Part of the reason — or perhaps the main excuse — that promoter Oscar De La Hoya looked outside the 154-pound division for a Dec. 2 opponent for Miguel Cotto is that all the good ones are fighting Saturday night.
Cuban Erislandy Lara (24-2-2, 14 knockouts) headlines the Showtime-televised card by defending his World Boxing Assn. super-welterweight belt against Los Angeles-trained Terrell Gausha (20-0, nine KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The card begins at 7 p.m. Pacific.
"I'm going to clean out the whole division," Lara said, although he still has interest in avenging a narrow loss to Canelo Alvarez.
The card also includes the more intriguing World Boxing Council 154-pound title defense by unbeaten Southland-trained Jermell Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs) versus Florida's Erickson Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs).
Lubin is just 22 and has won his fights by either knockout or a comfortable decision.
"I feel like I've got to keep my composure… . My ability to adjust in the ring is definitely going to give [Charlo] problems," Lubin said. "I can definitely mix it up."
Charlo senses the high-quality matchup will resonate, regardless of who wins.
“This fight is going to do a lot for boxing and … a lot for this division,” Charlo said. “I think my fight is the one people [most] want to see.”
The other title bout is International Boxing Federation champion Jarrett Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs) of Maryland versus veteran former champion Austin Trout (30-3, 17 KOs), who, at 32, said he’s “smarter” than his younger foe.
“I’m the taller fighter. I’m the longer fighter. And I’m the strongest fighter,” said Hurd, 27. “So those advantages will definitely be the keys.”