12 Rounds With … Erickson Lubin

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Super welterweight contender ready to restart path towards a world championship after suffering first career loss to Jermell Charlo last October.

For those wondering how 154-pound contender Erickson Lubin is rebounding from his first career loss—a first-round KO to WBC champion Jermell Charlo in October—“The Hammer” has a simple message: “I’m ready to knockout my next opponent” and  “terrorize everybody at 154 pounds.”

Lubin (18-1, 13 KOs) was pursuing his third-straight stoppage and first world championship when Charlo caught him with a thunderous right uppercut, dashing his title dreams inside Barclays Center.

But after some time away from the gym, the Orlando, Florida native says he is completely rejuvenated and refocused on his goal of winning a world championship.

How have you coped with your first loss?

I took a good month off from boxing. My son, Malachai, was born in July, and I took time to hang out with family and just mature and get my mind right outside of the ring.

Boxing is what I do and I love the sport, so I still kept up with all of the upcoming fights—but I just took time away to actually think about what I could have done better.  So, now, I’m good, man. I’m taking it day by day. I’m back in the gym and working and reviewing what I need to do, next time.

Have you watched replays of the fight?

I didn’t really watch the fight at first. It took a couple of weeks for me to watch it because I kind of didn’t want to see it. But one of the first things I wanted to see was where I went wrong.

If I could go back to that moment and take it back, I would. I felt like I was the better fighter, skillfully and technically. But this is boxing, and when it comes to this sport, one punch can change the entire fight, no matter the skill level. That’s what happened.

Can you break down the stoppage?

I wasn’t really warmed up yet and didn’t get the time to figure out Charlo.  I was actually boxing pretty well and felt like I was winning the round. I took a chance, but I went in dipping my head pretty low with my hands down.

Charlo’s a world champion and a top-level fighter. He caught me, and I can’t say that it was a lucky shot. We trained so hard for that fight, and I’ve never really done that before. I dipped to that side and he caught me with that right uppercut.

That was something that I didn’t see coming at all. It was definitely something new. Some people said it was a lucky shot, but it can happen to anybody, even to Charlo. He’s a decent puncher who landed that punch at the perfect time and he put me out with it.

What do you recall about the knockout?

When I was on the floor, trying to get up, I wasn’t conscious, but I wasn’t feeling any pain. It was just a flash shot. To watch that was disturbing. The referee saw me fighting hard, and he discontinued the fight because he saw me struggling and I was just fighting to get up.

I actually got up at the count of six, and the first thing I remember seeing was the referee. But by that time, it was already over. As he was walking me to my corner, I was like, “Oh my God, [expletive].” I asked my coach, “What round was that?” He was like, “Round 1.”

That was heartbreaking to know that it was over, being the caliber of fighter that I am. I’m not saying that I would have still been able to fight or to come back from that, but what I am saying is that if the referee would have maybe given me a chance, there were only about 15 seconds left on the clock.

I’m a fighter. If I’m up, then I’m going to fight. With 15 seconds left, maybe I could have moved around or held for that last 15 seconds, gone back to the corner and my coach, Jason, could have woken me up and given me a different game plan.

This is boxing, and when it comes to this sport, one punch can change the entire fight, no matter the skill level. That’s what happened. 154-pound contender Erickson Lubin

There was a lot of acrimony before the fight. Have you spoken to Charlo?

We had bad blood going in, and were talking smack at the press conference, during interviews and at the weigh-in. But when I ran into Jermell with his brother, Jermall, later on that night when we were going back to the hotel, it was all respect.

His brother was saying, “You’re gonna bounce back from this better than any other opponent that he’s fought or knocked out.” They were both saying that. Jermell said that before the fight, he didn’t feel as if he was getting the respect that he should have been getting as the champion.

There was an entire promotional video on me before the fight, and it bothered him. But he said that I’m an awesome fighter and it wasn’t an easy fight for him and that it could have gone either way. Of the few shots I did land, he said, “I was telling my brother you’re real strong and I’m going to have a long night.”

I’m still not going to say that he’s better than I am, but on that night, he got the better end of the stick. I just want revenge so I can get back to where I used to be. I feel like anybody who gets into the ring with me is going to respect me when it’s all over.

You’re only 22. Did you take the fight too soon?

No. I’m kind of tired of hearing that I’m too young. I’ve heard that, but I dared to be great, early, against a 27-year-old guy. I still believe I could beat Charlo and give him hell, and he even told me that himself.

I have no excuses. This is boxing. There were a couple of things that went wrong that I should have tried to fix, earlier, but it’s time to disprove the naysayers and take my boxing skills to another level.

How have your fans reacted?

Everybody who has been riding with me throughout the journey is still riding with me, and that’s the best part about it. A lot of times, people will switch up on you in the sport of boxing.

But I still have the same love and support from those who want to see me succeed in general, let alone, terrorize my next opponent. If it’s up to me, I’d like to come back in March. 

Would you like for your next fight to be against a top contender?

I want the top dogs in the division and a rematch with Jermell. I want to be where I belong, which is at the top, and I want to prove it. I definitely want and need a title shot. But this is business, so it’s probably not going to play out like that.

So I want to fight anybody. There is no one person I wouldn’t be ready for. I’ve got that mindset that I’ll fight anybody out there in the 154-pound division. I have blood in my eyes, so I want to fight a big name next. I definitely want somebody they claim is among the best in this division.

I’m more mature inside and outside of the ring, and I’ll definitely be more of a savage when I fight.

I want to go in there with the intentions of making short work of them in a short night.  I need to look good, win impressively and I definitely need to knockout my next opponent to let people know I’m still here.

So for my fans, I’ll be back, real soon. I want a rematch with Jermell as soon as possible because I know where I went wrong. I’m ready to terrorize everybody at 154 pounds and to fulfill my destiny of becoming a world champion.

Take a closer look at Erickson Lubin by checking out his fighter page.

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