For as much as Erislandy Lara has been praised by critics for his beautiful mastery of boxing technique that led him to become the enduring face of the 154-pound division over the past decade, the former Cuban amateur standout was equally derided by fans for what was deemed a boring style. 

That narrative has somewhat quietly changed for Lara (26-3-3, 15 KOs) over the past two years, thanks to a pair of all-action battles against Jarrett Hurd and Brian Castano — which netted Lara a fight of the year award and plenty of respect despite the split-decision loss and split draw he was forced to settle for, respectively.

Nearly one year to the day of his rebound win by knockout against Ramon Alvarez, Lara returns on Saturday in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles…

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