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Erislandy Lara vs. Jarrett Hurd on April 7 on Showtime

Image: Erislandy Lara vs. Jarrett Hurd on April 7 on Showtime

By Jim Dower: WBA Super World junior middleweight champion Erislandy ‘The American Dream’ Lara (25-2-2, 14 KOs) will be meeting IBF World 154 lb. champion Jarrett Hurd (21-0, 15 KOs) on April 7 on Showtime Boxing at a still to be determined location.

The Lara-Hurd fight was announced by Showtime on Wednesday in their unofficial junior middleweight tournament.

This will be a very hard fight for the 34-year-old Cuban Lara, as he’s not been in hard fight for the last 3 ½ years since his 12 round split decision defeat to Saul Canelo Alvarez in December 2014.

Like WBC light heavyweight Adonis Stevenson, Lara has been milking his WBA 154b. title against weak opposition for close to 4 years. Lara’s management has matched him against only fighters that he had a good chance of beating rather than fighters that could potentially beat him. It’s too bad Lara’s management has matched him against marginal opposition in the same way Adonis Stevenson has been matched, because the boxing public has seen a lot awful fights on Showtime when the Cuban fighter has been in action in the last 4 years.

Since Lara’s loss to Canelo, he’s beaten these guys:

• Jan Zaveck – age 40

• Yuri Foreman – age 37

• Terrell Gausha

• Delvin Rodriguez – age 37

• Vanes Martirosyan

• Ishe Smith – age 39

Lara has been out of it for such a long time in terms of him facing quality opposition. It’s hard to know how well he’ll do against a young fighter as big and powerful as the 6’1” Hurd, who is willing to take punishment to land his own hard shots. Lara ran from Canelo in their fight in 2014. That’s why he ended up losing a 12 round decision to him. If Lara chooses to get on his bike and dash around the ring for 12 rounds against Hurd, he’s going to have a tough time winning a decision. Hurd cuts off the ring well against runners, and he has a spearing jab that he likes to throw when he’s fighting a mobile guy that is trying to be evasive.

Hurd, 27, stopped Austin Trout in the 10th round in their fight last October on Showtime Boxing. Hurd was up by the following scores at the time of the stoppage: 96-94, 97-93 and 96-94. Hurd took whatever Trout was able to dish out in the first 6 rounds before he started coming on in the second half of the fight. In Hurd’s fight before that against Tony Harrison, he did the same thing in taking the punishment from the 27-year-old Harrison for 8 rounds before coming on in the 9th to get the knockout. Hurd has heavy hands to along with his size. Lara has shown a weakness to getting hit to the body. That’s probably where Hurd will focus on against him. It’s too hard to land head shots against Lara because he moves so much. Lara is not nearly as adept at avoiding body shots.

Presumably, the winner of the Lara vs. Hurd fight will take on WBC 154lb. champion Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) to consolidate one more of the 4 titles in the weight class. The last remaining title after that will be the WBO strap, which is currently held by the Golden Boy Promotions fighter Sadam Ali. It could prove next to impossible to get Golden Boy to risk having their fighter Sadam Ali take part in the Showtime unofficial tournament.

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