight unification series after he takes on underdog Thomas ‘Cornflake’ LaManna for the vacant WBA Regular crown at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, on May 1.
At 38, Lara’s top-flight career would appear to be drawing to a close, but the slick southpaw is eyeing an Indian Summer at middleweight, having won two WBA belts at 154lbs. He won’t have a better chance at a 160lbs crown than a fight against the unfancied LaManna (30-4-1, 12 KOs), who is ranked No.113 among the world’s active middleweights by BoxRec yet charitably granted a title opportunity by the WBA.
“I’m looking to become a two division and three-time world champion,” said Lara 27-3-3 (15 KOs). “I take great pride in being a fighter that puts everything on the line. I want to face any-and-all challengers, and this will continue May 1. My goal is to be an all-time great and a legend in the sport. I’m moving up in weight to become a world champion and show the world I’m ready for new challenges.
“A victory against LaManna will put me in position to challenge the other champions at middleweight. I am looking at unification bouts, I want the biggest bouts possible, but I must win this fight first. There are a lot of meaningful fights at middleweight, and I want them all. I want to be a Hall-of-Famer and go down as one of the best Cuban boxers to ever do it. For my legacy to be thought of that way, I have to fight the best.
“Thomas LaManna is really big and tall and brings a unique style to the ring. This is not an easy fight at all, and I know I will have to be my very best to come out victorious. He has never fought for a world title so I am fighting a person who is looking to accomplish his lifelong dream of becoming a world champion. I am fully prepared, focused, and I’m expecting a tough fight.”
Main image: Team Lara.