By Elisinio Castillo
Former WBA, IBO junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs) is ready, willing and able to challenge WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) as soon as possible.
Lara has been out of the ring since April, when he lost his two titles in a close twelve round split decision to IBF champion Jarrett Hurd at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
The WBA had actually ordered Lara and Hurd to take part in a rematch. Hurd was planning to file for an exception to take another fight.
Showtime was positioning a Charlo vs. Hurd unification for the fall - but those plans could be delayed after Hurd revealed earlier this week that he underwent shoulder surgery and is now recovering.
Charlo was in action earlier this month, when he picked up a twelve round majority decision over former world champion Austin Trout. Lara also holds a dominating decision win over Trout.
Lara and Charlo were once sparring partners and trained side by side for several years - under the tutelage of veteran trainer Ronnie Shields. Charlo eventually broke away and began training with Dereck James. Under the guidance of James, Charlo increased his power punching ability and knocked out four out of his last five opponents.
With Hurd on the shelf, Charlo will be looking for a new dance partner - and Lara is more than willing to answer the call.
"Now that Hurd is injured and our rematch will be pushed back - the fight to make is me versus Charlo. It's a fight that makes sense, two of the best versus each other and another great fight for the fans. Charlo is a friend and former stablemate - but that doesn't mean anything... this is boxing and it's a business. I'm ready to fight Charlo anytime! I hope he's also willing to fight the best," Lara told BoxingScene.com.