By: Hans Themistode
The risk often outweighs the reward. That’s frequently the case when a fighter finds himself in a mandatory position.
Too many times have we seen fighters scratch and claw their way to the number one ranking in a specific sanctioning body, only to lose everything in the blink of an eye due to one bad night at the office.
The options are usually reduced to two at that point. Either said fighter sits back and waits a protracted amount of time for his shot, or he takes on an heralded opponent with little to no chance of an upset happening.
Jr middleweight contender Erickson Lubin isn’t a fan of either option. And while he’s already ranked number one in the WBC for Jermell Charlo’s title, that doesn’t mean he isn’t willing to risk it all.
“We are hoping for the mandatory shot at Charlo next,” said Lubin’s head trainer Kevin Cunningham to BoxingScene.com. “If Charlo isn’t next, I’m sure the fans wouldn’t mind seeing Erickson Lubin versus Jarret Hurd or Erickson Lubin versus Julian Williams. Most fighters that get in mandatory position sit until they get the title shot. Hammer wants to stay busy. He is willing to face the other top guys until he gets a shot.”
Lubin, 25, has a second chance at a first impression. After winning ESPN’s prospect of the year in 2016, the Florida native was fast tracked to a world title shot against the aforementioned Charlo one year later.
The hype train surrounding him was quickly derailed as a Charlo right hand left him down and out in the first round. He’s since bounced back in a huge way, winning five straight and finding himself in the mandatory position once again.
If Lubin gets his wish, he’ll be facing Charlo in his next fight with revenge on his mind. But he’ll find his man a bit heavier this time around thanks to several additional world titles due to his eighth round stoppage win over Jeison Rosario.
As much as Cunningham would love for his man to begin his own title reign, he knows that Charlo has a bevy of options in front of him.
“Hammer’s sitting in a good position and we’re waiting to see how things play out. Big props to Jermell Charlo for his KO win over Rosario. I agree with Max Kellerman, Charlo is the undisputed junior middleweight champion. Hammer’s Charlo’s WBC mandatory but Charlo has mandatories with the WBA and IBF also. There’s also talk of a Charlo-Teixeira unification for the WBO.”