Triple your championship pleasure: Lara vs Martirosyan-Charlo vs Trout-Charlo vs Jackson
Three world title tilts, featuring six of the top fighters in the loaded 154-pound division? All on one night under one roof? That’s the kind of action only Las Vegas could handle. The championship tripleheader comes to you tomorrow from the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT live on Showtime.
Erislandy Lara and Vanes Martirosyan were on the verge of fighting for a world championship when they squared off in a title eliminator in November 2012. The fight was a toss-up heading into Round 9, when an accidental headbutt opened a gash over Martirosyan’s eye.
When Martirosyan was unable to continue, the fight went to the scorecards, with one judge favoring Lara, another Martirosyan and the third scoring it even, resulting in a technical draw.
Since that night, the Cuba-born, Houston-based Lara has gone 5-1 and captured a world title, which the 33-year-old southpaw has successfully defended four times. At the same time, the 30-year-old Martirosyan, who was born in Armenia and resides in Southern California, has gone 4-2.
Tonight, some 3½ years after their first meeting, the two rivals finally take care of unfinished business in the main event of this championship trifecta.
Late last year, it took Jermall Charlo all of six weeks and seven sensational rounds to go from unbeaten 154-pound contender to defending 154-pound champion.
After capturing his first world title on September 12 with a third-round destruction of Cornelius Bundrage, Charlo took apart Wilky Campfort via fourth-round TKO on November 28 in his first title defense. Now the 26-year-old from Houston faces by far his biggest challenge to date when he battles southpaw Austin Trout of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Trout, 30, won a 154-pound title in November 2009 and successfully defended it five times, culminating with a victory over Miguel Cotto in December 2012. He suffered his first two losses in his next two fights against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Lara, but has since rebounded to win his last four bouts.
While Charlo has knocked out 18 of 23 opponents, including 16 of the last 17, Trout has never been stopped in his 10½-year professional career, making this a classic matchup of unstoppable force vs. immovable object.
Jermall Charlo has been wearing his crown for the last eight months. Now, just two days removed from the siblings’ 26th birthday, twin brother Jermell gets an opportunity to win his own hardware when he battles John Jackson for a vacant 154-pound title.
Like Jermall – who is older by a single minute – Jermell Charlo has defeated every opponent who’s stood in front of him since turning pro in late 2007. That includes a victory over Martirosyan in March 2015, followed by a sixth-round TKO of former world champ Joachim Alcine in his most recent fight on Halloween night.
Also like his brother, Jermell Charlo figures to have his hands full Saturday, as the heavy-handed Jackson, who hails from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, owns an impressive résumé. The 27-year-old son of former two-division champion Julian “The Hawk” Jackson has knocked out 15 of his opponents and defeated five others by unanimous decision.
Charlo and Jackson will be fighting for a world title for the first time in their respective careers.