By Keith Idec
Jermall Charlo couldn’t have had a better ally than Erislandy Lara while training for his fight against Austin Trout.
Charlo and Lara are trained by Ronnie Shields in Houston. As they prepared for their important fights Saturday night, Lara was able to tell Charlo plenty of things the unbeaten IBF junior middleweight champion thinks will help him defeat Trout at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (Showtime; 9 p.m. ET).
Unlike Houston’s Charlo (23-0, 18 KOs), Lara is a southpaw, but Charlo still learned plenty from Lara and sparred against him while training for his second title defense against the left-handed Trout (30-2, 17 KOs), of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
“He’s been a big help, you know, training alongside him,” Charlo said regarding Lara during a recent conference call. “I get some good work with him. Also, he’s fought Trout. So he’s been in there. He’s felt the power, he’s felt the speed. The aspects of fighting that left-handed fighter is just a different dynamic. We’ve prepared for everything. Like a champion has to be, you take what someone has and you make the most out of it, and that’s what we plan on doing.”
The Cuban-born Lara dominated Trout, whom Lara dropped during the 11th round on his way to a one-sided unanimous decision win in December 2013 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Immediately following the Charlo-Trout bout, Lara (22-2-2, 13 KOs) is scheduled to defend his WBA/IBO 154-pound titles against Vanes Martirosyan (36-2-1, 21 KOs), of Glendale, California, in a 12-round rematch that’ll headline Showtime’s tripleheader.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.