Three junior Middleweight World Title Fights Take Center Stage On Saturday, May 21
LAS VEGAS (April 13, 2016) – The 154-pound division will take center stage on Saturday, May 21 in a stacked tripleheader featuring three world title fights in the same division. Five of the division’s top-six fighters* will square off live on SHOWTIME from The Chelsea, a one-of-a-kind 40,000-square-foot venue, inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
In the main event, Cuban sensation Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara will defend his WBA Super Welterweight World Championship against U.S. Olympian and top contender Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan in a rematch of their 2012 bout that ended in a technical draw.
Brothers Jermall and Jermell Charlo will look to make history in co-featured bouts as the first twins to hold world titles in the same division. Unbeaten IBF Super Welterweight World Champion Jermall faces his toughest test when he makes the second defense of his belt against former world champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout. Jermell will take on exciting contender John Jackson in a bout for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Championship.
Promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, venue pre-sale tickets will go on-sale Thursday, April 14 at 10 a.m. PT. Tickets for the general public will go on-sale Friday, April 15 at 10 a.m. PT. Ticket prices start at $39, and are available online at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 and www.ticketmaster.com.
Doors to The Chelsea will open at 3 p.m. PT with SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING action beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. The versatile yet intimate space inside The Chelsea will create an unparalleled experience for viewers and boxing fans alike.
“I’m looking forward and I’m excited to be making my 2016 debut in the boxing capitol of Las Vegas come May 21,” said Lara. “I can’t wait to get in the ring as I have unfinished business to take care of with Vanes. I’m the champion and will remain the champion. I will leave no doubt who the better fighter is and will show the world that I’m the best fighter in the 154-pound division. I am dedicating this fight to a great man and boxing idol Gilberto Mendoza Sr. May he rest in peace and enjoy this display of master boxing from heaven, that I will put on for him when I step in the ring on fight night.”
“Erislandy Lara and I have unfinished business from our first fight,” said Martirosyan. “I had him beat that night and I’ll beat him on May 21. My time is now and I know I will be the new champion of the world on May 21.”
The 25-year-old Charlos are aiming for history against stiff opposition from a former champion in Trout and the Olympian from the Virgin Islands in Jackson.
“This will be a history-making, record-breaking night for the Charlo twins,” said Jermall Charlo. “It means everything to us to be able to fight in two championship fights on the same card. This is everything we’ve ever dreamed of. This is going to be a great night of boxing and I’m preparing myself for war. Austin Trout is a seasoned vet. He’s fought world champions and has beaten future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto. This is one of my biggest fights to date, but I’m preparing the same way I always do. I’m going to be on my ‘A’ game. I’m ready to make history.”
“I’m extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to fight for the world title on May 21,” said Trout. “It’s a twice-in-a-lifetime chance for a second world title and I’m going to take full advantage of it. I’m working hard and have already been in training camp in D.C. and ready to take full advantage of the moment. I’ve sat at the champions’ table before and am ready to go back again and eat from it again. Destiny brought me here not to lose, but to win. I’m going to show up and show out and this world title.”
“This is a huge fight for me,” said Jermell Charlo. “It’s my first opportunity to fight for a title and my brother is on the same card defending his belt. There has never been identical twin brothers that are both world champions in the same weight class. We’re going to go out there and make history and send a message to the whole division. I’m excited to get in the ring and I know John Jackson is too. This is an important time in my career and I will be well prepared. Let the best man win.”
“I’m very grateful for this opportunity to become a world champion,” said Jackson. “I’ve been training very hard for the last two months for this fight and come May 21 I will be victorious over Jermell Charlo and realize my lifelong dream of becoming a world champion, like my dad, the great Julian Jackson.”
“This is yet another example of SHOWTIME Sports’ commitment to delivering the best lineup in boxing,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “We’re featuring three important championship fights in one of boxing’s most intriguing young divisions – a tripleheader that will bring our 2016 tally of world title bouts to 14 – all free to SHOWTIME subscribers. We’re excited to offer this rare opportunity to see the top fighters in a division all on the same telecast.”
“Mayweather Promotions is thrilled to bring this fantastic tripleheader of super welterweight world champions to fight fans,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “The best of the 154-pound division will be on display on May 21 and we expect an action-packed night of drama.”
“We’re very excited to work with SHOWTIME on this action-packed tripleheader,” said Tom Brown of TGB Promotions. “Erislandy Lara and Vanes Martirosyan have a huge score to settle from their 2012 bout, and Jermall and Jermell Charlo are in high-stakes matchups against Austin Trout and John Jackson, respectively, in what promises to be a highly entertaining evening of boxing.”
The 32-year-old Lara is a slick boxer with the ability to deliver punishment while taking very little of it in return. Lara has notched victories over Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Ishe Smith and Freddy Hernandez. As an amateur, Lara won numerous titles including a national championship at welterweight and also participated in the 2007 Pan-Am games. The fighter originally from Guantanamo, Cuba dominated Delvin Rodriguez in June of last year and followed that up with a third-round stoppage of former champion Jan Zaveck.
Born in Armenia, but fighting out of Glendale, Calif., Martirosyan represented the U.S. at the 2004 Olympics. As a professional, he won his first 32 fights before fighting Lara to a draw in 2012. The 29-year-old suffered a narrow defeat by split decision in his first world title shot against Demetrius Andrade, but has rebounded with solid victories over Mario Lozano, Willie Nelson and most recently Ishe Smith.
A newly crowned champion at 25-years-old, Charlo grabbed his title with a dominant third-round stoppage of Cornelius Bundrage in September 2015. Residing in Houston, Charlo built up his resume in 2014 with dominant triumphs over Hector Munoz, Norberto Gonzale, Lenny Bottai and Michael Finney. In his most recent outing, he successfully defended his title with a fourth-round stoppage of Wilky Campfort in November.
In 2004, Trout won the U.S. National Amateur welterweight championship and after climbing up the ranks as an elite pro boxer, he won a super welterweight world championship in 2011 by defeating Rigoberto Alvarez. He went on to make four successful defenses, including a career-best, dominant victory over Miguel Cotto in New York. He is currently on a four-fight win streak after knocking out Joey Hernandez in September to set up his world title opportunity.
Younger-by-one-minute than Jermall, Jermell Charlo is a highly ranked young fighter looking to get one step closer to a world title shot. A tall fighter for his division, the 25-year-old earned his shot at a world title with victories over Gabriel Rosado, Charlie Ota and Mario Lozano in 2014 and Martirosyan and former world champion Joachim Alcine in 2015. He impressed last time out by disposing of Alcine in the sixth-round of their fight in Houston in October.
Since representing his native Virgin Islands in the 2008 Olympics, Jackson has put together an impressive pro career. The St. Thomas-born fighter won his initial 13 fights after making his debut in January 2009. The 27-year-old earned the No. 1 spot and the title shot with a shutout victory over Dennis Laurente in August. Jackson comes from a fighting family; his father Julian Jackson was a world champion and feared power-puncher while his brother, Julius, is a contender in the 168-pound weight class.
*via Transnational Boxing Rankings