By: Hans Themistode
Jr Middleweight contender Erickson Lubin is finally ready to put the past behind him, but he’s also ready to face it as well.
Lubin (22-1, 16 KOs) found himself on the fast track to stardom back in 2013. He was fresh off a spectacular amateur career where he went 143-7. From there, he needed just three years to add the ESPN Prospect of the year award in 2016.
In short, everything was going according to plan. Until everything went sideways as Jermell Charlo left him unconscious in the first round. When Lubin woke up, he noticed everything was gone. His undefeated record, his dream, at least temporarily, of becoming a world champion and the hype surrounding him. But while everything was falling down around him inside of the ring, it helped him get things in order outside of it.
“It didn’t just play a role inside boxing,” said Lubin to Premier Boxing Champions on Instagram Live. “It played a role outside too. It was like a character defining loss. When I lost, I was trying to see who was still with me and who was my friends so I was still trying to figure out things.”
Lubin, 24, walked into the ring at 22 years of age and lacked any real experience at the world class level. Charlo on the other hand, marched to the ring five years older and had the edge in terms of competition faced. At the time, many wondered out loud if Lubin was biting off more than he could chew. He scoffed at that notion and vowed to prove everyone wrong. Now, three years later, Lubin believes the confidence that has led him to receiving non stop praise, worked against him.
“I went in there pretty young. I admit that it was probably a bit early, but the way my skill set is and my mind is, I felt like I was ready for that fight. In actuality I wanted to be a star so soon but God had different plans for me. We still bounced back and now I’m number one in the WBC so a rematch is in the near future.”
Bouncing back is putting it mildly. Lubin took the indelible mark that Charlo left on him and turned it into a deleterious rage. Beating his last four opponents and with the exception of his most recent contest, his previous three didn’t see the final bell.
Now, Lubin finds himself in a familiar position. Number one in the WBC and mandatory challenger to Charlo again. A rematch shouldn’t be an issue for the champion. He already has a mental edge because of how easy he made it look against Lubin the first time. But that was 2017. In 2020, it’s a whole different story.
“He sees what’s going on. He sees that I’m with Kevin Cunningham and what I’m doing to these fighters that most of these fighters are having trouble with. I feel like he’s just trying to buy time. Or he’s trying to find a different route or end up moving up. I’m not ducking any smoke. Jermell Charlo is a great fighter, I’m not taking anything away from him, but I feel like I am the best at 154 pounds. My main goal is to be world champion and not just world champion but to be unified and undisputed.”