Porter: Erislandy Lara is the next guy for Jermell Charlo at 154
By Sean Jones: Shawn Porter views Erislandy Lara as the next guy to take on unified champion Jermell Charlo for his IBF/WBA/WBC 154-lb titles now that Jeison Rosario is out of the way. Charlo, 30, currently holds three of the four world titles at junior middleweight. He’s not likely to get a chance at becoming the undisputed champ at 154 due to the WBO title being held by Golden Boy promoted Patrick Teixeira.
Porter surmises that Golden Boy won’t want to let Charlo face Teixeira for apparent reasons. There would be too much to lose in a fight that Teixeira would have little chance of winning.
Porter feels that the boxing public would prefer to see Charlo (34-1, 18 KO) take on WBA World junior middleweight champion Lara (27-3-3, 15 KOs) rather than watch rematches with Tony Harrison and Erickson Lubin.
Fans not excited about seeing Charlo face Harrison or Lubin
Given that Jermell knocked out both Harrison and Lubin the last time he fought them, there won’t be as much interest from the boxing world, particularly if he has ideas of sticking those fights on pay-per-view. How would Charlo get the fans excited about paying $75 again to see someone he knocked out the last time he fought them?
If Charlo and his twin brother Jerrmall are going to continue to fight on PPV, their price will have to come down if they want to sell their cards. Neither of the Charlos is popular enough to be selling their fights on pay-per-view, and they’re putting the cart before the horse.
Typically, fighters compete on a regular premium cable network and build up a large fan base before they make a move to PPV. Although the Charlos have been fighting on Showtime, they haven’t fought well enough opposition to gain a large following.
Lara, 37, recently recaptured his WBA World 154lb title in knocking out Ramon Alvarez in the 2nd round last year on August 31, Minneapolis. For Lara, that was him taking a shot at Canelo Alvarez in knocking out his brother Ramon.
Canelo had beaten Lara by a highly controversial 12 round split decision in 2014, and the Cuban talent had hoped to get a rematch all these years. Unfortunately, Alvarez has shown no interest in facing Lara again.
Surprisingly, Jermell hasn’t already fought Lara by now, as that’s a natural fight that a lot of people would have liked to have seen ages ago. Charlo has been a professional for 11 years. How does he spend that long in the pro ranks without fighting Lara, a fighter in his weight class, and one of the best?
Erislandy Lara is the next guy for Jermell
“Lara is the next guy for Charlo, especially if you’re talking about a name, a fighter that nobody can argue with,” said Porter to Fighthype about an option for Jermell’s next fight.
“You’re getting in the ring with Lara, nobody can argue with that, especially you getting back in the ring with Tony Harrison for a third fight or [Erickson] Lubin in a rematch. I think people would want to see Lara with Charlo before they see Lubin.
“I favor Jermell over Lara now. A prime Lara, no. Jermell doesn’t beat a prime Lara. Too much movement, too much skill, too much intelligence,” said Porter.
I have to agree with Porter about his view about a young Lara being too talented for Jermell. It would be a mismatch if a younger version of Erislandy were to fight Charlo, as he gives away too many rounds, and he doesn’t throw enough punches.
Moreover, Charlo doesn’t handle movement at all, and he looks lost when he has to deal with any motion, and that goes for his brother Jermall too. Even now, the 37-year-old Lara would be a real handful for Jermell if the fight were to happen next.
Jermell never mentions wanting to fight Lara, and that tells you something. If he were interested in facing Lara, he would have said so by now and would have fought him in the last ten years.
Lara is coming off of a successful title defense against challenger Greg Vendetti on August 29 in Los Angeles, California.
That was the first defense for Lara for his WBA belt after he recaptured it. Lara lost his belt two years ago in a 12 round split decision defeat to Jarrett Hurd in April 2018.
That fight was a real war from start to finish, and Hurd hasn’t looked like the same fighter ever since.
Porter interested in fighting Jermell
“It’s very possible,” said Porter to Fighthype when asked if he could face Jermell Charlo if he moves up to 154. “Yeah, [Porter says he’d be stronger at 154]. That’s a conversation I brought to my dad.
“Moving up, I think I’d be stronger, and I’d be able to do some things that I don’t necessarily can’t go but don’t do at 147. I do remember that when I moved down to 147 in 2011, I remember thinking, ‘These dudes are fast. I’ve got to punch fast.’
“I do remember when I moved down to 147, saying to my dad, I need to put more power on my shots. It was a conscious decision that I made that these guys are fast, so I’ve got to be fast. I was taking something off of them,” said Porter.
We’re not going to hold our breath waiting for Porter to face Jermell one of these days because it’s not likely to happen soon. With Porter wanting a rematch with IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr, Keith Thurman, and Danny Garcia, it could be years before Shawn moves up to 154.
Porter also wants to fight WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford and WBA champ Manny Pacquiao. There are still a lot of good paydays waiting for Porter at 147, and it’s doubtful that he’s going to walk away from those money fights to go up to154 to take on Jermell.
Porter, 32, has got the inside fighting ability to give Jermell many problems if they fight right now, but if that match waits three to five years, Shawn will be too old.
Jermell took a lot of heavy shots from Rosario
“Going into the fight, I was super hyped from what Jeison Rosario did to J-Rock in his previous fight. So I’m like, ‘This dude is big for the weight like Jermell Charlo, and this dude can punch hard like Jermell Charlo. This might be some fireworks,'” said Porter.
“That’s not to say that this dude went out there and threw the kitchen sink at Jermell, but Jermell ate some shots. He showed, ‘I’m going to eat these, and I’m going to keep doing what I need to do to win.’
“So that if anything, you talking about them not showing anything that we didn’t know. It’s not that I didn’t know that he [Jermell] could take punches, but it showed that he wasn’t phased by a guy that literally was thumping J-Rock.
“J-Rock was kind of all over the place when he was getting hit by Jeison Rosario. Charlo didn’t take much. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t take the punches the way that J-Rock did,” said Porter.
Jermell went through a lot to get the victory last Saturday night with his 8th round knockout of Jeison Rosario. That was a punishing fight for both guys, but Jermell was able to handle Rosario’s power long enough to score a knockout. If the contest had gone four rounds, Charlo might not have taken it.
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