Erislandy Lara, Jermell Charlo's next fights to headline October Showtime card
Lara, Charlo and Jarrett Hurd will each defend their 154-pound titles in tough matchups
A trio of quality junior middleweight title bouts highlight boxing's return to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in a move that's one step closer to finding clarity at 154 pounds.
Showtime announced the Oct. 14 card (10 p.m. ET) on Wednesday will be headlined by WBA champion Erislandy Lara (24-2-2, 14 KOs) against 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha (20-0, 9 KOs). The card, presented by Premier Boxing Champions, will be co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions.
In the co-main event, WBC champion Jermell Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs) faces top prospect Ericsson "The Hammer" Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs). In addition, IBF champion Jarrett Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs) will face former titleholder Austin Trout (30-3, 17 KOs).
Three of the four recognized junior middleweight titles will be at stake on this night, featuring four unbeaten fighters. The fourth belt, the vacant WBO title, was claimed last Saturday by Miguel Cotto in a decision win over Yoshihiro Kamegai. Cotto, 36, said he plans to retire following his final fight in December.
"This is a blockbuster card for boxing fans," TGB Promotions' Tom Brown said. "The 154-pound division is full of talent and this card is loaded with the best champions and top-ranked contenders in the division. The guy who will be the eventual king of the division is fighting on this show and the fans will be treated to matches that will determine who that unified champion will be."
Lara, 34, has remained the class of the division for three years, dating back to his controversial split-decision loss to Canelo Alvarez. He'll face a slick boxer in Gausha, 29, who will be making a considerable leap in class.
"I've been talking about this since I was a three-year-old watching Muhammad Ali on television," Gausha said. "I'm here now and blessed for this opportunity. Lara's a tough fighter, champion and the best opponent I'll fight on paper. He's been in with the bigger names. But the better the opponent, the better I am, and I'm coming to dethrone him."
Charlo, 27, the twin brother of former 154-pound titlist Jermall Charlo, enters the card as the division's hottest fighter after knocking out Charles Hatley and John Jackson in consecutive bouts. He'll be facing an exciting young contender in Lubin, who is just 21.
"Lubin is young and hungry and I know he always comes to fight, but there's a reason why I'm where I am in the sport," Charlo said. "I've been through the trenches and I don't plan to stop anytime soon. This is what boxing always needs -- two young, undefeated fighters willing to risk their '0'. But I think it's a little early for Lubin to step in the ring with me, and I plan on keeping my title."
Trout, 31, looks to return back to a level of prominence he saw in 2012 by defeating Cotto, which led to a unification loss against Alvarez the following year. Fresh off a hard-fought decision loss to Jermall Charlo in their 2016 title bout, Trout faces an exciting and fresh face in Hurd, 26, who stopped Tony Harrison in February to win a vacant title.
"I got a Trout to catch," Hurd said. "His losses have all been to top champions Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara and Jermall Charlo. But I'm on a streak of six straight knockouts and Trout has never been stopped, so I'm looking for the stoppage to make a statement that the other fighters couldn't make."
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