By Keith Idec
All Erickson Lubin seems to hear and read is that he isn’t quite ready for what awaits him next week.
That moment of truth couldn’t come soon enough for the unbeaten junior middleweight contender, who’ll challenge WBC 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo on October 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs), a powerful southpaw from Orlando, Florida, can’t wait to prove just how prepared he is to become a world champion, even though he just turned 22 on Sunday.
“Everybody expects fireworks October 14th,” Lubin said during a conference call Tuesday. “I’ve been dreaming about this fight for quite some time now. I asked for this fight. I’m gonna turn these non-believers into believers, you know, the ones that think it’s too early for me or I’m too young. I’ve been having a great camp out here in New Jersey and, you know, I’m just a week and some change away.”
Houston’s Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs) and many others have questioned Lubin’s credentials as the mandatory challenger for Charlo’s WBC super welterweight title.
Lubin demolished Mexico’s Jorge Cota (25-2, 22 KOs) on his way to a fourth-round technical knockout victory in his last fight, March 4 at Barclays Center. He hadn’t beaten a legitimate 154-pound contender before battering Cota, though.
“I make my opponents look like nobodies,” Lubin said. “That’s why they might say they’re nobodies, because I make them look like that. So pretty much, I came up the right way. I’ve fought guys with experience, I’ve fought hard hitters, I’ve fought all types of guys. So I’m definitely ready for this fight. I’ve prepared myself physically as well as mentally, and tune in October 14th.”
While critics have picked apart his record, the confident challenger doesn’t consider Charlo’s resume overly impressive.
Lubin doesn’t think highly of Dallas’ Charles Hatley (26-2-1, 18 KOs), whom Charlo knocked unconscious in the sixth round April 22 at Barclays Center. He also points out that Charlo was losing handily on all three scorecards before he knocked out John Jackson (21-3, 16 KOs) in the eighth round to win the then-vacant WBC championship in May 2016 in Las Vegas.
“I don’t feel like Charlo has ever fought anyone like me,” Lubin said, “and October 14th, the world will definitely know what my name is, Erickson Lubin, if they don’t know who ‘The Hammer’ is.”
Showtime will televise Charlo-Lubin as part of a tripleheader that’ll include two more 154-pound title fights.
Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara (24-2-2, 14 KOs), the WBA/IBO super welterweight champion, will defend his titles against Cleveland’s Terrell Gausha (20-0, 9 KOs) in the main event. In the opening bout, Jarrett Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs), of Accokeek, Maryland, is scheduled to defend his IBF junior middleweight championship against Austin Trout (30-3, 17 KOs), of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.