Not one, not two, but three important, potentially division altering matches take place this Saturday, October 14th.
SHOWTIME Championship Boxing and Premier Boxing Champions presents a “World Championship Triple-Header” featuring some of the very best at 154 pounds. Literally, 5 of the 6 men featured on this card are ranked in the Super Welterweight top 10, per RING Magazine. The designated place is Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY., the designated time of the television broadcast is 10PM EST.
Erislandy Lara (24-2-2, 14 KO's) vs. Terrell Gausha (20-0, 9 KO's),
The main event pits reigning Super Welterweight champion, Erislandy Lara, against 2012 United States Olympian, Terrell Gausha. Lara, a former captain of the Cuban national boxing team, holds the WBA “Super” title (as opposed to the “Regular” version) and the lesser regarded IBO strap, at 154 pounds. He’s been a mainstay in the division since 2011, when he lost a highly disputed decision to Paul Williams. Since then, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Ishe Smith, Yuri Foreman and 2004 U.S. Olympian, Vanes Martirosyan, have all been defeated. There was also that one time, with Canelo Alvarez, arguably a win, yet officially a loss on Lara’s ledger,
Pound for pound, the 34-year-old Lara’s as technically sound as any current boxer, but sometimes he moves too much for his own good. When he plants his feet and fires away, the southpaw has above average pop and accuracy on his punches, On the downside, Lara frequently looks to maintain distance and avoid punching exchanges, which occasionally bites a fighter in the ass in a subjective, preference oriented sport with judges. This approach cost him dearly against Alvarez, who gets the benefit of the doubt more times than not, if it’s even reasonably close.
Terrell Gausha’s a good, honest, hardworking sort who turned 30 just over a month ago. But as Floyd Mayweather would say, he’s “straight up and down, no special effects”. Hard to make a case for Gausha unseating Lara as champion; the Cuban should win by clear cut unanimous decision or possibly a late stoppage, if he’s so inclined as to make a statement.
Jermell Charlo (29-0, 14 KO's) vs. Erickson Lubin (18-0, 13 KO's),
The co-main event has generated more talk than any of the three pairings on the card; par for the course whenever young, undefeated pugilists risk that “0” against one another. Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo, 27, is a year and a half deep as the WBC Super Welterweight champion, supremely confident and not the least bit interested in relinquishing anything anytime soon. Conversely, mandatory challenger, Erickson “The Hammer” Lubin, 22, has been tabbed as a “can’t-miss star” by a growing number of fans. Lubin was on the fast track to the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, but elected to turn pro three years earlier instead.
To this point in his career, Lubin has rarely, if ever, been made to do a single thing he didn’t necessarily want to do, in the ring. When he feels the urge to engage, he engages. Ditto for staying on the perimeter, working the jab, playing defense, etc. But at some point, an opponent will force you into giving ground, avoiding the incoming, holding to stave off a barrage of blows or even getting up off the canvas.
Lubin has a capable jab, but doesn’t always use it, which could prove costly against a pretty good jabber in Charlo. The “Hammer” wishes to get within close range and do damage, but “Iron Man” typically charges a hefty toll for that privilege. Lubin has snap on his hooks, likes hurting his foe and will take chances in the name of landing a highlight reel KO. He fights very much like a guy who’s had no certified drama yet, but rest assured he’ll encounter some Saturday night. Lubin relies on athleticism more than skill and for the first time as a pro, he’s matched with a skillful, athletic boxer. The more experienced Charlo is accustomed to southpaws, having shared trainers and regularly sparred with IBF Welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr., since 2015.
Lubin’s on record saying he’ll beat Charlo “easy”; if he does that, he’ll have validated himself as a can’t miss Boxing star.
Jarrett Hurd (20-0 14 KO's) vs. Austin Trout (30-3, 17 KO's)
IBF Super Welterweight laurels will also be at stake as titlist, Jarrett Hurd, meets veteran, Austin Trout, in what is deemed a “crossroads” bout for both. Trout, who once held the WBA belt within the division, is looked at as a litmus test, a gatekeeper blocking Hurd’s path to the elite at 154 pounds. Hurd, who acquired the IBF Super Welterweight title, vacated by Charlo’s twin brother, Jermall, is desperately in need of a signature win. Basically, he’s in the same bout as Lubin, only Hurd’s a half decade older and proven to be less explosive, at this stage of both men’s careers.
Trout, 32, is offended by the notion of being a “name” to boost the resume of Hurd and will lean heavily on having been there and done what Hurd hopes to achieve. Motivation and ring-time with Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, Jermall Charlo and Erislandy Lara fuel his chances.
At the end of the day, the current state of the 154 pound weight class will be impacted one way or the other and bigger, better bouts will be on the horizon.