Erickson Lubin failed to record his fifth straight knockout Sunday night in his native Florida. It was just about the only negative thing you can say about the 20-year-old’s performance.
Lubin, who has taken to calling his right hand “The Jackhammer” and his left “The Sledgehammer,” displayed his double-fisted power—not to mention a resolute chin—for 10 rounds against veteran Jose De Jesus Macias (18-5-2, 9 KOs) at Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee in Immokalee, Florida.
Attacking from the opening bell with vicious head and body shots, Erickson “Hammer” Lubin (14-0, 10 KOs) gave his partisan crowd much to cheer about, scoring a fifth-round knockdown on his way to a near shutout victory. Two judges scored it 100-89, while the third had it 99-90.
The 10-round affair was the longest of Lubin’s young career and matched the number of rounds the 154-pound southpaw had fought over his previous four contests combined. While fight fans who have come to admire Lubin’s ferocious power might have been disappointed not to witness another devastating knockout, the winner was more than happy to go the distance.
“I think I gave whole world something to talk about,” said Lubin, who was fighting for the fourth time in Florida, about three hours from his native Kissimmee. “By going the full 10 rounds and dominating the entire fight, I know that as I continue to improve, I’ll be able to beat anybody that I get into the ring with.”
Headlining for the first time as a pro, Lubin set the tone early, using a straight left over a stiff jab and vicious second- and third-round body shots that forced Macias to retreat. The ruled knockdown occurred in the fifth, when Lubin connected with a counter right hook that caused Macias’ right glove to briefly touch the canvas.
A 24-year-old native of Mexico who was making his U.S. debut, Macias gave nearly as good as he received in the eighth and ninth, standing toe to toe and matching the powerful Lubin to the head and body. The crowd appreciated the effort, encouraging Macias with chants of “Mexico.”
But in the 10th, Lubin once again stepped up the pressure, punctuating the night with a round-ending four-punch combination, all to the head.
Although he was unable to extend his knockout streak and hand Macias his first stoppage loss, Lubin did nothing to slow his momentum as one of boxing’s rising stars.
Make no mistake: The kid is on the fast track from hot prospect to legitimate contender.
“Erickson showed the whole package as opposed to just getting a quick knockout, with defense, activity, combinations,” said Henry Rivalta, who is Lubin’s handler. “He was poised, picked his shots and showed a great chin.
“Every fight is a learning process, but tonight he showed a little bit of everything. There is no rush, but I think this was clearly another steppingstone for a kid I think is the best prospect in the sport.”
Getting a ringside view of Lubin’s unique talent Sunday night was Rigoberto Alvarez, a former 154-pound champ who is the trainer for De Jesus Macias … and also the older brother of reigning 154-pound king Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Might there come a time when Rigoberto Alvarez will have to give his sibling a detailed scouting report on Lubin? Perhaps, although Lubin fully understands such a matchup is a long way off.
“I’m not here to call out names,” said Lubin, a two-time Junior Olympics national champion who was favored to win a gold medal at this year's Olympics before turning pro as a high school senior on October 1, 2013—his 18th birthday. “I can’t really label myself a contender yet. I’m going to allow the world to decide that.
“Maybe when I’m a top contender, I’ll be calling out names, but right now, I’m going to remain humble. I just want to continue to improve toward a world title fight.”
For complete pre- and post-fight coverage of Lubin vs De Jesus Macias, head over to our fight page.
Elegele, Galarza cruise to victories
Also on Sunday’s card, Joseph Elegele (15-2, 11 KOs), a 31-year-old former sparring partner for Floyd Mayweather Jr., dominated a clash of southpaws for a sixth-round stoppage of Alex De Jesus (21-2, 13 KOs). Fighting for the first time in nearly 16 months, Elegele floored De Jesus once each in the third and final rounds, earning his first stoppage victory since April 2011.
Meanwhile, Dennis Galarza (12-1, 8 KOs), the 23-year-old son of Lubin’s trainer, Jason Galarza, hammered out an eight-round unanimous decision over Samuel Amoako (21-7, 15 KOs).