Erickson Lubin and Dennis Galarza enjoyed celebrated signings with Iron Mike Productions when the pair of former amateur standouts opted to turn pro last October. The two young prospects continue to work hard in the same capacity, even as they train for bouts on separate cards hundreds of miles apart and on separate nights.
Both fighters have set up camp in Washington D.C., training out of Headbangerz Gym run by highly touted trainer Barry Hunter, best known for his work with Lamont and Anthony Peterson and heavyweight contender Tony Thompson.
"This was absolutely the right move to make for these two," insists manager Henry Rivalta, whose motivation was to surround the pair of young prospects with top-notch talent. "When you're boxing with guys like (former three-division champ) Adrien Broner, (lightweight contender) Hank Lundy and a lot of young, hungry talent, you have to raise your game.
"These two are young kids only in age, but have the mentality that they want to be champions the moment the opportunity presents itself. They want to work hard and make it happen while they're young and are putting in the work to move towards that goal."
Lubin, the 18-year old wunderkind once touted as the top American amateur boxer, returns to the ring on April 18 in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. The unbeaten welterweight prospect (4-0, 4KO) appears on the non-televised portion of a Shobox tripleheader staged that evening, though there exists the possibility of appearing via tape-delayed clips if time permits during the telecast.
Galarza (2-0, 1KO) returns six days later, appearing on a show at the Sands Resort Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The 21-year old last fought in January, scoring a four-round decison on the non-televised undercard of the 2014 season premiere of ESPN2 Friday Night Fights, which featured the infamously controversial knockout-turned-No-Decision between Rances Barthelemy and Argenis Mendez.
Both fighters arrived in D.C. last month, and hit the ground running. Among those present to push the prospects to the limit have been: Broner, Lundy, former three-time Olympic boxer and current flyweight prospect Rau'shee Warren, Alante Fox, Demetrius Ballard, Robert Easter and fellow Iron Mike Productions prospect Albert Bell.
"I'm grateful to Iron Mike Productions for granting these young men the opportunity to travel to D.C. to train with some of the best young talent in the game today," Rivalta acknowledges. "Barry Hunter runs a terrific program there and my kids' head coach, Jason Galarza is doing a hell of a job with them. The sky's the limit for these two young men, who are already miles ahead of their peers. Working with talent like that will only continue to make them better."
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox