Three light-middleweight champions will lay their belts on the line this Saturday (October 14th). Erislandy Lara, Jarrett Hurd, and Jermell Charlo head to New York City for an exciting tripleheader. Charlo faces a mandatory challenger; Hurd stares down a former champ; and Lara headlines the event with what, unfortunately, looks like a mismatch of a fight.
Erislandy Lara (-1400) vs Terrell Gausha (+800), Draw (+3300)
There’s not much to say here. WBA and IBO light-middleweight champ Erislandy Lara (24-2-2, 14 KOs) should win this fight pretty convincingly. Terrell Gausha (20-0-0, 9 KOs) has an unblemished professional record, but he hasn’t fought anyone of note and is ill-equipped to handle a fighter as technically gifted as Lara.
Lara has been eyeing a move to middleweight for some time, either to avenge his controversial split-decision loss to Canelo Alvarez or face Gennady Golovkin. Neither fight is attainable right now, so he’s had to settle for another light-middleweight bout.
I wouldn’t even say that Gausha has a puncher’s chance. Lara is a very cautious fighter who doesn’t take unnecessary risks. He’s not a volume puncher, instead relying on bursts of brilliance. His bouts may not always be thrilling, but he gets the job done.
Gausha is just a stepping stone to a big-name fight. Don’t waste your pennies on him.
Pick: Erislandy Lara (-1400)
Jarrett Hurd (-225) vs Austin Trout (+200), Draw (+2500)
Jarrett Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs) makes his first IBF light-middleweight title defense against former WBA champ Austin Trout (30-3, 17 KOs).
Hurd defeated Tony Harrison to claim the vacated IBF title back in February and his upcoming fight against Trout is by far his toughest yet. Despite stopping Harrison in the ninth round, Trout’s performance left a lot to be desired. He was picked apart in the opening rounds and only managed to get back in the fight when Harrison began to fade.
A stronger and more adept fighter than Harrison, like say Austin Trout, may have been able to finish the job in the first few rounds. Trout has a career-defining victory over Miguel Cotto (though that was way back in 2002) and has faced the likes of Canelo Álvarez and Erislandy Lara (though he lost both pretty convincingly).
Trout is not the fighter he used to be. His back-to-back losses against Alvarez and Lara along with his recent loss to Jermall Charlo has left him a diminished fighter. But I’ll take the established Trout over the inexperienced and unproven Hurd, especially as a decent-sized underdog.
Pick: Austin Trout (+200)
Jermell Charlo (-150) vs Erickson Lubin (+140), Draw (+2200)
If you had twins, would you call one “Jermell” and the other “Jermall”? Probably not. But that’s what we’ve got with Jermell and Jermall Charlo, who are both undefeated boxing champions.
Jermell Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs) defends his WBC title against 22-year-old Erickson Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs). Neither fighter has ever lost a professional bout, but this will be Lubin’s first significant fight. He earned a shot at the title after stopping Jorge Cota earlier this year, but it’s a little too soon for him to step in the ring with a Charlo.
Jermell is arguably the lesser of the Charlo twins, but he’s still a formidable light-middleweight in his own right. While Lubin is a great future prospect, the experience of Jermell Charlo will win out.
Pick: Jermell Charlo (-150)