On Saturday night, Showtime network broadcast a Showtime Championship Boxing tripleheader, live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
This particular night of Showtime Championship Boxing was unique in that it featured an unheard of three separate Junior Middleweight world title fights.
The Junior Middleweight division is highly competitive with an amazingly talented list of top 10 fighters leading the charge. To see this division shake out, in just one night, right before our eyes was quite an experience.
So what did we learn from Showtime Championship Boxing’s big night of Junior Middleweights?
1. Jarrett Hurd and Austin Trout Stole the Show
In the first defense of his IBF Junior Middleweight world title, “Swift” Jarrett Hurd became the first person to stop veteran former champion, Austin “No Doubt” Trout with a 10th-round technical knockout.
This fight was the opening fight of the broadcast and without a doubt it was the most entertaining fight of the evening as both fighters truly left all they had in the ring.
Hurd and Trout traded back and forth in a nearly even matchup, of which Trout seemed he could be narrowly winning, until about the seventh round when Hurd landed several big shots that wobbled Trout.
As much as he tried to keep up, Trout quickly lost all momentum, as his legs were gone, and he began to take brutal punishment.
In the later rounds, Trout’s eye began to swell and was closing rapidly as the end of the fight appeared near.
The ringside doctor made the decision to stop the bout following the brutal 10th round. And in that moment, 27-year-old Hurd did what Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara and Jermall Charlo could not do; he stopped Austin Trout.
This fight was a true showstopper filled with everything a boxing fan could ask for. Both of these warriors deserve the utmost respect for their highly entertaining and action-packed performance.
2. Erislandy Lara Needs to Unify
In Saturday’s main event, the WBA Super Welterweight world champion, Erislandy Lara, knocked down previously unbeaten Terrell Gausha to secure to a 12 round unanimous-decision victory.
Typically a fight that includes a world title and a knockdown would be described post fight as entertaining, this however was not the case for the bout between Lara and Gausha.
Lara is well known for his highly defensive Cuban style of boxing. A style which often leaves fans underwhelmed and not entertained. Saturday night Lara stayed true to his style of counterpunching, and even at times engaged with Gausha more than he has with his previous opponents.
Lara’s style can be considered safe or boring at times, but ultimately it wins fights. Lara is the kingpin of the 154-pound division, but strangely no fighters ever aim toward him or call him out. So, on that note, props to Gausha for taking this fight.
But the time has arrived; we need unification bouts in the 154-pound division. There is nothing left for Lara to do at Junior Middleweight aside from unifying the titles.
Hurd expressed some interest in a unification fight with Lara. When Hurd was asked by Showtime who he would prefer to fight; Lara or Charlo? Hurd explained that he would pick Lara as he had recent experience with southpaw’s as his opposition for his past three fights.
Lara explained post-fight, “I’m ready to box anyone that comes my way. I’m the best boxer at 154 pounds and I won’t shy away from anyone that wants to fight me. I’ll box whoever, just line them up. I’m not afraid. I have proven that I’m a true champion. I’ll fight [Jermell] Charlo if I have to. We are friends, but business is business.”
Let’s hope we get a unification bout from Lara in the near future.
3. Noooo, He Wasn’t Ready!
Erickson “Hammer” Lubin, the young-and-hungry challenger who was the No. 1 contender according to the WBC, made his first attempt at a world title by challenging WBC Super Welterweight world champion Jermell Charlo.
At just 22 years of age, with a record of 18-0, 13 KOs, many critics and fans questioned if Lubin was simply too young and too inexperienced to handle a fighter the likes of Charlo.
This lingering question was answered quickly as Charlo knocked Lubin out with a brutal right uppercut to the chin at just the 2:41 mark of the opening round.
It was evident that Lubin was just too young and too green for this type of opposition at this stage in his career.
The good news is that Lubin is young, and a knockout loss of this caliber is more favorable to experience early in your career, rather than later. Younger fighters will typically bounce back quickly and learn from their losses and ideally come back better, more humble and more dedicated to their craft.
Lubin seemed to understand this concept, explaining his mindset after the loss.
“This is boxing and I got caught with a nice shot on the chin and couldn’t recover in time,” said Lubin. “I didn’t see the punch coming, so I have no excuses. I’m young and have plenty of fight left in me. This is just a minor setback. I’ll be back sooner than later and hungrier than ever.”
Header photo by Stephanie Trapp/Showtime