Most of the people I’ve met from Ohio are like Terrell Gausha as he presents himself to the public.
Low key, polite. Not prone to stirring the pot, talking smack or having his mouth sign a check his arse can’t cash.
Gausha, 20-0 (9 KOs), age 30, is decidedly not in that mode as he looks toward his Oct. 14 career definer, which will unfold at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and on Showtime. That card features a bunch of aces at 154 pounds and inevitably, some are going to drop back a step or two, and absorb Ls.
Gausha (pronounced Gu-shay, not Go-shay) is not the favorite in his match going in, against Cuban pugilist-specialist Erislandy Lara. That’s no knock, most folks would be the underdog against the 29-0 ace technician.
I chatted with the Ohioan, trained by Manny Robles, to get a sense of where his head was at as we count down to the Barclays tangoes.
“That’s how I am as a person, I’m a pretty laid back person. I don’t like to talk a lot, I just like to do my thing. I’m a no nonsense kind of guy, I just like to fight. I was always taught to talk less, do more,” Gausha said.
Yes, he said, Ohio has something to do with that. “I like to let my work speak for itself. A lot of people get to talking, they bite off more than they can chew…life has a way of humbling you..if you’re already humble, you don’t have to be humbled by life.”
We chatted about a couple fighters who stir the pot, and get the benefit of lots of people tuning in to their fights, but then get their egos hurt when their deeds don’t match their words. “I’ve always thought you should act as you are. Even though I know lot of fans, a lot more people would maybe tune in, that’s not me. I want to attract the right people.. my time will come.”
His last two fights have been wins, via decision, so there haven’t been those hi-light real, GIF ready KOs to get buzz. I asked him about his fight versus Steven Martinez (MD, August 2016).
“Was I at my best? Absolutely not. No excuses in boxing. I did what I had to do to get the win, I felt like I won the fight. I could have done a lot better, yes. I watched the tape a lot. That made me a lot hungrier. I tighten up a lot of things, in between fights, I’m always training. I felt like I could have dominated more throwing more combinations. And being a lot looser.
“Was I tense that night? I’m not sure, I feel like his style maybe was the difference. If I had that fight over, it would be a whole lot different. We got past that, and I’m learning.”
He won a UD over Luis Hernandez his last time out, in February. “I think I did pretty good, I’m kind of my worst critic, I felt like I could have stopped the guy, he was one of those guys wouldn’t quit. It was one of the fights you need going to next level.”
I told Gausha I see Lara as a top ten best pound for pounder. “He’s a slick boxer, I don’t know about pound for pound, I know I have a tough task in front of me. The way I respect every opponent is by training hard, leaving no stone unturned in camp. On fight night, it’ll be about me doing what I do, not so much what he does.”
On fight night, as per custom, family will be rooting their guy on. Mom Teretha Brown has been his top supporter forever, he told me, and he wants like anything to climb the ranks and impress his daughter, who is 9. “She’s a big inspiration. She’s always at the fights and after the fight she makes sure she looks at my face. Luckily, I haven’t really had cuts or a swollen eye. “You look the same as always, daddy.” One time, I had a busted lip and she freaked. But I’m just ready to get it on. My prediction? I take them belts! It’s important for me to dictate the fight. I don’t know if it will be a KO or how. You know, I obviously want the KO, but I will be patient and let things come.”