By Ian Aldous, first uploaded on Boxing News 24.
On Saturday October 14th, Terrell Gausha (20-0) challenges Erislandy Lara (24-2-2), for the WBA super-welterweight world championship, live on Showtime in the U.S. The 2012 Olympian, from Cleveland, Ohio, will put his undefeated record on the line when he faces the man many believe to be the very best at 154lbs. Earlier this week, Terrell took some time to talk with me over the phone about his career and his October 14th world title shot.
IA: October 14th is the big night, Erislandy Lara for his 154lb world title. What was going through your mind when you found out you were getting this huge fight?
TG: I was just happy that I finally got that call. We’ve been working for this for a while and it finally felt like my hard work is paying off and I’m finally getting that shot.
IA: Erislandy has been at the top of the super-welterweight division for a while now. How many fights in full have you seen of his over the years?
TG: I’ve seen quite a few of them. I try to catch him when I can and everybody that’s at the top of my weight (class) – I’ll always watch. It’s a good fight for me, I like it.
IA: Do you believe he is the very best at 154lbs in the world today?
TG: It’s hard to say. I feel like I’m the best. I know he’s a champion, he’s got good pedigree and (he’s) a great boxer. But, I feel like I’ve got the tools to beat him.
IA: You have a lot of faith in your work rate, could the key to defeating him be the fact that you might have to outwork him?
TG: Of course, that’s my plan with every fight. You know, I always want to do more than my opponent, but we’ll just have to see how things play come October 14th, because you never know what style he might bring, and I might have to make some adjustments on the fly.
IA: Some people think you might be out of your depth against Lara. What would you say to any doubters?
TG: We’ve always had the cards stacked against us, so it’s no pressure on me for being the underdog. Come October 14th, I’m going to show everybody that I’m supposed to be here.
IA: In your last fight against Luis Hernandez, you beat a very durable guy in an entertaining fight, despite being knocked down early in the fight. What did you make of your performance?
TG: I felt like in that fight I did pretty good. Obviously there’s some things we worked on and a few mistakes I made. It was a good opponent and it was an exciting fight. I got the job done.
IA: Am I right in saying you were 156lbs for that fight?
TG: I was 155lbs and it was scheduled for 156lbs.
IA: Why wasn’t it a 154lbs fight?
TG: I’m not sure, I couldn’t tell you, but that was the agreement (laughs).
IA: Have you been happy with your development as a pro so far and the levels of competition you’ve faced as you’ve progressed?
TG: Yeah, I feel like I’m right on pace – I’m 20-0. I’m moving real good and I think the level of competition is gradually picking up and I’ve experienced some things as a pro, and I was able to grow in those fights. That’s key in being a professional – learning things along the way. I think I’m right where I’m supposed to be at this moment.
IA: You’ve got a tremendous amateur pedigree, and represented the U.S at the 2012 Olympics in London. Although this is going to be a huge step up in competition for you, do you think the experience and amateur pedigree you have actually matches up quite well with a slick boxer like Lara, as I’d class you as a slick boxer a lot due to your amateur pedigree?
TG: I think the amateurs gave me the confidence to be able to go in there and adapt to any style, because I had so many amateur fights and I stuck around for a while just to make the Olympic team. Just having that exposure and being on that big stage – I feel like nothing is too much for me, no moment is too big for me.
IA: That U.S Olympic team in 2012 was a pretty good team. Who was the most naturally talented?
TG: There’s a lot (of talent) on that team. I would have to say, I like Errol Spence’s style, I like Joseph Diaz and Rau’shee Warren. Those three stick out.
IA: Finally, what do you predict on October 14th?
TG: I will make no predictions, but I’ll say what I always say: I will pull out the victory, we’ll have to wait and see how it’s going to go, but I just feel like I’ll be victorious in the fight.
Erislandy Lara vs. Terrell Gausha for the WBA super-welterweight world championship headlines the triple world title PBC broadcast, live on Showtime at 9pm ET, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, on Saturday October 14th. Jermell Charlo defends his WBC super-welterweight world championship against Erickson Lubin, and Jarrett Hurd defends his IBF super-welterweight world championship against Austin Trout.