Erickson “The Hammer” Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs) says he plans on attacking the older 27-year-old WBC light middleweight champion Jermell Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs) this Saturday night and outworking him with a high-volume attack in their triple-header fight on Showtime Championship Boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Lubin just turned 22 this month on October 1st, and he’s seen as the underdog in this fight. He’s giving up size, power and experience to Charlo. If Lubin is going to win this fight, he’s going to need to try and outwork Charlo by out-landing him to win a decision or score a knockout. It’s going to be tough for Lubin to do that unless he can keep the pressure on Charlo throughout the contest. Charlo likes to move in his fight, and set traps for his opponents.
Lubin is taking a big risk in facing a fighter as good as Charlo for his first title shot. It might have been better if Lubin had gone the WBO route, as the current champion Miguel Cotto is getting ready to hang up his gloves after he defends his title on December 2 against welterweight Sadam Ali. That would have been the belt for Lubin to go after if he wanted an easy time of it. As long as the World Boxing Organization gave Lubin a good rating, he’d get a title shot. Unfortunately, the WBO’s rankings are a complete mess. They had Yoshihiro Kamegai rated above Lubin, which was a very bizarre ranking unless the WBO got their rankings upside down. Kamegai looked more like a journeyman in his recent loss to Cotto last month.
”I will hit him more than he hits me,” said Lubin to Fighthype.com. ”I really shouldn’t get more specific than that…I actually just turned 22. That was the plan when I signed. I gave up a great shot at Gold to go pro and it was negotiated at the time that I get to move as quickly as possible into a championship fight. I wouldn’t have signed with them if they were going to give me this “it’s too soon” stuff.”
It doesn’t matter if Lubin gives away his game plan to Charlo. It’s not as if Charlo is going to be all that surprised when Lubin comes out on the attack in the early rounds of the contest. He’s just going to adapt to whatever he’s doing and go from there. If Lubin is going to win this fight, he’s going to need to adapt himself, because his original plan of trying to outwork Charlo might not be successful for him in this fight.
Lubin hasn’t been matched well by his management. Lubin says the agreement was to have his management bring him up quickly for a title shot, but they didn’t do much to prepare him for what he’ll be facing on Saturday night when he gets inside the ring with Charlo.
Lubin should have been matched against better opponents than he has. Lubin is going from fighting poor opponents to facing what could be the best guy in the 154-lb. division without a few step up guys that would adequately get him ready for this experience.
There are the fighters that Lubin has fought recently at 154:
Juan Ubaldo Cabrera
Jose De Jesus Macias
These aren’t bad fighters to face if you’re looking at a 6 to 8-year plan of getting a fighter ready for an eventual world title shot. But when you’re talking about putting your fighter in a world title fight against what could be the best fighter in the 154lb division in Charlo, it’s a recipe for failure. Lubin needed a step-up guy that would get him ready for what he’s going to be dealing with on Saturday night when he starts throwing shots at Charlo.
I don’t believe that Lubin is near ready for this experience. That’s okay if he’s fine with the potential of him getting knocked out or beaten by a decision. But if he’s totally committed to winning or else, it could be a huge blow to him mentally if he fails to get the win. This is what happens though when a fighter I rushed.
Pushing your management to rush you into a title fight isn’t the smartest thing to do. Fighters need to let their management do the match-making for them and they need to be the ones that decide if their guy is ready for a big title opportunity or not. Lubin has it backwards. He’s calling the shots, and that’s unwelcome news. If Lubin gets knocked out by Charlo, there are going to be a lot of fingers being pointed at Lubin’s management for rushing him so quickly for this title shot.
These are the step up fights that Lubin should have taken to get ready for Charlo:
If Lubin could have beaten all those guys, he would be a lot better prepared for his title shot against Charlo than he currently is.
”Charlo isn’t bigger than me,” said Lubin. ”We were standing eye to eye. My arms are longer and we’re the same weight class and will probably weigh the same fight night. So there’s no size advantage for him.”
Charlo is bigger than Lubin, and he has a longer reach than him. Where Charlo has a real advantage is in the power and hand speed department. He’s faster and stronger than Lubin now. Perhaps in the future, Lubin will develop his power and become a big puncher on the level of Charlo, but right now, he’s not in the same league as him.