Erislandy Lara has just two stoppage wins in the past five years but feels the time has come to rack up another early night at the office.

The 38-year-old Cuban export didn’t take kindly to the threat of his opponent, Thomas ‘Cornflake’ Lamanna vowing to knock him out this weekend. Lara has never been stopped in 33 pro fights and with each of his three defeats ending with razor-thin decisions going the other way.

The two-way promise on Saturday night is that their Fox-televised secondary middleweight title fight will not see the final bell.  

“If he is here to knock me out, well I am coming to knock him out as well,” a bold Lara promised during Thursday’s final pre-fight press conference ahead of their fight, which airs live on Fox this Saturday from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. “I am going to everything in my power to knock him out by the 4th round.”

Lara (27-3-3, 15KOs) has seen nine of his last 12 fights all extend the distance, though with three knockout wins over that stretch ending inside of four rounds or less. The most recent occasion came in Aug. 2019, when Lara stopped Ramon Alvarez in the 2nd round of their vacant WBA “World” junior middleweight title fight.

Also along that period, Lara sent a one-legged Yuri Foreman back into retirement with a 4th round stoppage in Jan. 2017, while blasting out Jan Zaveck inside of three rounds in their Nov. 2015 title fight.

All three bouts took place at junior middleweight, where Lara has spent the bulk of his career. Saturday’s fight will be contested at middleweight, where Lamanna (30-4-1, 12KOs) has campaigned for his last two fights—scoring knockout wins versus mediocre competition.  Still, the 29-year-old enters brimming with confidence of extending his current streak even as a massive underdog this weekend.

“I’m just waiting for May 1,” Lara stated, more interested in making a bigger statement in the ring than on the mic. “Everyone has tried to knock me out. They tried at 154 and now they will try here at 160. I came here to fight and will do everything I can to knock him out.”

The Fox telecast precedes a four-fight Fox Sports Pay-Per-View event from the same venue, topped by an all-Mexican heavyweight clash between California natives Andy Ruiz (33-2, 22KOs) and Chris Arreola (38-6-1, 33KOs).

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox