State Farm Arena, Atlanta - Orlando's Erickson "Hammer" Lubin (23-1, 17KOs) overcame some adversity to score the most important victory of his career over former unified world champion Jeison Rosario (20-3-1, 14KOs). The WBC No. 1-ranked contender at 154 pounds, Lubin scored a sixth-round KO (1:42) in the WBC Super Welterweight Title Eliminator.
“I just followed the game plan,” said the 25-year-old Lubin, who improves to 6-0 since suffering the only loss of his career to 154-pound kingpin Jermell Charlo.
“I would just go back to my corner after each round and Coach [Kevin] Cunningham and my team would just say, ‘Stick to the jab. Stay consistent with your jab.' I’m way faster than him and I knew he had good power and he was trying to counter me. So I would fade him out and use my jab consistently.”
In the third round, Lubin nearly put an early end to the action with a huge frame that had Rosario on the back foot. In the closing moments of the round, Lubin landed a right hook that had Rosario wobbling back to his corner after the bell rang. Miraculously, in the next round, Rosario was able to recover and completely turned the tables, wobbling Lubin with a left jab.
The action turned up even more in the sixth round. Lubin, sensing that Rosario was susceptible to the body attack, landed a vicious left-right body combination that sent Rosario to his knees in what ultimately proved to be the turning point of the fight. Rosario, clearly hurt, was never able to recover and Lubin finished him off moments later against the ropes.
“I started to hurt him in the body as soon as the first round started,” the 2016 “Prospect Of The Year” Lubin said.
“I started with the body and I saw him grunt. So I was able to hurt him to the body. I just wanted to distract him with the jab, then go downstairs. And I was able to get him out. I knew even if he got up after the knockdown that the fight was over. I know I’m a great finisher and I knew I was going to get him out of there as soon as I saw him drop.”
Lubin landed 44 percent of his power punches (80/288) and 20 of his landed punches were to the body. With the win, Lubin puts himself squarely in the picture for a second world title opportunity.
“I want a shot at the world title next,” he said. “I want everyone at 154 pounds. I’m No. 1 in the WBC but I chose to fight Rosario. I don’t duck anybody. I want to say that I fought everyone in my division when I win the world title.”