By Austin Killeen – Photos by Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment (Click on photos to enlarge)
On Saturday night Showtime will host a triple header involving world championships for WBA, WBC and IBF junior middleweight titles. Austin Trout (30-3-0, 17 KO’s) of Las Cruces, NM will face Jarrett Hurd (20-0-0, 14 KO’s) of Accokeek, MD in the evening’s opening bout, for Hurd’s IBF title. Jermell Charlo (29-0-0, 14 KO’s) of Houston, TX will face Erickson Lubin (18-0-0, 13 KO’s) of Orlando, FL for Charlo’s WBC title. In the feature bout Erislandy Lara (22-2-2, 14 KO’s) will defend his WBA title against Terrell Gausha (20-0-0, 9 KO’s) of Cleveland, OH. The entire card will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
For Austin Trout it’s been 17 months since his last fight against Jermall Charlo, a decision he lost despite a strong finish after twelve rounds. In facing Hurd, he will be giving up height, reach and age to the defending champion. However there is little debate that Trout has faced much better competition entering the ring tomorrow night. Although Hurd holds the IBF belt, critics point out his opposition has been weak compared to the other defending champs; Lara and Charlo. A win tomorrow night will put Hurd near the top of the junior middleweight division. A loss to Trout and his ranking will sink faster than a cinderblock floating on the Mississippi River.
Trout needs this win to recapture the status he had after beating Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden in 2012. His trainer of over 20 years, Louie Burke, has brought in sparring partners who are similar to Jarrett Hurd in size, reach and power. Undefeated Joey Alday Jr. of Odessa, TX is 6’ 1” and strong. Undefeated Keith Hunter was brought in for his speed. And Devonte Williams of Houston for his right hand power. Hurd is strong but awkward, possessing a powerful right uppercut. Alday, Hunter and Williams should have Trout ready for Saturday night.
As for the long layoff before tomorrow’s fight, Trout was inactive for fifteen months before winning the title from Rigoberto Alvarez in 2011. Although most people concede that Hurd is the stronger puncher, Trout’s punch has enough snap to keep his rival honest. He has been on the wrong side of three decisions, but nobody has ever walked through him; and Hurd is not expected to do so either. Trout is noted for his excellent movement, both of head and foot, which could leave Hurd swinging at open space. If that happens look for Trout to score with repeated counter punches. Some people question Trout’s reflexes, but I saw no evidence that Trout is slowing down at his training camp.
I’m looking for Austin Trout to win the IBF junior middleweight belt by unanimous twelve round decision tomorrow night at the Barclays Center.
As for the other two bouts; Jermell Charlo is clearly the hottest prospect on the card. He seems to be acquiring a punch as he gains experience. For that reason I look for Charlo to score a knockout over Erickson Lubin by the eighth round in an exciting contest. Without question Erislandy Lara should be considered the best fighter on the card and I expect him to give Terrell Gausha a boxing lesson over twelve rounds. This should be an entertaining evening of boxing on Showtime.
Voices from the corner: The New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame Banquet takes place at the Embassy Suites Hotel on October 28, 2017. Tickets are $40 each or $320 a table. Special guests will be Fidel Maldonado Senior and Junior. Tickets are moving fast, so don’t miss out of a special evening honoring New Mexico’s best.
2017 Inductees are: Michael Adams Announcer
Sergio Chavez Boxer/Trainer/Cut Man
Charles Anaya Boxer
Chris Linson Boxer
Luis Chavez Trainer
Earl Large Boxer