If USA Boxing had its way, unbeaten 154-pound prospect Erickson Lubin would be preparing to compete in this summer’s Rio Olympics instead of fighting Jose De Jesus Macias on Sunday night.
Lubin, a two-time Junior Olympic national champion, became the subject of criticism in a letter from the head of USA Boxing in October 2013 after signing a professional contract on his 18th birthday.
But that decision to forego a shot at Olympic gold has worked out well so far for Erickson Lubin (13-0, 10 KOs), who will seek his fifth straight stoppage Sunday against Jose De Jesus Macias (18-4-2, 9 KOs) in a headlining bout at Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee in Immokalee, Florida (Bounce TV, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
"With the Olympics coming up, my mentality in my last couple of fights has been to step up my game and really go after my opponents this year," Lubin said. "I want to make a statement and show the world that I made the right decision, and I'm going to start with Macias."
The 20-year-old southpaw, nicknamed "The Hammer,” is seeking his sixth victory in just under a year, and first since he knocked out Alexis Camacho with a right hook in the second round in Dallas on November 28. Fighting about a three-hour drive from his hometown of Kissimmee, Florida, this will be Lubin’s fourth time fighting professionally in the Sunshine State.
De Jesus Macias, 24, is competing for the first time outside of his native Mexico, and fighting for the first time since dropping a 10-round split decision to Alejandro Barrera in October. The loss ended a 13-0-1 run with seven knockouts for De Jesus Macias, who has never been stopped in the ring.
“We're going to see Erickson use his ring generalship, and by doing so, he'll make Macias walk into traps," said Lubin's trainer, Jason Galarza. "Staying relaxed and letting the fight come to him is what we want Erickson to do. In doing so, he'll be the first to knock out Jose De Jesus Macias."
Lubin’s ability to stop his opponents so quickly has contributed to his busy workload, as he’s needed just 41 rounds to gain his 13 victories. The hard-hitting lefty won seven times with five KOs in 2014, and he only had to go 18 rounds to gain five wins last year.
He expects another fast finish come Sunday night.
“Most definitely, I'm going out there to make a statement by doing to him what no one else has," Lubin said. “I'm definitely looking to stop him, but knockout or no knockout, I'm going to have an excellent performance and look good doing that."
For complete coverage of Lubin vs De Jesus Macias, visit our fight page.