Erislandy Lara returns to the ring on Spike TV on June 12

His nickname is “The American Dream,” but the ice cube-slick Erislandy Lara has proven to be far closer to a nightmare—when he’s in the ring, at least.

Erislandy Lara and Canelo Alvarez

Cuban star Erislandy Lara, right, will defend his 154-pound world title against Delvin Rodriguez in Chicago on June 12.

And that’s where the Cuban boxing standout will soon return, as Erislandy Lara (20-2-2, 12 KOs) prepares to take on battle-tested veteran Delvin Rodriguez (28-7-4, 16 KOs) at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion on June 12, when Premier Boxing Champions returns to Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT.

Also on the broadcast: Hammer-fisted, 175-pound Russian knockout artist Artur Beterbiev (8-0, 8 KOs) looks to build upon his status as one of the hottest prospects in the sport when he throws down with Frenchman Doudou Ngumbu (34-6, 13 KOs).

For Lara, one of boxing’s premier technicians and a defensive whiz, this will be his first fight since handing former 154-pound champion Ishe Smith a lopsided decision loss in December.

“I'm very excited to be fighting on Spike TV on June 12 in Chicago." Lara said. "Delvin Rodriguez is a tough veteran fighter who I respect. He has a lot of heart and determination. But once the bell rings, I'm looking for the knockout."

Rodriguez is looking to rebound from a draw against former 154-pound champ Joachim Alcine in May 2014 and a tough loss to Miguel Cotto prior to that.

"On June 12, I am going to change everyone's mind about me and show that I can beat Lara," Rodriguez said.

That’ll be a stout challenge, as Lara was one of the more decorated amateur fighters in Cuba’s boxing-rich history, and his only two pro defeats came in highly debatable decision losses against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Paul Williams.

How questionable was the Williams verdict? Afterward, the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board suspended all three judges due to concerns about the way they scored the fight.

But as his words suggest, Lara isn’t looking to leave things in the judges’ hands this time out.

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