Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara 25-2-2 (14) is confident that he can knockout Jarrett Hurd 21-0 (15) when the two meet on April 7 to unify their WBA, IBO and IBF junior middleweight titles at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
At 5-foot-9 “The American Dream” is noticeable shorter than the 6-foot-1 Hurd, but the Houston, Texas-based 34-year-old says that the size difference will have no impact on the fight result.
“I keep hearing people refer to his height and how big he is,” said Lara on a media conference call via a translator. “Well, Paul Williams was taller and bigger than him. Canelo was and is stronger than him. And they couldn’t deal with me. So I’m not worried about what he has to bring. I’m worried about what I have to do in that ring. I’m focused and I’m ready.”
It’s worth noting that Lara lost those two fights, although many people felt he deserved the nod against both Alvarez (SD12) and Williams (MD12).
Hurd is coming off a 10th round stoppage of Austin Trout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York last October when the former WBA junior middleweight titleholder’s corner stopped the fight when Trout could no longer see out of his right eye. With the win Hurd became the first man to stop the southpaw from Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Lara fought twice in 2017. He scored a 12-round unanimous decision win over the previously undefeated Terrell Gausha in October at Barclays Center, Brooklyn and knocked out former world titleholder Yuri Foreman in January at Hialeah Park Racing & Casino in Miami, Florida.
The reigning WBA and IBO junior middleweight champion insists he’s the puncher going in to this fight.
“There’s no question in my mind, I know I can knock him out,” Lara said. “If he gets reckless, he’s gonna get knocked out. And if not, then he’s gonna get beat up. So he’s gonna have to make that decision on April 7th. Will he go through the fire? Or if he’s just willing just to lose a decision? It’s up to him. He’s gonna have to decide that on April 7th.”