What to Watch: April 6-7

By Caryn A. Tate on April 5, 2018
What to Watch: April 6-7
A 5-year pro is facing a 34-year-old fighter who has basically been fighting his entire life.

Join me as I break down which of the week’s televised fights are most interesting and why. Here’s this week’s rundown…

Join me as I break down which of the week’s televised fights are most interesting and why. Here’s this week’s rundown:

Friday, April 6
6:00pm PT/9:00PM ET - RingTV.com live stream of undercard
7:00pm PT/10:00pm ET - Estrella TV

Marlen Esparza (4-0) vs. Laetizia Campana (2-4) - 8 rounds, super flyweight

Saturday, April 7
11:30am PT/2:30pm ET - Ringstar.com live stream
Tony Yoka (3-0, 2 KOs) vs. Cyril Leonet (13-9-3, 4 KOs) - 10 rounds, heavyweight

7:00pm PT/10:00pm ET - Showtime
Erislandy Lara vs. Jarrett Hurd; Caleb Truax vs. James DeGale; Julian Williams vs. Nathaniel Gallimore

Opening Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions’ broadcast are junior middleweights Williams (24-1-1, 15 KOs) and Gallimore (20-1-1, 17 KOs) in a 12 round bout. Williams is certainly the more technically sound boxer of the two, but Gallimore seems to pack a heavy punch. “J Rock” will need to use his solid fundamentals to keep Gallimore at the end of his shots and keep him turning. I see Williams taking this one.

The Truax (29-3-2, 18 KOs) vs. DeGale (23-2-1, 14 KOs) rematch is unnecessary in my view (I thought Truax won fairly clearly), but nice for DeGale. The British fighter lost his IBF super middleweight world title to Truax in an upset last December in the UK, and now they’re fighting in the US. If DeGale is truly 100%, he could outbox Truax. But he took some serious punishment in his prior fight versus Badou Jack in January 2017, and came out of it with some serious injuries too. Not to mention in his past several fights, DeGale shows some problematic issues with his stamina, as soon as the fifth round. If this rematch is essentially a replay of their first match, Truax should win pretty handily again.

My pick this week is the main event: junior welterweight world champions Lara (25-2-2, 14 KOs), who holds the WBA title, versus Hurd (21-0, 15 KOs), the IBF titlist.

This is an interesting matchup because it’s viewed by many as a 50/50 fight. This is despite the fact that Lara has a far more advanced skillset than Hurd, in my view. Add to that the fact that Hurd has only been a professional boxer for a little over five years, compared to Lara’s extensive and deep Cuban boxing background. Think about that: A five-year pro is facing a 34-year-old fighter who has basically been fighting his entire life.

So where does the 50/50 idea come from? It’s mostly physical: Hurd is an absolutely enormous junior middleweight. He stands 6’1” and has a 76.5” reach (according to BoxRec), while Lara is 5’9” with a 74” reach. But more than the height and reach, Hurd is huge on fight night—I’m not sure how he makes the 154-pound limit—and seems to have a great chin. As we saw in his last fight with Austin Trout, who was clearly outboxing Hurd until the larger, fresher fighter wore him down and stopped him in the 10th. It just seems like Hurd can walk through a lot of punches, likely due to his much larger size, and basically wait for a boxer to slow down or weaken.

Lara has always been a beautiful boxer with fluid footwork, tremendous ring IQ, and seems to pack enough of a punch to at least make big punchers think twice. His punches are also incredibly accurate, which I suspect adds to the impact of his shots. He’s only 34, which isn’t old; but due to his extensive amateur career (310-10, according to his PBC bio), one does wonder if there’s some wear and tear. He has still looked phenomenal in his most recent fights, so hopefully he’s fully healthy.

Whatever happens, this should be a very good fight. Hurd loves to come forward and throws a lot of punches, which should complement Lara’s pure boxer style. If Lara can use his exceptional footwork throughout the fight and pepper Hurd with accurate shots that make him reconsider barreling his way in—or, better yet, if he can land a lot of good body shots—I think Lara can win clearly. But if wear and tear is a factor or if Hurd’s size is just too much, it’s possible the young Maryland fighter could have another upset win on his record.

Check out more of Caryn’s work at http://www.CarynATate.com and follow her on Twitter@carynatate

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  1. fan 07:36am, 04/09/2018

    We need a throwing punching machine with long arm and some boogeyman event.

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