Johnny Wilds, ESPN Boxing Insider, On Lara v Hurd



Johnny Wilds, ESPN Boxing Insider,  On Lara v Hurd


Erislandy Lara (25-2-2 14 KOs) vs. Jarrett Hurd (21-0 15 KOs)  WBA/IBF Super Welterweight Unification

Date: Saturday April, 7th

Location: The Joint- Hard Rock Hotel and Casino- Las Vegas, NV.

TV: Showtime Championship Boxing 10PM EST/ 7PM PST



Line movement

Here's a look at where the money is going from Vegas bookmakers, along with opinions from boxing experts, fighters, trainers and my prediction for the fight.

At The Westgate, Las Vegas I spoke to Jeff Sherman, Race and Sportsbook Manager, and he posted the fight with Lara -130 and Hurd +110.  The Westgate has not seen any action yet but based on the fight being in town (Las Vegas) he is expecting more action closer to fight day.

At William Hill US, senior trader Adam Pullen opened the fight with Lara -130 and Hurd +110.  “All action has been on Lara thus far but not huge volume,” said Pullen. He thinks he will get more action on Friday and Saturday.

CG Technologies' COO of analytics Matthew Holt opened the fight with Lara -130 and Hurd +110. “They were betting the underdog in market** last night (Sunday) so we opened a little lower than I thought we would yesterday,” said Holt.  Matthew is expecting more action on the fight closer to fight day as people start to show up for the press conference and weigh-ins and fans start getting into town.

**Note** This fight opened overseas with Lara -160 and was bet down to the -130.


The Panel:

  • Colin Morrison (boxing sharp): “Compelling unification fight that will feature a distinct clash of styles. Hurd has youth, size and power in his favour. Lara has experience and the ability to render much of his opponent's output useless with his slick Cuban skills. Not easy to decide but I think Hurd will be able to take a split or majority decision, doing enough to get the nod on two of the scorecards. ”
  • Evan Young (boxing sharp): “Hurd has been getting high praise as of late for chopping down good technicians while behind on the cards. And he deserves credit. But I see Lara in a different realm than the recent fighters that fell to Hurd. Lara is very sharp, moves well and has great experience. His 2 losses, to Paul Williams and Canelo Alvarez respectively, are both controversial. He has looked in good form for the past several years. I feel confident that Lara can outmaneuver Hurd and I also believe he will hold up under the pressure. He punches hard enough to gain respect and Hurd will be catching shots. And I don’t see Lara slowing down enough to blow it late. Technique wins out in this one. Lara to win by comfortable decision”
  • Abraham Gonzalez (boxing sharp): “Lara vs Hurd is a really good unification bout. I think early on, Lara will use distance to fight off Hurd but like the Trout fight, Hurd will cut off the ring and force Lara into a fight. Look for Hurd to stop Lara in the 10th. Hurd by TKO in the 10th.”
  • Sal Carrillo (boxing sharp): “The Hurd vs Lara fight is one of those great fights that no one knows about. Lara has been on an unbelievable streak of great fights however I think the pressure that Hurd will bring upon Lara  will break him down. I am expecting Hurd to come up on top in a fun action packed fight. Hurd decision.”
  • Stephen “Breadman” Edwards (boxing trainer): “ I'm actually slightly leaning Lara but I'm not overconfident in that pick. It may come down to what the judges prefer. Expect controversy!”
  • Marcos Figueroa (boxing sharp): “Classic boxer vs puncher matchup.  Normally I would pick the boxer. Not this time. I think Lara is a little long in the tooth (Cuban years), and will not be able to stand up to the pressure and power that Hurd will bring.  Hurd TKO 10.”
  • Johnny Patrick (boxing sharp): “Erislandy has never clearly been beaten in his professional boxing career, spanning over a decade now.  Split loss to Canelo and robbed against Paul Williams in a terrible decision.  The Cuban at his best is one of the slickest operators in the sport.  But since the controversial Alvarez defeat, he has not been fighting top competition, very carefully matched since 2014. In Hurd, he will be facing a much younger fighter (7 years), a genuine KO puncher who has shown the ability to ramp up the pressure late in bouts.  Jarrett has shown phenomenal ability to grind guys down, carrying power late. However, he struggled early against Harrison and Trout but stopped both in dramatic fashion. It concerns me how many early rounds Hurd dropped in both those title bouts. He can be outboxed for long periods, and might find himself down 4-0 to Lara quickly.  This bout should be an entertaining watch, Hurd makes for good fights. Certainly winnable for either combatant. It goes one of two ways. Jarrett becomes the first man to stop the Cuban star in a pro ring, or we hear the final bell and Lara gets the nod. I can’t see Hurd winning a decision, so the pick here is Lara on the cards in a fight that is most exciting in the final rounds, as Hurd searches for a late stoppage down on points.”
  • John “Iceman” Scully (boxing trainer): “I don't know if it's an upset or not and I have not seen the Cuban in a while but if he is what he was I think his elusive style and skills are going to be too much. Hurd is a young beast but style-wise this is a huge step up.”
  • Jamel Herring (ranked light welterweight): “When it comes to Lara and Hurd it’s a toss up. I know Hurd has been studying the Angulo/Lara fight because they have similarities in terms of being a pressure fighter but I hope they also acknowledged that Lara has improved since then and learns to adapt over time. Overall I think it’s a fun fight and I’m looking towards it.” No pick
  • Luke Chapman (boxing sharp): “Hurd’s O might not go here but I’m not betting with any great confidence. He’s the bigger man and will come forward with some success to make things very interesting late.  Vital that he pinches those early rounds. Something small on Hurd +110”


