Over the last couple of years the Light Middleweight division has been one of the most interesting with regular upsets, shocks and surprises. On paper it's one of the most interesting divisions, but also one of the most frustrating with none of the fighters involved really being able to make the divisions theirs. It's not a bad division, not even close, but it's one that is lacking consistency and is very much a mess, an exciting, competitive, mess.
WBA "Super" and IBF - Jeison Rosario (20-1-1, 14)
Dominican fighter Jeison Rosario announced himself on the boxing world earlier this year when he stopped Julian Williams to claim the WBA "Super" and IBF titles. Prior to that win he wasn't particularly well-known but had notched decent wins against Justin DeLoach, Jamontay Clack and Jorge Cota. Notably he has suffered a stoppage loss, being stopped in 6 rounds by Nathaniel Gallimore back in 2017. Since that loss he has bounced back and gone 8-0-1 (5) and matured from the 22 year old kid he was when that loss was suffered. Strong, heavy handed and physically powerful, he's going to be a very tough may to win a war against.
WBC- Jermell Charlo (33-1, 17)
American boxer-puncher Jermell Charlo has been happy to talk the the talk and has got himself a solid resume, with wins against the likes of John Jackson, Erickson Lubin, Austin Trout and Tony Harrison. In reality however he's very much a fighter who has frustrated fans. As a 2-time WBC champion he's a talented fighter, and has avenged his sole defeat, but there is very much a feeling that should do more, both in regards who he faces and what he does in the ring. Although not a puncher he certainly isn't feather fisted, and when he catches an opponent clean he can take them out. Probably the best in the division, but also one of the most frustrating.
WBO - Patrick Teixeira (31-1, 22)
Exciting Brazilian fighter Patrick Teixeira shocked many in November when he took a decision over the highly regarded Carlos Adames to claim the WBO "interim" title, which later became the full version of the title when Jaime Munguia moved up in weight. Although not the best fighter out there Teixeira combines skills, power and toughness, along with good size for a fighter in the division and a southpaw stance. Notably he was stopped back in 2016, by Curtis Stevens at Middleweight, but since then he has racked up 5 wins and claimed the WBO title. He's expected to make his first defense later this year against Brian Carlos Castano.
WBA "regular" - Erislandy Lara (26-3-3, 15)
Cuban veteran Erislandy Lara, who is now 36, has long been in and around the world title scene with a mix of bad luck and not doing himself many favours. The skilled southpaw is arguably the best natural boxing talent in the division, but he's also proven to be one of the most frustrating and has, like other Cuban fighters, done a lot to hamper his own career. Through his career he has beaten a who's who, but many of his best wins are years in the past and he once has 1 win since the end of 2017, with that being a victory over Ramon Alvarez. Although he was competitive with Jarrett Hurt in 2018, losing a close decision, and fought to a draw with Brian Carlos Castano last year. He's world class, but we do wonder what he has left in the tank.
Takahiro Onaga is a regular contributor to Asian Boxing and will now be a featured writer in his own column where his takes his shot at various things in the boxing world.