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Lara’s manager confirms Jarrett Hurd fight in April

Image: Lara’s manager confirms Jarrett Hurd fight in April

By Tim Royner: Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd will be facing each other in April in a junior middleweight unification fight at a still determined date and venue, according to the Cuban star’s manager Luis de Cubas Jr. Lara (25-2-2, 14 KOs) will have his WBA Super World 154lb title on the line against unbeaten IBF junior middleweight champion Hurd (21-0, 15 KOs). If Lara beats Hurd, de Cubas they’ll look to face WBC belt older Jermell Charlo in the next unification fight. The overall goal for the 34-year-old Lara is to win all 4 of the junior middleweight titles.

Lara vs. Hurd will be televised on Showtime Championship Boxing. Their unification fight was setup with the two of them fighting on the same card late last year on October 14 on Showtime at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Lara defeated contender Terrell Gausha by a 12 round unanimous decision on that card. Hurd was involved in a more exciting fight in stopping former WBA junior middleweight champion Austin Trout (30-4, 17 KOs) in the 10th round. After those fights were over, it was expected that Lara and Hurd would be facing each other shortly.

Beating the 27-year-old Jarrett Hurd is going to be hard enough for Lara to accomplish. Trying to defeat a prime Jermell Charlo could be a step too far for Lara. Hurd is able to take a lot of punish. Lara isn’t a big puncher. He needs to land a lot of shots for him to get his knockouts. Lara has only knocked out 3 fighters in the last 5 years, and that was Yuri Foreman, Alfredo Angulo and Jan Zaveck. Those guys are not in the same league as Hurd. Lara has had to go the distance in the last 5 years against Terrell Gausha, Vanes Martirosyan, Delvin Rodriguez, Ishe Smith and Austin Trout. If Lara has go to 12 rounds against Hurd, he could absorb a lot of punishment. Lara isn’t going to be able to run for 12 rounds without getting hit at all by Hurd. This isn’t baseball. Lara isn’t going to pitch a no hitter against Hurd. He’s going to get nailed, especially with body shots.

“Yes, the fight is confirmed and we only hope to complete some details,” said De Cubas Jr. to the El Nuevo Herald. ”This is the first step for Lara to have the possibility of adding all the titles of the division. If he manages to overtake Hurd, then everything would be ready to go after the Charlo strip.”

This is going to be a big step up for both fighters from the guys they’ve been facing lately. Hurd has recently knocked out Austin Trout and Tony Harrison in his last 2 fights. Those were both competitive fights until Hurd’s power took over in the later rounds. Trout and Harrison both folded under the pressure that Hurd was putting on them. It’s difficult for fighters to take the steady pressure that Hurd applies, as he’s willing to get hit each round in order to land his heavy punches.

Hurd’s willingness to put his chin on the line to land his punches forces his opponents into a war whether they like it or not. That could be a problem for Lara. He doesn’t like to get hit, and he’ll do whatever it takes no to get take punishment. That means Lara will run from Hurd if he has to. If Lara chooses to run, it’s going to come down to whether the judges will favor that kind of fighting.

Lara has to be willing to stand his ground much of the time for him to be given the victory over Hurd. The chief reason why Lara lost a 12 round majority decision to Saul Canelo Alvarez in 2014 is because he wouldn’t stand and fight. Lara was just running and jabbing. He wasn’t willing to throw power shots in the second half of the fight.

The venue for the Lara-Hurd fight is still being decided. There are several locations that are being evaluated for the fight. It’s probable that the Lara vs. Hurd fight will be staged on the East Coast. Hurd is from Maryland. Lara is from Cuba, but he lives in Houston, Texas. That wouldn’t be a good location for the fight.

“Erislandy Lara is the best at 154 pounds and says no one wants to fight him,” Hurd said to the the Premier Boxing Champions website. ”I want to fight him. I have beaten my last seven opponents by knockout, and I know I can defeat Lara, so I would like to face him as soon as possible, and I would like it to be in April or May,” said Hurd.

It looks like Hurd is going to get his wish in fighting Lara in April. Hurd will be coming into the Lara fight with 9 knockouts in his last 10 fights. Hurd has knockouts over these fighters:

• Austin Trout

• Tony Harrison

• Ionut Dan Ion

• Oscar Molina

• Frank Galarza

• Jeff Lentz

• Eric Mitchell

• Terry Cade

• Joshua Robertson

Jermell Charlo is looking very good lately with stoppage wins over Erickson Lubin, Charles Hatley, John Jackson and Joachim Alcine. Charlo might be the guy to beat in the 154lb. division now that his big punching brother Jermall Charlo has moved up to 160. Jermell has become the real knockout artist at junior middleweight. He figures to be a tough nut crack for the winner of the Lara vs. Hurd fight. It’s good news that Lara is willing to fight Charlo, as some boxing fans believe that fight wouldn’t take place due to friendship.

If Lara doesn’t want to move up to tackle guys like Canelo, Gennady Golovkin or Daniel Jacobs, then he’s going to need to fight Jermell Charlo, if he beats Hurd in April.

Lara has not taken many chances with his career since his loss to Canelo. Lara has taken a lot of softer opponents, and not faced any of the riskier contenders like the Charlos, Demetrius Andrade and Hurd. Lara has a 6-fight winning streak going for him against Gausha, Yuri Foreman, Vanes Martirosyan, Jan Zaveck, Delvin Rodriguez and Ishe Smith. Lara should have fought better opposition, but these are the guys his management has matched him up against.

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