Unbeaten 154-pound prospect Erickson Lubin has flattened 10 of the 14 opponents he’s faced since turning pro shortly after his 18th birthday, so “The Hammer” knows a thing or two about concussive power. And he knows stablemate and fellow southpaw Joseph Elegele possesses it in spades.
“I sparred with Joseph before his last fight, and he can hit with power,” Lubin said. “I’m 5-11, and he’s a little taller, using his height and his range very well. But he’s got hammers in his hands, and particularly a strong left hand.”
That left hand was on display in a big way in Elegele’s most recent fight against another lefty, Alex De Jesus. Fighting on the undercard of Lubin’s unanimous decision over Jose Macias on January 31 in Immokalee, Florida, Elegele hurt De Jesus with an overhand left in Round 2, floored the Puerto Rican with a combination in Round 3, then finished him off with a hard left in Round 6.
It was quite an impressive performance, seeing that De Jesus entered the fight at 21-1 with 13 knockouts, his only loss coming by unanimous decision in March 2009 against then-unbeaten, two-time title challenger Cesar Rene Cuenca.
“I walked him down, imposed my will and broke him down,” Elegele said of De Jesus. “I felt too strong. I showed that when I’m 100 percent, nobody can take my shots.”
Joseph Elegele (15-2, 11 KOs) plans to prove as much again Sunday when he pursues his third consecutive win in a 147-pound battle against Phil Lo Greco (27-2, 15 KOs) in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card at the Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Florida (Bounce TV, 9 p.m. ET/PT).
A native of Toronto who’s nicknamed “The Italian Sensation,” Lo Greco won his first 25 fights (14 by stoppage), but has split his last four contests, losing to former 147-pound champ Shawn Porter in May 2013 and unbeaten 147-pound contender Errol Spence Jr. last June.
Lo Greco was a last-minute fill-in opponent for Spence, and the lack of preparation was evident as the 31-year-old was stopped for the first time as a pro, losing by third-round TKO.
Suffice it to say, Elegele is preparing for the Lo Greco who wiped out his first 25 foes as opposed to the one who fell to Porter and Spence.
“From what I understand, Phil Lo Greco only had two days to prepare for the Errol Spence fight,” Elegele said. “I honestly expect to see a much better Phil Lo Greco than against Spence. But I’m also going to be a better Joseph Elegele.”
This will be Elegele’s first fight with Jason Galarza as his full-time trainer. Part of his work leading up to Sunday’s contest involved sparring with southpaw Bryant Perrella (14-0, 13 KOs) in advance of Perrella’s bout this past Saturday against fellow lefty David Grayton.
Perrella stopped the previously undefeated Grayton in the second round, and Elegele is hoping for a similar result against Lo Greco.
“I characterize myself as a slippery, left-handed, boxer-puncher who can punish people,” said Elegele, a lifelong resident of Melbourne, Florida, who works with Galarza about 90 minutes north in Winter Park, Florida. “We’re tightening up my defense and trying to be an improved, all-around better fighter.
“This is the second fight where I feel like everything is going well, mentally and physically, so everything will come together against Phil Lo Greco. On Sunday, you’ll be looking at the best Joseph Elegele.”
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