Tomorrow night, in a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME®, former undisputed 160-pound world champion Jermain Taylor (29-4-1, 18 KO’s) meets the undefeated Caleb “Golden” Truax (18-0-1, 10 KO’s) in the 10-round main event. In the 10-round co-feature, former middleweight world title challenger Ronald Hearns (26-2, 20KO’s) will be dropping down in weight and looking to establish himself as a force in the junior middleweight division when he takes on former Cuban amateur standout Erislandy Lara (15-1-1, 10 KO’s).
For Hearns, the son of all-time great and soon-to-be hall-of-famer Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, it will be the first time back in the ring since losing to “Super” WBA Middleweight Champion, Felix Sturm in February 2011. Hearns put forth a spirited effort against the longtime reigning champion Sturm, but was eventually stopped in the seventh round. Now after some time off, Hearns is looking to not just return to the ring but to make a statement when he takes on the extremely talented and dangerous Lara.
“This fight can open up the doors for me to fight some of the top guys in both weight classes, 154 or 160,” said Hearns. “Lara is a very talented fighter. I am grateful for the opportunity.”
Regarding the weight at which he will look to fight, Hearns says he is just looking for the biggest opportunities out there for him, and he is comfortable competing in either division.
“I don’t have a problem making weight in either weight class. I was bringing my weight down too early and holding it for weeks at a time. This training camp has been great. The world is going to see how much I have improved.”
Hearns, who, like his father, is trained by the legendary Emanuel Steward, has been getting arguably the best southpaw sparring available, as he has been working with stable-mate, and imminent middleweight world title challenger, Andy Lee. Lee, who will be challenging Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for the WBC Middleweight Championship on June 16th, has not only been working with Ronald during training camp, but will also be in his corner on fight night. Lee feels that in all of the years they have worked together that this is the best Ronald has ever looked.
“I’ve had some hard hitting and spirited workouts with Ronald the past two weeks,” said Lee. “I think it’s been a benefit to us both. He is looking good for this Friday night for sure. He’s determined to win. I’ve never seen him hit like this before. It should be a great fight.”
The fight between Hearns and Lara was originally scheduled for February 11 as the co-feature to Victor Ortiz vs. Andre Berto II, but that was rescheduled after a Berto injury caused a postponement of the event. Both bouts will be shown live on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Miss. The card is promoted by DiBella Entertainment (DBE) in association with Golden Boy Promotions.