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Michel Soro Wins, Lara Fight Could Well Be Next, Trainer Sanchez Weighs In

Michael Woods



It was a busy boxing weekend, and but of course Pacmania’s Vegas bash topped the slate. But other hitters of note notched Ws, including 154 pound boxer Michel Soro, who got a victory in his homeland.

The 31 year old Frenchman downed 23-2 Anderson Prestot in Marseille on Saturday.

Wait, what?

Wasn’t Magomed Kurbanov supposed to get that slot? Indeed he was; but the dreaded “V” word factored in…

“Visa issues, he got his visa on Thursday evening, still refused to fly out, so they scrambled to find opponent, I really don’t know the other details,” explained Soro trainer Abel Sanchez, “but the opponent was 23-1. It was a good fight for four rounds, in the fifth Soro was able to land some good body shots, had him against the ropes and was punishing him, the referee stepped in.”

Check out the video–Soro smells the blood and goes into full shark mode. The late game replacement tried to battle back, he didn’t fold, but his surge fizzled out. Soro stayed patient…but not TOO patient. His persistent pummeling sent the loser to the mat. He beat a count but the ref looked hard, and long, and waved it off.

Sanchez said that he didn’t even get the opportunity to do homework on Prestot. So, he told Soro what in the lead up to the fight?

“Be yourself and fight our style,” was the request.

So, you should know, Soro holds a WBA crown, the “regular” version…while Julian Williams holds the “gold” version. Soro is supposed to fight Erislandy Lara next…But wait…Lara has a bout booked, he fights Canelo’s brother Ramon Alvarez Aug. 31. The WBA “interim” 154 pound crown will be up for grabs. (Is it interim to the “regular” or their “gold-super” strap? Does it really matter, when all is said and done?)

Sanchez said he and Soro have a plan for Lara, and that is “to win.” No, Sanchez didn’t want to offer up intel on how they’d handle the Cuban. (We are going out on a limb, we know, because no, we don’t assume that the 28-7-3 Alvarez will neccessarily succumb to the 25-3-3 favorite. But let’s assume that for argument sake, the 36 year old Lara gets back on the winning tack, after losing to Jarrett Hurd in a FOY type bout, and drawing with Brian Castano. That scrap had the WBA “world” title on the line, and Castano retained it…For the record, he’d taken it when the ‘BA set up a Castano vs. Soro fight, in July 2017, for that bauble, Castano won an SD.)

I know, this is a tangled web, and the sort of thing that you kind of find hard to stop, once you start going there. Blame the ‘BA, not me!

I noted to Sanchez that it looks like Lara’s legs have gotten less springy with age, making him a more stationary (and fan friendly) fighter.

“True, so we take advantage of all the things we can, but to be the best Soro we can be,” he said.

And what is that “best” Soro?

“I believe that my gym’s success with our system, style, approach and methods of winning, all coaches have a philosophy, if it works and it has, so no reason to deviate. It is unfair and unrealistic to assume that coaches who have had one or two super-star fighters will make every fighter they work with the same, all we can do is teach what we are good at and take our chances, our stars were because of our system!”

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine,, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.