By Peter Lim
World junior middleweight titleholder Erislandy Lara (24-2-2, 14 KOs) defends his belt against Terrell Gausha (20-0, 9 KOs) at the Barclay’s Center in a Showtime-televised card that will feature two other 154-pound title fights.
On paper, Lara was defeated by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez via split decision in 2014 and by Paul Williams via majority decision in 2011. But in actuality, Lara should be undefeated, according to trainer Ronnie Shields, since those losses were nothing short of daylight robberies.
"I think a lot of people consider him undefeated, absolutely," Shields said. "He's beaten everybody that you've put in front of him."
Lara, 34, might be one of the most underrated and underappreciated fighters out there, Shields said. Not only should Lara be undefeated, Shields added, he should be considered one of the most elite fighters in the sport today.
"He's definitely in the top 10 in the pound-for-pound guys out there right now," Shields said. "He's proven that over and over. He's beaten the best guys that they’ve put in front of him."
An honors graduate of the school of hit-and-not-get-hit, Lara is no Arturo Gatti. Neither is he a seek-and-destroy action fighter like Hagler or a one-punch knockout artist like Hearns. Outside the ropes, he is neither controversial like Mayweather nor charismatic like Sugar Ray. He speaks little English and doesn’t have movie-star good looks like De La Hoya. You will never see hysterical female fans throwing their panties at him or even die-hard fight aficionados camping in line overnight to purchase tickets to his fights.
"Lara's a pure boxer. That's what he does. He is who he is," Shields said. "Either you love the style or you hate it. He's not going to change the style to please somebody. He's a professional. That's what he is."
"Once you have a style that you've perfected, keep your style," Shields added. "Don't worry about what anybody says or whatever. Don't change your style for anybody. This is the game of boxing. Just like any other sport, once you find something that works for you, that's what you have to continue to do to keep being very successful at it."
See prediction for Charlo vs. Lubin at: http://peterliminator.blogspot.com/2017/10/jermell-charlo-vs-erickson-lubin.html