Many times the line between professional athletics and proselytizing the Christian faith have been crossed by the finely tuned machines that love them both. From boxing heavyweight champions like George Foreman and Evander Holyfield to football legend Reggie White and QB Tim Tebow the world’s most practiced religion has been confessed and believed by some of the biggest names in the game. This particular relationship between religion and sports has caused ya boy 12 to invite a personal friend of mine to the corner store for an interview because his story rides this wave with the exception that he never played an NFL down. It wasn’t because he wasn’t good enough, but to the contrary, he made the conscious choice to hang up his cleats right before his name would have been announced at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. He instead chose to put down the playbook and pick up the prayer book. Or was it that he was chosen to do so by the Higher power? I’ll let my brother speak for himself. Welcome my manz Minister Roderick Cantu to the Corner Store.
Interview with 3x World Boxing Champion Reggie “Sweet” Johnson: Is it Canelo vs Lara or Cuba vs Mexico world cup 2?
Tonight marks the night that all of the talking will be brought to a head. Bank accounts, popularity, reputations, promoters, hardship stories, or who beat common opponents in greater fashion won’t mean a thing in the ring. The only thing that will squash the talk and settle the beef is who brings it tonight and ” throws them thangs” the best like we say on the block. I never saw Lara fight before seeing his face on the promo poster in Mission Tx a few weeks ago so I pulled up some of his fights on demand and youtube. I liked what I saw from Lara. He does not have the one punch bomb type power, but he causes accumulative damage throughout the duration of the fight. Against El Perro Angulo Lara was dropped twice by powerful left hooks that dazed him, but didn’t finish him off. He, on the other hand, applied steady south paw jabs and straight left hands to Angulo’s face all night until Angulo’s orbital bone cracked over the top of his left eye and caused El Perro to turn his back on the action signaling to the ref that he could no longer continue.
The Austin Trout match was more of a technical chess match between two south paw counter punchers. Lara used his patience and Cuban school training to lure Trout out of his comfort zone by making him be more offensively aggressive than he normally likes to be. Lara dropped Trout with a mean right left 2 piece that sent the usually stout chinned Trout to the canvas in a James Brown styled split in the 11th round. HAAAAYYYYY! GOOD GOD!
Canelo had the opposite amount of difficulty although the red head emerged victorious in both fights. He dominated Angulo for the entirety of the fight causing the ref to step in after an uppercut landed flush against Angulo’s chin. Trout, however, gave Alvarez trouble in the later rounds after being wobbled and dropped by a straight right to the mouth. I’m more than sure that this is exactly what Canelo wants to do to Lara in order to shut him up. Even though Trout was obviously hurt by the shot that sent him to the canvas for the 1st time in his previously undefeated career he got up to hand some really good shots on Canelo causing some ,including Trout, to think that the match should have been judged a draw. I personally think that the knock down swung the decision Canelo’s way. No controversey here.
Enough of my thoughts. I’m not as qualified to discuss the sweet science as my distinguished guest and 1st time visitor to the Corner Store is. Introducing The 3x World Champion Reggie “Sweet” Johnson. He was gracious enough to grant me an interview in regards to his feelings about tonight’s fight.
12: Saturday July 12th is the date that Saul Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara face off in a much anticipated junior middleweight showdown. I think the different styles will make this an interesting fight. How do you feel about the Alvarez- Lara matchup?
RJ: I think it is an Awesome match up and will be a plus to boxing and the fans will be well pleased.
12: Who does Canelo remind you of as a fighter? What about Lara?
RJ: Canelo reminds me of Vargas.. Lara reminds me of a little of Vernon Forest but with less power.
12: Both fighters come from countries that are very passionate about their boxing champions. Mexico and Cuba have reputations for having tough skillful fighters that don’t turn away from a fight. do you think that this fight will turn into a good old fashioned World Cup brawl at any point?
RJ: I think this will turn out to be the classic boxer beating the slugger or the classic slugger beating the boxer.
12: This is the biggest fight of Lara’s career, outside of his fight to split from the Cuban government, how do you think he will respond?
RJ: I think he will deliver in great fashion.
12: I would love to see Canelo fight Miguel Cotto or Maidana. What do you see in the future for Canelo if he wins? Who do you think he should fight?
RJ: Likewise as a matter of fact I would love to see the winner of this fight take on Miguel Cotto or Maidana.
12: Lara had said that after he disposes of Alvarez, he will take out Floyd Mayweather. What do you think about that sentiment? Who do you think he should fight next if he wins?
RJ: I think he should fight the man that will secure him the most security (MONEY), which is Mayweather.
12: Angulo knocked Lara down twice. Do you think that he fall victim to Canelo’s power?
RJ: When that bell ring the square circle becomes the arena of the unexpected. Anything can happen. Lara got up twice and got the job done against Angulo which means Canelo’s power will be challenged and tested as well.
12: Canelo had problems keeping up with Mayweather’s movement/foot speed and defense. Lara has similar traits. Do you think he will be too tricky for Saul to figure out?
RJ: I think if Lara takes Canelo into the late rounds he will win. Canelo must get to Lara early to win this fight. Lara’s skill set enables him to win this fight easy after 8 rounds.
12: Lara trains in Houston, Texas, our hometown, with Ronnie Shields. Have you had a chance to meet him? Are you familiar with Shields? What do you think he brings to the table as a trainer?
RJ: Yes I’ve been to their gym and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Lara . Ronnie shields is every fighter that he trains secret weapon. I’ve been knowing Ronnie since I started boxing at the age of 12 and he was a great fighter as well.
12: Lastly, what is your prediction for this fight?
RJ: This is a tough fight to call but being a smart man in the ring I must go with the smart man. I like Lara in a upset 12 round split decision.
12: Thank you for your time and for stopping by the Corner Store to chop it up with your boy 12 Champ. We’ll be in touch again soon.
12 is dippin out.
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