Erislandy Lara prevailed as the prohibitive favorite in the countdown to his featured fight at Barclays Center Saturday night, which ran as the main event on a Showtime collection of bouts.
Terrell Gausha, not unskilled, but not at the level of the Cuban pugilist-specialist, who has forgotten more moves than most of the young guns know, wasn’t expected to be able to handle the speed and movement and ring generalship of the 34 year old who now makes his home in Texas.
Many came here hoping that we’d get a good fight, at least, that Lara would be looking to impress. Alas, the boo birds were hooting for periods of the 12 rounds elapsed, and a multitude of cheering came when the bell clanged to signal the end of the final round. Lara did his smart boxing, took few risks, pecked with his jab a whole lot and nobody was surprised when the scores were read. 116-111, 117-110, 117-110, Lara, the judges said.
Only a scant remainder of the 7,643 announced were there to react. Most did by making not a peep. No cheers, no boos, silence.
Lara came to Brooklyn with a 24-2-2 mark, and deserved to win at least one of those Ls. He was 153.6 on Friday, while Gausha (20-0 9 KOs) was 153.2.
In the days preceding this scrap, Lara told us that he wasn’t looking past Gausha, but wanted to clear out 154, while Gausha promised to make those dismissing his chances look like fools.
In the first, Gausha was smart, respectful, wary of sharp counters made coming back and ricocheting on him.
In the second, Lara the lefty closed the distance some. His jab often pecked, wasn’t thrown through the target. Gausha was encouraged by fan appreciation when he pressed forward, and flurried. He was still respectful of the Lara hand speed and counter-attack ability.
In the third, Lara pumped a rhythmic range finder jab. He exploded a couple times on Gausha, who skittered away, hands up. In the fourth, Lara and Gausha heard boos, first a smatter then more. Then, bang, down went Gausha. Lara pointed to his bicep. The shot that scored so heavy? A clipping right and a left follow from underneath which added insult.
In the fifth, Gausha tightened up the D and his offense suffered. Boos drifted down at the end of the round.
In the sixth, more boos late in the round. In the seventh, I was surprised so many rooters remained, they were hardcore fans and deserve back-pats. Gausha scored a shot and the remaining masses buzzed. In the eighth, ninth and into the tenth, we saw more of the same. There was more clinching now than before. A bunch of wise guys in section 115 did a countdown, 7, 6, 5, 4,3, 2, 1…to bid adios to the round. In round 11, the wise guys did it again. Same for the end of the 12th. We went to the cards, and many folks didn't bother to hear the news, they jetted for the exit. It was no classic.
Jermell Charlo won gold star honors Saturday night, as his right hand caught foe Erickson Lubin lunging in on the chin and rendered his limbs mummy-stiff at Barclays Center Saturday night.
The rubout ran on Showtime, which featured Erislandy Lara risking his crown to the talents of Terrell Gausha, who played it safe and looked, it looked like, like he wanted to survive more than thrive.
Jarrett Hurd also stood out, in a good way, as his steady pressure broke down vet Austin Trout, who couldn't sustain constant movement and pot shotting. The ring doc saved Trout from his own immense pride and pulled the plug after round ten.
So, we wonder, do we see gold star winner number one versus gold star winner number two, Charlo putting his hammer fists against admirable grinder Hurd? Will Lara understand his risk averse style doesn't help his cause of he wants to land another most meaningful tango? (Note: A Twitter friend/Lara fan told me drove from Boston to see the Cuban and was so disgusted by the flat showing that he unfollowed Lara on all social media.) Did Derrick James, tutoring Charlo, Errol Spence and Rob Brant, cement his status as front runner for BWAA trainer of the year?
Check out the release from this night of fights, which boasted 7,000 plus attentive and vibrant fans, more diverse than any boxing crowd in the country:
BROOKLYN (Oct. 15, 2017) – WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Erislandy Lara knocked down previously unbeaten Terrell Gausha en route to a 12-round unanimous decision in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday on SHOWTIME at Barclays Center.
