Erickson Lubin is as aware as anyone of Jermell Charlo’s capabilities.
Charlo caught Lubin with a right hand that stunningly ended their 154-pound title fight in the first round almost six years ago at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The resilient Lubin rebuilt himself into a credible contender and has embraced another difficult fight against unbeaten Jesus Ramos on the televised portion of the undercard when Charlo challenges Canelo Alvarez on September 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Though obviously focused on his own high-stakes 12-rounder later this month, Lubin could see Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) pulling off an upset against Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) in their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event. Alvarez is a 4-1 favorite, but Lubin has noticed enough slippage in the Mexican icon that makes him think Charlo can win if he takes a smart, tactical approach to this 12-round, 168-pound title bout between 33-year-old undisputed champions.
“I feel like Jermell has a good chance,” Lubin told BoxingScene.com. “I feel like, you know, with the way Canelo’s been looking, he has a good chance. But, you know, Canelo is Canelo and he’s gonna come ready to fight and we’ll see what happens. I think Canelo is gonna pull it off, for sure.”
Lubin considers Charlo’s IQ in the ring one of his best, most underrated attributes, which should serve him well versus Alvarez. He nevertheless stressed that the taller Charlo must avoid dangerous exchanges with the hard-hitting undisputed super middleweight champion.
“Canelo is a heavy puncher, so him moving up two weight classes, I feel like [Charlo] hasn’t felt that punch yet,” Lubin said. “You know, his last fight, when he fought [Brian] Castano [in May 2022], it was a battle. They were going back and forth. I feel like with Canelo, he has to box his socks off. He’ll have to be, you know, a superior boxer that night. If he sits in there and wanna trade shots with Canelo and war with Canelo, then he’ll be in trouble for sure.”
The 6-foot Charlo regularly spars with heavier fighters, but the fully unified junior middleweight champion has acknowledged that he won’t know how he’ll react to Alvarez’s power until he gets hit while they’re wearing 10-ounce gloves.
Houston’s Charlo has been a puncher throughout his championship reign in the 154-pound division. He has never weighed in, though, at more than 155¾ pounds for any of his 37 professional fights.
The 5-foot-8 Alvarez, meanwhile, is accustomed to taking punches from naturally bigger opponents in the super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions. Guadalajara’s Alvarez is 7-0 (4 KOs) in bouts contested at the 168-pound limit and 1-1 in 175-pound title fights.
Ramos (20-0, 16 KOs), a strong southpaw from Casa Grande, Arizona, is listed by DraftKings sportsbook as a 5-1 favorite to beat Lubin (25-2, 18 KOs), a more experienced southpaw from Orlando, Florida. Theirs will be one of three fights Showtime Pay-Per-View will televise as part of the Alvarez-Charlo undercard (8 p.m. EDT; 5 p.m. PDT; $84.99).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.