90 minutes before the start of the fight against Jose Sanmartin, Mauricio Lara sat in a curtain in the ring of the bull he would fight that night enjoying a bag of food the size of an airplane. Lara was laughing and joking with the team, and his good friend and featherweight Emanuel Navarrette, looking completely unconcerned with the action set in the ring.
Every fighter’s personality is different outside the ring than it is inside, but few are as flexible as Lara. During the week leading up to the fight, Lara was cheerful, almost a welcoming ambassador to her colleagues and promotion staff, greeting everyone in the fight hotel whether they met or not. in. Lara was very proud to be able to make headlines in his hometown of Mexico City, and the smile on his face proved it.
When asked by reporters about Leigh Wood, who is scheduled to fight for the WBA featherweight title at the end of September, he stated that he thinks Wood is an honest person and that his injury was justified. Sometimes, when asked specifically about Sanmartin, he would give a vision of a monster that would change when the bell rang.
“I am a train without brakes, no one can stop me,” as he told reporters, while holding his little daughter. “I will destroy him.”
As he walked to the ring, Lara’s smile remained as he enjoyed the sound of the mariachi band playing inside. His promoter Eddie Hearn later revealed that he was a little nervous watching his entrance because he had never seen Lara smile before.
When his shirt is removed and he is introduced, Lara goes back to his real fight, one of the most violent boxers in the world.
Lara’s fighting life is full of these dichotomies. His impressive session does not contain any of the decorations that most fighter sessions do. Lara cried over his partners as he wanted to hurt them so much. Signs of unity were nowhere to be found. Then, after he scolds his colleagues, Lara sleeps on the beds in a ranch with them, playing Playstation and chatting about life while she looks out the three-person window that shows the vast countryside.
In the morning, Lara enjoys running and stretching in the mountains, where he says the air is cleaner and the weather is calmer, as if he needs to calm down before the atrocities he is about to commit.
In Sanmartin, Lara found the receiver of his power, the perfect style that suits him. Sanmartin tried to hurt Lara and took a beating on his hands and gloves – that is, he was standing on the runway. She is a brave woman, standing in front of Lara, she laughed, she scolded and blamed the crime that she did not commit.
After two rounds of one-sided offense, Lara received the fuel to hit another tool, a low kick from Sanmartin. Lara, who was singing, walked around, holding his cheek all the way and started to get angry. All the barriers he had carefully built to hold himself back in the war were now broken. When the match resumed, seconds before the end of the round, Lara ran and landed a left hook and an uppercut that caught Sanmartin in the back. Before the fight, he promised that the fight would not go beyond four rounds, but this time he decided not to go to three.
In the third round, Lara hit Sanmartin with a right hand which forced Lara to kneel. Presented with an injured opponent, Lara is brilliant, and soon has Sanmartin stuck on the ropes, taking penalties and in a fugue state abandoning the Sanmartins. give in an attempt to escape. Just when the referee was about to call the fight, Lara blasted Sanmartin with a left hook that caused him to sit down, his back leaning and split between the middle and bottom ropes.
What makes Lara interesting to watch and compelling to study is that he refuses to pay attention to the boxing convention as a whole. At times its broad, windmilling veers border on the comic, but it’s nothing. It’s scary to see a hero in a world title picture suffering from unbridled and abandoned rage, the same way one might watch a street fight, driven by fever and nothing to guide him but wanting to hurt the person in front of them. . Lara takes this approach to boxing’s highest level.
There is certainly a subtlety and subtlety in his approach. In pure long range, Lara will still land a few shots straight up the middle, or she will short her left hook and leave it with just a twist of the elbow. However, Lara’s hitting since breaking out onto the world stage in 2021 has been particularly frightening.
Lara has polished off the classic boxing scene and made it look sleek. His win over Emilio Sanchez earlier this year will put him on this year’s Knockout list. Frenzied, jumping left hook that bent Sanchez back evokes memories of Deontay Wilder’s knockout of Bermane Stiverne in 2017, both in terms of the position of the victims who were in a coma, but also in the unrestrained, brutal way it was delivered with him.
After his victory against Sanmartin, Lara clearly still needs time to slow down before he can return to his form. When asked about Leigh Wood, Lara now says he is convinced he is breaking the injury that caused their fight to be postponed altogether. And when asked about Josh Warrington, he coolly explained that he wanted to “protect his career.”
Lara took his daughter in his arms and took her back to the locker room. He says that she is the reason why he wants to be a world champion, which maybe has a lesson when understanding Lara. Aitana was born just two months before he faced Warrington for the first time. Boxing is not something that Lara enjoys, or is fully committed to in the first place, by his own admission. Before the Warrington fight, Lara wasn’t the Bronco we see now – in fact, that’s the very reason why Warrington chose him from a field of four rivals. But the birth of his daughter gave him the fuel he needed to become something greater. How else could someone muster the kind of brutality he was dealing with without going into some sort of protective instinct? How do you protect a possessed person?
In his neighborhood of San Felipe de Jesus, there is a mural of Lara. His face image appeared next to the superstar luchador Psycho Clown. It is appropriate, not only to appear next to one of the favorites in Mexico City, but next to a person who becomes someone else when they enter the ring again. When Lara leaves the ring, however, after making a reservation about the future of his daughter, who may be far from the neighborhood, he can smile again.
Corey Erdman is a boxing writer and commentator based in Toronto, ON, Canada. Follow him on Twitter @corey_erdman