Monday’s Boxing Thoughts: Charlo earns stunning knockout as Groves sets up Eubank Jnr clash

An exciting triple-header, a monster knockout and a gruelling domestic clash.

Groves knocks out Cox, sets up Eubank Jnr clash

There seemed to be two schools of thought going into this domestic clash. Firstly, those who said Cox would pressure Groves non-stop and force an entertaining brawl. Others felt that Cox was too small and inexperienced to give Groves any real problems. Both turned out to be right. 

After four difficult rounds for ‘Saint’ George Groves, he found a killer body shot that ended the fight and moved him onto the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series. Jamie Cox can take plenty of positives form the fight however, as his pressure put his opponent on the back-foot for the vast majority of the fight. I’d like to see Cox drop down to middleweight, as his size is a major weakness right now. 

For Groves, he extended his winning run to six fights, but showed once again why he is so entertaining for fans. Arguably there is not another fighter out there right now that is as talented as he is and simultaneously as vulnerable. It’s hard to feel confident about Groves not getting caught by Eubank Jnr in their upcoming semi-final clash, but it’s also evident that he can hit as hard as anyone at 168lbs. This is truly the biggest British fight since Froch-Groves II, and should deliver fireworks. 

Charlo arrives, knocks out Lubin in the first round

In this sport, everyone wants to say they knew this and that fighter would succeed before anyone else did. At the same time, you also have to put your hands up when you get something wrong, and Charlo proved me very wrong on Saturday. Jermell Charlo had seemed to me to be a talented fighter, good but not elite, and likely the less talented twin behind his brother Jermall. On Saturday night, he produced a highlight-reel knockout in the first round of an extremely talented prospect, Erickson Lubin. 

To Lubin’s credit, the first round was tight, two highly-skilled fighters going at it with no clear winner in sight. Then Charlo, recognising Lubin’s head was low and uncovered, threw a sharp right which knocked Lubin clean out. A statement, as impressive as any, to the boxing world that he had truly arrived. He proceeded to call out Jarrett Hurd, who himself holds a junior-middleweight title too, in what could be an all-action unification slugfest. 

For Lubin, it seemed he was thrown in the deep end too early. At 22, he didn’t seem to have the natural strength or experience to win this fight, but don’t forget the name. He has plenty of time before he hits his prime and could still become a top-level fighter in this sport.

Jarrett Hurd becomes first man to knock out Austin Trout 

He may never have been an elite-level fighter, but there’s a reason Austin Trout has never been knocked out. Fighters such as Miguel Cotto have been beaten, Canelo Alvarez took him to the scorecards. No one has stopped him before Jarrett Hurd did just that on Saturday night. Hurd is an undefeated fighter, whose transformation from unheralded prospect to legitimate force is arguably complete. 

He was however outworked by Trout in the early rounds, a surprisingly aggressive strategy from the veteran. It couldn’t last however, as Trout ran out of energy in the middle rounds and allowed Hurd to take control and land big shots which ultimately ended the fight. If Hurd accepts Charlo’s challenge to a unification he will be a sizeable underdog, but maybe that’s how he’ll want it, as he seems to consistently prove his doubters wrong. 

Lara easily outpoints Gausha 

Despite being the main event of the triple-header, this was easily the dullest fight of the night. Erislandy Lara is a master at his defensive skill, so many of his fights can lack action, but this was just a clear mismatch. 

Lara took control of the fight early and never looked back, winning on scorecards of (116-111, 117-110, and 117-110). Hopefully Lara’s next fight will get him out of cruise control, but finding a top opponent for the awkward Cuban southpaw is proving tough.

What were your highlights of the weekend? Let us know in the comments…

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