By: Hans Themistode
The world titles in the Jr. middleweight division have found themselves on a never ending merry-go-round.
The first stop for the IBF and WBA titles was at the feet of Jarrett Hurd. The Maryland native would see his title reign last roughly a year and a half until his championship belts decided it was time to make another trip, this time to Philadelphia.
Julian Williams found himself next up on the merry-go-round, winning the titles from Hurd in May of last year. Yet by the time the Philadelphia native reached out to put the world titles on his mantle, Jeison Rosario snatched them away from him, stopping the now former champion in the fifth round of his first title defense.
The most recent stop on the merry-go-round was in Detroit where Tony Harrison gladly took his turn. Much like Williams though, Harrison saw his title reign truncated the moment he attempted to defend his controversially won belt against Jermell Charlo.
Even with the numerous short title runs, the record books will always say that fighters such as Harrison and Williams were once world champions, but for contender Erickson Lubin, their title runs shouldn’t even count.
“A lot of what’s been going on is these champions will win the belt one time and then they fight again and lose it. To me their not considered a true champion,” said Lubin on the Premier Boxing Champions podcast. “Like yeah they won the belt and that’s cool and all but when I win the belt I’m looking to keep the belt until I retired. A true champion in my book is someone who gets the belts and defends them. They defend the belts, keep winning the belts and go up in weight classes and win more belts.”
Lubin (22-1, 14 KOs) has his own chance to place himself in front of the championship line. This weekend, the former amateur standout will take on former Olympian Terrell Gausha in a WBC eliminator contest. Should he win, Lubin will find himself fighting for another world title.
Three years ago, Lubin was on the brink of etching his name as a world champion. Yet, he ran smack into the right hand of Charlo on the night which ended his dreams in the first round. Fast forward to today however, and the highly rated contender believes that he’s better than ever.
“I been grinding ever since I took my loss and I been improving ever since I took my loss. I was dangerous before I loss but now that I took that loss I got with Kevin Cunningham and we improving in everything.”
The trash talk leading up to Charlo and Lubin’s matchup was entertaining to say the least. At every turn both fighters would jaw off at one another to no end.
In short, there was no love lost. The two may not see eye to eye, but Lubin respects his skillset. With that being said, even with a knockout loss, he still doesn’t believe he plays second fiddle to anyone. Including Charlo.
“Jermell to me is a true champion. He was able to get that belt and defend it. Even though he loss to Tony Harrison he went back and made a statement. He proved that the first fight was controversial, so to me he’s a true champion. But I don’t feel like he’s better than me. He did beat me so he’s considered better then me to the fans and everyone else but I can’t wait. When the time comes we’ll definitely be ready.”
Not only does Lubin need to get past Gausha this weekend, but Charlo has some work to do as well. The current WBC belt holder will meet with unified champion Jeison Rosario in a FOX Pay-Per-View headliner on September 26th.
Lubin doesn’t expect it to be easy, but for the first time in his career, he’s on team Charlo.
“It’s a toss up but I’m thinking that Charlo is going to beat him,” explained Lubin. “Charlo is more of the seasoned veteran and he’s more athletic in my opinion. If he sits in there and trades shots with Rosario then that’s a bad idea in my opinion. But he moves his feet way more and he has some punching power. With Rosario I feel like he’s never been on this stage before.”