Erickson Lubin Reveals He Was Given No Warning Prior To Stoppage Against Sebastain Fundora But Doesn’t Blame Kevin Cunningham
By: Hans Themistode
Erickson Lubin pushed himself to the limit for his past training camp. The highly ranked junior middleweight contender knew that in order to successfully remove Sebastian Fundora from his title path, he would be forced to reach the sort of heights that few 154-pounders are able.
On April 9th, at the Virgins Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lubin was nearly triumphant in his bid to become an interim world champion. On the night, Lubin and Fundora waged a back and forth war that left many who were tuned in to watch, shellshocked.
After successfully outboxing his man in the first, Fundora turned the tide in the second, dropping Lubin with a short uppercut. From there, the two spent the majority of their bout in the middle of the ring. With Lubin finding his second wind, the 26-year-old rocked the freakishly tall Fundora in the seventh, sending him crashing down to the canvas for the first time in his career.
Yet, despite nearly stopping his man, Fundora quelled Lubin’s momentum in the eighth, before scoring the stoppage victory following the ninth round.
A look of disbelief was etched onto the face of Lubin as Kevin Cunningham, his head trainer, stepped onto the apron and waved off their contest.
While usually in those circumstances, both the head trainer and fighter communicate over the possibility of throwing in the towel, Lubin wasn’t afforded that courtesy. If, however, the crafty and powerful southpaw was given a heads up, he believes he would’ve gone to plan B.
“Nah we didn’t have that conversation,” said Lubin to BoxingInsider.com during a recent interview. “I don’t blame him, he’s like, looking out for me but the fighter in me, I could’ve kept going. I could’ve finished that fight. If I would’ve gotten a fair warning, like ‘oh yeah, I’m bout to stop the fight, I think you’re taking too much punches, or your face is messed up’ something like that, I would’ve changed up my game plan. I would’ve got to boxing or something. I would’ve figured it out.”
To make matters worse, at the time of stoppage, Lubin rallied enough in the second half of their contest to eke ahead on the judge’s scorecard. While judge Tim Cheatham had things even, scoring it 85-85, both Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld gave Lubin the slight edge, scoring it 85-84.
With rounds 10, 11, and 12 considered the “championship rounds”, Lubin grows even more apoplectic over the entire ordeal. While Fundora seemed to be gaining momentum, Lubin maintains that he was more than capable of doing just enough to pull out the victory.
“Yea, for sure, for sure,” said Lubin when asked if he could’ve mustered enough energy to pick up the win. “Those are the championship rounds. Those are the rounds you talk about in the gym every day. When it gets to crunch time, when it gets to those grueling rounds, when you gotta bite down. I’m for it, I’m all for it. I think I definitely would’ve bit down and came out with a decision. Maybe even a knockout.”
Despite believing that he was given a raw deal, Lubin refuses to play the blame game. Shortly following the second defeat of his career, Lubin was immediately rushed to the hospital due to severe swelling that was developing throughout. Although Lubin remains firm on wishing Cunningham communicated with him prior to the stoppage, the Florida native is of the belief that this bump in the road could become a career turning point.
“Like I said, I don’t blame Kevin. He’s going to do whatever he feels is best for me. I don’t think this is going to draw us any further from each other. I think this is actually going to have us get closer. Me and my whole team.”
Kevin Cunningham, Trainer Of Erickson Lubin, Unimpressed With Sebastian Fundora: “He Doesn’t Use His Height And Reach Properly”
By: Hans Themistode
Appropriately nicknamed “The Towering Inferno”, Sebastian Fundora is unusually tall for the 154-pound division.
Standing at nearly 6’6”, Fundora holds a mountainous height and reach advantage over every single opponent he’s faced in the ring. But while the lanky 24-year-old has used his overwhelming physical advantages to batter his opponents, Kevin Cunningham, head trainer of Erickson Lubin, Fundora’s upcoming opponent, smirks as he turns on the tape of the humongous challenger.
Although Fundora has shown devastating knockout power, he seldom uses his overwhelming height to keep opponents at bay. Instead, the 154-pound contender is more likely to engage in a firefight.
As Cunningham continues to implement what he believes is a fail-proof game plan, he’s somewhat bemused by what Fundora doesn’t do in the ring.
“He doesn’t use his height and reach properly the way he should,” said Cunningham during an interview with Thaboxingvoice.
Desperate for a change and new direction following his stunning first-round knockout defeat at the hands of Jermell Charlo in 2017, Lubin sought the guidance of Cunningham. As a tandem, the pair have been a match made in heaven.
In addition to putting together an undefeated streak, Cunningham has guided Lubin to wins over highly ranked contenders Nathaniel Gallimore and Terrell Gausha, as well as former champions Ishe Smith and Jeison Rosario.
With a world title opportunity just within the pair’s reach, Cunningham believes that Lubin will cut his massive upcoming opponent down to size, en route to picking up the victory at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday night, April 9th.
Cunningham’s confidence in Lubin, not only stems from the sweat-filled hours they’ve put in behind the scenes but also, from the uncomplicated puzzle that stands before them.
Amidst Cunningham’s breakdown of Fundora as an overall fighter, he admits that the freakishly large contender does have a few tricks up his sleeve. However, having trained several former and current world champions – including Gervonta Davis, Adrian Broner, Robert Easter Jr., and Devon Alexander – Cunningham believes that Lubin is cut from that same championship cloth.
But, despite the overwhelming belief that Cunningham has in Lubin, he’s attempting to beat into his head the dangers that come with facing Fundora. Ultimately, Cunningham is of the belief that if Lubin quiets the outside noise and focuses on only his voice, victory is guaranteed.
“I’m not saying that he’s an excellent inside fighter,” said Cunningham of Fundora. “He’s just got some nice little uppercuts, trying to catch you coming in so you gotta be careful. Once you there, he ain’t all that on the inside. I’ve seen fighters take advantage of him on the inside.”