By Steve Kim
This Saturday night from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Showtime presents a tripleheader featuring the junior middleweight division.
WBA, IBO titlist Erislandy Lara faces undefeated Olympian Terell Gausha, while IBF beltholder Jarrett Hurt takes on former world champion Austin Trout and WBC champion Jermell Charlo squares off against undefeated mandatory challenger Erickson Lubin.
All three of the champions are very much on board with unifying the division.
If Stephen Espinoza, the head of Showtime Sports, has his way there will be series of unification bouts in this division that will lead to an undisputed champion being crowned.
The scenario was a bit harder to accomplish less than a year ago, because Jermell's twin brother, Jermall Charlo, was the IBF champion at 154. But Jermall has since moved up to the middleweight division and Hurd would go on to capture the vacant belt.
"Yeah, one of the things is when you had both Charlo's (Jermell and Jermall) as champions at 154, a unification could only go so far, unless we were going to have a brother versus brother fight,'' said Espinoza to BoxingScene.com.
"So now with Jermall moving to 160, the possibilities for a unification, a true unification and having an undisputed champion are significantly improved," continued Espinoza. "So that is one division we've been talking about for a year. If we could achieve unification in some of these divisions. That's one division where we're very close to being able to achieve that."
The sole champion outside of Showtime's realm, is WBO titleholder Miguel Cotto. The Puerto Rican star captured that title in August with a decision win over Yoshihiro Kamegai. But Cotto plans to retire from the sport at the end of this year, with is final career bout taking place on December 2nd in New York City against Sadam Ali.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com