SAN DIEGO, October 14, 2017 – On a very busy night in sports across the U.S. with college football, baseball playoffs, hockey, and soccer in full swing, fans who chose to take in boxing action from Brooklyn on the Showtime tripleheader boxing card did not go away disappointed.
Three titles were at stake in three solid matchups. In all three, the reigning champions prevailed. But each of them held onto his title in very different displays of boxing skills.
WBA world champion Erislandy Lara (25-2-2, 14 KOs) of Cuba defended his title for the sixth time, defeating American 2012 Olympian Terrell Gausha (20-1, 9 KOs) and handing him his first loss in the main event. It was a solid unanimous decision, with scores of 116-111 and 117-110 X 2.
Lara is a classic Cuban tactician, and he put on the expected display of skill, dominating Gausha for 12 rounds. It’s surprising the judges’ scorecards don’t show a shutout. Lara possesses decent power, and he showed it off with a fifth round knockdown, a solid left hook to the upper chest of Gausha off a jab. It doesn’t make for the most excitement among fans, but there is no denying Lara’s talent.
“We want to give credit to Gausha, he’s an Olympian and came to battle, but we won tonight,” said Lara. “I don’t study boxers, I take the rhythm of the boxing match and that’s how I take over.”
Lara said he’s the best at 154 pounds, “I’m ready for whoever wants to face me. It’s a business, I’ve trained with Charlo, but if that’s the fight I’m going to take it.”
For a 30-year-old former Olympian staring down his first loss, Gausha showed a lack of urgency. It’s somewhat symbolic of his entire career. He’s never progressed like his fellow Olympians Errol Spence, Jr., or Joseph Diaz Jr. It’s unclear where Gausha will go from here.
Thankfully, the road to the main event was paved with true boxing excitement.
We predicted the second bout of the night might steal the show, and we were right. WBC champion Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) took out his number one contender Erickson Lubin (18-1, 13 KOs) faster than anyone expected, even himself. Near the end of a getting to know you first round, Charlo delivered a devastating right upper cut as Lubin was dipping down to avoid a jab, dropping him to the canvas. It was evident he wasn’t getting up as refereee Harvey Dock stopped the bout before completing his count at 2:41 of the first round.
Charlo, joined by twin brother Jermall who has moved up to middleweight, were boisterous and elated after the victory. “I was cool, I was chilling, they said they was gonna come and take my title, something I put my life on the line for, I had to defend it.” Charlo said Lubin ran right into the punch that stopped the fight. “It looked like a could have been a right hook, he was dipping down, he ran right into the shot.”
Charlo said he’d like to fight Jarrett “Swift” Hurd next, the IBF champion. “Give me another title, I want Hurd.”
Did Lubin bite off more than he should have at age 22? Perhaps. After the bout, he said he was fine, saying Charlo caught him with a blind shot he didn’t see coming. “When I got up, I felt like I could have kept on fighting. That’s boxing,” said Lubin. He pledged to “stay hungry, get back in the gym and become that champion I know I am.”
IBF champion Jarrett Hurd (21-0, 14 KOs) and veteran and former champion Austin Trout (30-4, 17 KOs) set the bar extremely high to start the evening with a barn burner of a fight. Trout is known for starting out strong, and this fight was no exception. Minutes into the bout, Trout was landing significant punches on the younger Hurd, scoring with hooks and upper cuts on the younger Hurd, who seemed to have a little trouble getting his bearings with his footwork and defense.
But once Hurd settled down and started returning fire against Trout in a serious way, he gained the upper hand. Hurd opened a cut over Trout’s eye, and the veteran started taking more punishment than he was able to dish out. The accumulation of shots got to Trout, and his corner wisely stopped the fight. It was the first stoppage of Trout’s accomplished career. He was despondant, and left the ring. Trout was later taken to an area hospital to be checked out. Trout put on a tremendous effort, and he has nothing to be ashamed about.
Hurd said, “I’m always the one who comes on stronger at the end of the fight” of his hard won victory. Swift said he started moving his head more after getting touched up and suffering a small cut over the eye, and he felt it helped him in the long run.
Swift planned to hurry through a shower and come out to see the two remaining fights of the evening to watch his competition and potential opponents. “Team Swift, we don’t walk away from anybody… I’m ready to unify.”
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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