By: Hans Themistode
Kevin Cunningham, head trainer of 154-pound contender Erickson Lubin, has successfully helped his young fighter pick up the pieces of his shattered career. After suffering a shocking first round, one-punch knockout loss at the hands of Jermell Charlo in October of 2017, Lubin has gone on to win six straight.
His most recent ring appearance though, may have produced his most impressive performance yet. Just a few weeks ago, Lubin took on former unified champion, Jeison Rosario. Despite being shaken by a right hand in the fourth round, Lubin shrugged off those difficult moments and went on to stop his man in the sixth.
Considering that the Florida native was already made the mandatory challenger to Charlo’s WBC title, Cunningham believes that his fighter deserves credit for continuing to take tough assignment after tough assignment. As for what could be next, outside of a title shot, the long-time trainer doesn’t want to see any fight offers come across his desk unless there’s a big name associated with it.
“I think Hammer made a huge statement,” said Cunningham during an interview with Boxingscene.com. “He’s cut from the throwback fighter’s cloth. Most guys that are sitting in the #1 mandatory spot would look for a soft touch until they get the title shot. Hammer’s only interested in fighting the best in the division. So while he’s waiting for his shot, he’s willing to fight the other top names in the division.”
Speaking of top names in the division, Danny Garcia, a former unified champion at 140 pounds and a one-time belt holder at 147, is ready to move up in an attempt to be considered an elite 154-pounder.
“I really want to go to 154 pounds,” said Garcia during a recent interview with FightHype.com. “I really do.”
If the decision was solely up to Cunningham, he would much rather Lubin take on the winner of the undisputed showdown between Charlo and Brian Castaño on July 17th. Believing that his man has done everything necessary to warrant a title shot in his next bout, Cunningham desperately wants Lubin to get another crack at a world title.
But, as is the case at times in boxing, mandated title challengers are made to wait far longer than they would like. If the same fate awaits Lubin, Cunningham would have no problem preparing his man to take on a decorated fighter who is looking to make a mark in his new division.
“We only want a marquee fight next. If for some reason we can’t get the Charlo-Castaño winner, we would be willing to oblige Danny Garcia and welcome him to the 154-pound division.”
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