If one word could be used to define the entire fight card held Saturday night in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan, it would be legacy. Legacy is something that all six fighters featured on the card were seeking to clearly define, with all competing for titles on the card. For main event combatants Erislandy Lara and Vanes Martirosyan, their rematch provided an opportunity to gain some closure after their first bout ended in a controversial technical draw in 2012. The fight got off to a similar start as their first bout with Lara controlling distance with his jab and in & out movement. However, there was a shift in the action in round 3 as Martirosyan began to open up his offensive attack and go to the body of Lara. Martirosyan claimed he would push the pace more in this rematch after the decision in their first fight. And he indeed did that stalking the Cuban champ around the ring. Vanes was very effective to the body when he was able to close distance, but did miss a lot of wide-swinging shots, to which he was met with straight left hands from Lara as he continued to counterpunch and utilize good ring generalship. There was almost a moment of deja vu when the combatants collided heads in round 10, but this time there was no abrasion caused and the fight continued on, although another accidental foul occurred during the round when Martirosyan landed a low blow to the champion. He was given a warning, however in the very next round, Martirosyan landed another illegal low blow and referee Jay Nady was forced to take a point away from the challenger. Even though the fight mirrored their first bout somewhat with all the fouls, there was at least a definitive winner this time, bringing the Lara-Martirosyan saga to an end. The judges awarded Lara with a unanimous decision with the scores of 115-113 and 116-111 from the two other judges bringing his professional record to 23-2-2 (13 KOs). “This is normal. This is boxing, not baseball. Low blows and head butts happen. “I’m a very intelligent fighter and at no point did I feel this fight was going to be lost. “My mother and kids are still there so it would be a great privilege to go fight in my native Cuba. Everything is possible in this world. I didn’t think I’d be champion of the world and here I am.“I want to tell Team Vanes thank you for giving me the rematch. “I’m ready to fight anybody. I’d like to fight Canelo. “The Charlo brothers are my teammates and having l three of us going back as champions is a great thing.” Erislandy Lara
For the Charlo twins, tonight was a chance for the brothers to etch their names in boxing history as the first set of twins to win championship titles in the same weight class. Their respective opponents however both have backstories worthy of the night's theme of legacy. John Jackson, son of legendary knockout artist Julian Jackson, tonight offered a chance at redemption as he previously lost a bout for a lower-tier super welterweight title against Andy Lee in 2014. Jackson also was seeking to further the family name by capturing the same WBC title belt his father held in the super welterweight division over 20 years ago. Austin Trout came into the title bout tonight aiming to reclaim his status as one of the superior 154-pound fighters and solidify his legacy as a 2-time world titlist after a few cumbersome years marked by losses against the likes of Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Erislandy Lara. It was a slow road back to title contention for Trout, but a newfound allegiance with underrated trainer Barry Hunter out of Washington D.C., has rejuvenate his career heading into Saturday's career-defining fight.
For the elder of the two twins, Jermall Charlo was making the second defense of his IBF super welterweight crown with an interested onlooker in the crowd. IBF mandatory challenger Julian "J-Rock" Williams was in attendance for the fight to scout his next opponent. Williams who also called out Austin Trout previously, stated he did not have a preference for facing either fighter but feels the fight with Charlo would be bigger at this juncture. "Charlo had said he's sick of reading your tweets and he'd like to shut you up."Well, he doesn't have to wait much longer so he doesn't have any choice now. I'm the mandatory and if he wins, we are going to fight next." For the first few rounds, the fight was very evenly matched with both fighters landing an occasional telling blow. Charlo was definitely more patient and tentative in the early rounds of the fight against the wily veteran. Like his twin brother, Jermall found himself stalking his opponent for the most part, although Trout showed no fear of exchanging with Charlo early in the fight. It was a fairly even matchup heading into the middle rounds as Trout's southpaw style definitely proved to be a major factor in the fight. Charlo's powerful right hand eluded him early on but began to find more of a home in round 7. However, the ex-WBA champ was still reluctant to fade in the fight. Trout had his most impressive round of the fight in round 9, as he was able to effectively counter Charlo and land to the body as well. The bout was a back and forth battle, with many indecisive swing rounds to score. And it was evident in the judges scoring. One judge scored the fight 115-113 and the other two judges scored the bout 116-112, all in favor for a unanimous decision victory for Jermall Charlo. The win improves his record to 24-0 (18 KOs). In his post fight interview, Charlo stated he would remain in the 154-pound division, making a bout between he and top-rated contender Julian Williams inevitable unless Charlo has a change of heart in the meantime. For now, both Charlo twins can enjoy the history they made becoming the first twin tandem to win world titles in the same division. An amazing way to celebrate a birthday weekend for the two.
Jermell Charlo and John Jackson both came into the fight seeking their first world titles. The first few rounds found both fighters feeling each other out. Jermell applied forward pressure, but Jackson was vas very comfortable fighting off the back foot and trying to counter Charlo. Although Charlo kept the taller Jackson moving backwards, he (Charlo) was reluctant to let his hands go. While Charlo punched in 1-2 sequences, it was Jackson who let combinations go while fighting moving backward. Jackson boxed beautifully the first 6 rounds of the bout, showing excellent ring generalship. In round 7, Charlo began to let his hands go while pushing the pace. The constant forward pressure finally proved to be the difference in round 8 as Jermell landed a devastating overhand right that caused referee Tony Weeks to wave out the bout immediately after follow-up blow was landed by Charlo. Jackson was possibly ahead on the cards going into the round, but that did not come in to play as Charlo captured the WBC super welterweight title via stoppage 51 seconds in the round 8. Jermell improved his record to 28-0 (13 KOs) with the victory