Pick It: Erickson Lubin vs. Terrell Gausha (Saturday, Showtime, 9 PM EST)
As noted in a column earlier this week, this Jr. middleweight showdown is a critical play-in at a time when the division couldn’t be much more crowded. Erickson Lubin (22-1, 16 KO) and 2012 US Olympian Terrell Gausha (21-1-1, 10 KO) both took their lone loss on the same night three years ago. One of them will deliver the other their second.
Both men have sanctioning body ratings that indicate the winner could be looking at a title opportunity sooner than later. It’s a solid card overall. Potential future welterweight champion Jaron Ennis (25-0, 23 KO) faces veteran Juan Carlos Abreu (23-5-1, 21 KO). Ennis hasn’t risen to a top ten in the sanctioning body ratings yet but the 23-year old getting closer. Featherweight Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-1, 9 KO) makes his first start since a loss to Gary Russell against undefeated Cobia Breedy (15-0, 5 KO) as well.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Saturday - Torres vs. Cuevas (bestinboxing.com, 6 PM EST)
Fight fans looking for a little extra this weekend can contribute $5.99 to the cause here. 23-year old welterweight Kevin Torres (16-1-1, 14 KO) faces Jose Cuevas (13-1-1, 11 KO) in the main event. Cuevas has won three straight while Torres has won six. Also in action is a pair of undefeated bantamweights as Breenan Macias (7-0-2, 4 KO) squares off with Carlos Lopez (12-0-2, 4 KO).
Saturday – Pedraza vs. Molina (ESPN+, 7:30 PM EST)
31-year old former Jr. lightweight and lightweight beltholder Jose Pedraza (27-3, 13 KO) tries to make it two straight at Jr. welterweight following a loss to highly rated Jose Zepeda and a unification defeat at lightweight to Vasyl Lomachenko. He faces a Javier Molina (22-2, 9 KO) who has won five in a row. Also on the card, heavyweight Efe Ajagba (13-0, 11 KO) makes his Top Rank debut facing Jonathan Rice (13-5-1, 9 KO) while Olympic Gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez (4-1, 3 KO) is in featherweight action against Felix Caraballo (13-2-2, 9 KO). After a stunning loss in his pro debut, Ramirez appears to be moving in haste.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at email@example.com