Side By Side:

Erislandy Lara Jarrett Hurd
Age: 34 (4-11-1983) Age: 27 (08-31-1990)
Birthplace:Cuba Birthplace: Accokeek, Maryland, USA
Record: 25-2-2 14 KOs Record: 21-0 15 KOs
Height: 5’9” Height: 6’1”
Reach: 75” Reach: 76”
Stance: Southpaw Stance: Orthodox
Trainer: Ronnie Shields Trainer: Ernesto Rodriguez


Lara: The 34 year old fighting out of Houston, Texas by way of Cuba will have his WBA super middleweight title on the line and will be fighting the toughest opponent of his career since a disputed SD loss to Canelo Alvarez in June of 2014.

Since then he has fought Ishe Smith, Delvin Rodriguez, Jan Zaveck, Vanes Martirosyan, Yuri Foreman and Terrell Gausha. Of those six opponents, only one fight was close and that was Martirosyan via scores of 116-111 twice and 115-112. It was a rematch of their 2012 bout where Lara was awarded a technical decision due to a cut suffered from an accidental headbut byMartirosyan in round 9.  Lara is your typical ring technician and has a high ring IQ. He has very good defense and this will be his toughest fight since Alvarez in 2014. Can he step up or will his recent limited competition lead to a loss?

Hurd: The 27 year old fighting out of Mayland is the IBF super welterweight champion. He sports a 71% Ko average and will be the younger and stronger fighter when entering the ring Saturday night.  He has won his last seven bouts via stoppage against the likes of Eric Mitchell, Jeff Lentz, Frank Galarza, Oscar Molina…

…Ionut Dan Ion, Tony Harrison and Austin Trout. Two names should stand out with Harrison and Trout who are very good fighters.  Hurd tends to start slow then his relentless pressure wears his opponents down. He could find himself down on the cards early versus Lara who on paper is the toughest opponent he will face thus far.

Who will win?

The panel, which has been on fire lately, is favoring Hurd by 5-4 margin with Herring calling it too close to call. I will make it split, 5-5, as I tend to favor the boxer over the puncher and think the slow starting style of Hurd will be his detriment come Saturday night.

Pick: Panel is split so best of luck- I am backing Lara -130 or better.