Showtime results: Lara, Charlo and Hurd defend their junior middleweight titles

 

Earning a unanimous decision victory, Erislandy Lara out-boxed Terrell Gausha to successfully defend his WBA junior middleweight title a fifth time. The fight was the main event of a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader that featured three world title bouts, in the 154-pound class, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Saturday night.

 

The scores of 116-111, 117-110 twice perhaps comprised the only intriguing factor in the aftermath of Lara’s victory over Gausha, because it really didn’t even seem that close.

 

Lara, 25-2-2 (14), a Cuban defector fighting out of Miami, Florida, produced a classic, in terms of how a fight can play out when an opponent not on his level tries to fight him. The slick southpaw had his left hand cocked all evening and, when he did throw it, caught Gausha right down the middle. Gausha, a former U.S. Olympian, already found himself in a feint-fest with Lara in the third round, unwilling to let his hands go, knowing the left-handed counter would be waiting for him. In the fourth, one of those lefts from Lara dropped Gausha onto his backside for the fight’s only knockdown but he never seemed desperately hurt throughout the fight. Gausha, 20-1 (9), eventually got off some shots, as Lara tried to turn a booing crowd but not nearly enough to make it interesting.

 

Jermell Charlo brutally knocked out Erickson Lubin in the first round to retain his WBC junior middleweight title in the co-feature.

 

After a tactical start, in which both men cautiously felt each other out, Charlo lunged in with a big power right hand that caught Lubin square on the face while bent at the waist. Lubin, 22, was momentarily paralyzed as his body twisted to the canvas and, once there, he could be seen trying to get up but his legs just wouldn’t respond. Referee Harvey Dock waved off the fight and his count at the 2:41 mark.

 

Lubin, 18-1 (13), the No. 1-ranked contender and mandatory opponent for Charlo, eventually did return his feet, once the fight had already been stopped, and his counterpart celebrated on the turnbuckle. Charlo, 30-0 (15), produced a spectacular knockout for the third time in a row, since winning the title in May 2016, and seems to be getting better after wiping out a heralded young contender.

 

In the opening bout of the Showtime telecast, Jarrett “Swift” Hurd defended his IBF junior middleweight title for the first time, forcing a stoppage of Austin “No Doubt” Trout in one of many great fights in 2017.

 

It seemed like Trout wanted to continue while on the stool, after the 10th round, but the 32-year-old had just logged in another troubling round that had his legs shaky and right eye closing. Beginning in the sixth, an all-out war broke out between him and Hurd but it was a style of fight not working in his favor. With the doctor in the corner, Trout’s trainer decided to stop the fight as the 11th round approached, in a fight that seemed close.

 

Trout, 30-4 (17), had a tremendous start to the fight. He seemed wary of the power Hurd possessed but beginning at the end of the opening round, the New Mexico native was easily out-boxing the comparatively inexperienced 27-year-old. Thanks to an accurate counter left hand and supreme footwork, Trout constantly peppered Hurd with shots to the head while getting out the way to elude an opponent who was always pressing forward.

 

Hurd, 21-0 (15), caught Trout with a right hand in the opening minute of the third but seemed a bit spent when trying to follow-up on it later on. His legs and punches had an uninspired disposition to them but Hurd was never panicked as Trout ended the round better than he started it and did the same in rounds four and five. Fighting out of Accokeek, Maryland, Hurd may’ve been reserving his energy in hindsight. All throughout the first half of the fight, he showed a tremendous chin and never seemed deterred by Trout’s success. Then the sixth round happened and Hurd quickly took control of the momentum by wobbling Trout’s legs a few times throughout the rest of the contest.

 

 

 

You can reach Michael Baca II at mikebaca2@gmail.com and follow him at twitter.com/mikebaca2.

 

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