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Lara: I'm Best in Division; They Have to Fight Me to Headline

By Keith Idec

NEW YORK – Erislandy Lara believes the order of Saturday’s 154-pound championship tripleheader is symbolic.

The confident Cuban southpaw says he’s headlining this Barclays Center card because he is the world’s best boxer in his division. According to Lara, if the winners of the first two title fights Saturday night want to prove otherwise, they’ll have to go through him.

The 34-year-old Lara plans to pursue a title unification fight after defeating unbeaten contender Terrell Gausha in the main event in Brooklyn (Showtime; 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).

erislandy-lara (11)_1

“That’s absolutely what I want,” Lara told BoxingScene.com through a translator after a press conference Thursday in Manhattan. “I’m just gonna keep cleaning out the division. I’ve been here the longest, I’ve been champion the longest and I’m just gonna clean out the division the way Bernard Hopkins did at 160 pounds.”

Houston’s Lara (24-2-2, 14 KOs) is set to defend his WBA and IBO 154-pound championships against the untested Gausha (20-0, 9 KOs), a 2012 Olympian from Cleveland.

“Gausha is a strong, young kid,” Lara said. “He’s an undefeated Olympian. But I’m the best in the division and I’m looking forward to doing what I do best, which is win and put on a great show for the fans.”

Showtime’s tripleheader will begin with a 12-round bout between IBF junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs), of Accokeek, Maryland, and former WBA champ Austin Trout (30-3, 17 KOs), of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Before Lara and Gausha go at it in the main event, Houston’s Jermell Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs) will make a mandatory defense of his WBC super welterweight title against Erickson Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs), of Orlando, Florida.

Lara already has beaten Trout convincingly, but he is open to facing the winner of either of those two fights.

“At the end of the day, they have to fight me,” Lara said. “I’m the best guy in the division. Everybody knows you’ve gotta beat the best to be the best. I’m the headliner when they’re on my cards. This is the second 154-pound card that I’m headlining. So if they wanna be headliners, they could fight me. If not, then stick to fighting on undercards and not having an opportunity to beat the best guy in the division.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by genrick on 10-13-2017

I'll be switching the channel as soon as the Lubin vs Charlo fight is over. I'll watch the Lara headliner on youtube the next day. Hope everyone does this as a protest for these types of fights.

Comment by WaterHotSer on 10-13-2017

Haha what a dumb MF

Comment by genrick on 10-13-2017

Let's just hope they stop headlining this guy after this Gausha fight.

Comment by factsarenice on 10-13-2017

[QUOTE=Dr.Cool;18131832]Lara literally beat the crap out of the supposed beast Paul the Punisher Williams. Humiliated him for all 12 rounds. He also should have gotten the nod against Canelo. Yet, he is with Haymon so we praise G for beating…

Comment by mxtali on 10-12-2017

[QUOTE=Dr.Cool;18131847]That or the fight after that against Trout. That was the last time two top five guys in the division fought each other, until Charlo-Williams. And Williams probably was #6 or #7. Both Charlos and Hurd have been trying to…

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