By Jake Donovan
In what the network has suggested as - or at least hopes to be - the starting point of an unofficial tournament, all fighters made weight for the Showtime-televised trio of title fights, which airs live from The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Headlining the show, Erislandy Lara and Vanes Martirosyan meet in a rematch to their inconclusive Nov. '12 clash. Lara (22-2-2, 13KOs) - a Cuban defector who now trains out of Houston, Texas - checked in at 153.75 for the fifth attempted defense of his version of the super welterweight crown. Martirosyan (36-2-1, 21KOs) - a 2008 U.S. Olympian from California by way of Armenia - was slightly lighter at 153.5 lbs.
The first meeting between the longtime rivals came in a title elimination bout, but ended on an accidental foul and in a technical split decision draw. Lara went on to challenge and defeat Alfredo Angulo for a vacant title more than a year later, while Martirosyan came up short in his own vacant title fight, dropping a 12-round decision to Demetrius Andrade.
Among those against whom Lara has successfully defended is Austin Trout, scoring a landslide 12-round win in their Dec. '13 title fight in Brooklyn, New York.
It was the second straight loss for Trout (30-2, 17KOs) who has since won four straight heading into his title challenge versus unbeaten Jermall Charlo in the evening's chief support.
Trout - who split camp between his native New Mexico and his home away from home in Washington D.C. - came in right at the 154-pound divisional limit in hopes of becoming a two-time super welterweight champion. Houston's Charlo (23-0, 18KOs) - who has previously teased the idea of moving up to middleweight - was a trim and ready 153 lbs. for the second defense of the belt he claimed just eight months ago.
Opening the show is Charlo's twin brother, Jermell, both of whom celebrated their 26th birthday on Thursday and now look to make history. Jermell - the younger twin by one minute - challenges John Jackson for a vacant super welterweight bout. Both boxers easily made weight before jawing at one another on the weigh-in platform.
Charlo (27-0, 12KOs) weighed 153.8 lbs. for his second fight spent in a camp separate from his twin, as he now trains in the greater Dallas area in Derrick James (who also trains red hot welterweight Errol Spence). The younger twin previously trained with his brother and Lara at Ronnie Shields' training facility in Houston.
Jackson (20-2, 15KOs) weighed 153.5 lbs. in his first crack at a major title. The second generation boxer is the son of famed former two-division champ Julian Jackson, regarded by many as one of the greatest knockout artists in boxing history.
Jackson and his brother Julius - a current super middleweight hopeful - both served on the 2008 Virgin Islands Olympic boxing team that competed in Beijing.
A win by Jermell would make the Charlos just the second set of twins in history to simultaneously reign as champions, and the first ever to do so in the same weight division.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Follow his shiny new Twitter account: @JakeNDaBox_v2