The Premier Boxing Champions event featured three world title fights in the stacked 154-pound division, a lineup including five fighters ranked in the top 10, and four in the top five.
The southpaw Lara used a precise jab to set up a sharp left hand in the sixth defense of his world title. The supreme technician, known for his elusiveness, put on a clinic as expected. He fought mostly in the pocket and picked apart the 2012 U.S. Olympian Gausha, a Cleveland native getting his first shot at a world title.
Lara landed 45 percent of his power shots and threw 200 more total punches in the bout that was scored 116-111 and 117-110 twice.
“We want to give a lot of credit to Gausha. He's an Olympian and he came to fight,” Lara said. “I take the rhythm of the boxing match and that's when I take over. He's fighting with the best in the division. He's not a stupid fighter, but he knew who he was facing today.
“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.”
One of the most anticipated fights of the year lasted only 2:41 seconds as WBC Super Welterweight World Champion Jermell Charlo knocked out Erickson Lubin with a brutal right uppercut to the chin in the opening round in the second of three 154-pound world title fights. VIDEO: http://s.sho.com/2yoXIU6
While the matchup of young, undefeated Americans was regarded as one of boxing's best fights in a year of marquee matchups, Jermell Charlo had other plans. After feeling each other out Charlo, the twin brother of undefeated former champion Jermall, unloaded a strong right uppercut that the highly touted Lubin leaned into. With Lubin struggling to return to his feet, referee Harvey Dock waived off the contest and helped a dazed Lubin return to his corner.
“They were giving him a lot of attention,” a fired up Lubin told SHOWTIME Sports reporter Jim Gray. “I was quiet the whole time. They said they were going to come take my title. I had to defend it. They didn't know what I was brining into this and I think (Lubin) was worried about the wrong things.
“We're going to unify. The other champions want to fight me and I'll take any of them. Give me another title. I want Hurd. Hurd just won. Give me Hurd.”
The 22-year-old Lubin, boxing's consensus 2016 prospect of the year, had his hopes of becoming the second youngest titlist in boxing dashed in less than three minutes.
“I'm fine. He caught me with a blind shot. I didn't see it coming. He landed it. I felt like when I got up I could have kept fighting, but it's boxing. It happens.
“I'm young and I'm hungry. I know I'm one of the best out there. He caught me with a blind shot that I didn't see. Like I said, it's boxing. I'm just going to remain hungry, get back in the gym and become the champion I know I am.
“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.”
IBF Junior Middleweight World Champion Jarrett Hurd became the first person to stop veteran former champion Austin Trout with a 10th round technical knockout in the first defense of his world title in the opening bout of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast.
The 27-year-old Hurd did what Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara and Jermall Charlo could not after the ringside doctor stepped in to stop the bout following a brutal closing 20 seconds of the 10th frame.
The Accokeek, Md., native often neglected defense in the early rounds and fought back after a slow start to wear down the toughest opponent of his career. The championship affair shifted in the sixth as Trout tired and Hurd picked up his output of power shots despite a bloody cut over his left eye. Trout was practically saved by the bell in the 10th round and trainer Louie Burke did not protest as he was advised that the fight should be stopped.
“It's most definitely tougher to defend the title than win it,” Hurd said. “I'm always the one that comes on stronger at the end of the fight. We knew we were going to wear Austin Trout down in the later rounds and eventually stop him. My cut made me a little better with my head movement.
“Team Swift, we don't run from anyone. I'm ready to unify. 2018 is the year for unifications. It doesn't matter who it is. I'm ready to fight anyone.”
Hurd had a 89-31 edge in power punches landed over the last three rounds and connected on 43 percent of his power shots over 10 rounds.
Trout was taken to Lutheran Hospital for observation after the bout.
Saturday's telecast will replay on Monday, Oct. 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and SHOWTIME ANYTIME®.