Erickson Lubin has seemingly been on a fast track to a 154-pound world title shot since signing a professional contract on his 18th birthday. Now, as he sprints around the final turn on that track, Lubin has the finish line in sight.
Erickson Lubin (17-0, 12 KOs) will make his 2017 debut March 4 when he meets once-beaten knockout artist Jorge Cota (25-1, 22 KOs) in a 154-pound title eliminator at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The 12-round clash will serve as the co-main event to the highly anticipated 147-pound world title unification showdown between Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia.
Both fights will air live in prime time on CBS (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT), with the Lubin-Cota winner moving to the front of the line to get a shot at the 154-pound title currently held by Jermell Charlo.
“I’m very excited that I have the opportunity to showcase my skills on CBS,” Lubin said, "especially on one of the most anticipated fight cards in boxing.
“I'm facing a tough, rugged fighter in Jorge Cota, who I know is coming to fight. He's got a lot of heart, and fans are going to witness a great battle between two warriors who are going to leave everything in the ring.”
Lubin has been as active as any fighter in the 154-pound division since the 21-year-old Florida native made his professional debut in November 2013. Last year alone, the hard-hitting southpaw fought four times, earning two quick stoppages (second and third round) in addition to winning eight- and 10-round unanimous decisions.
The combined record of those four particular foes was 89-9-2.
Now, though, Lubin will square off against his most accomplished opponent to date. A 29-year-old from Sinaloa, Mexico, Cota has knocked out all but four of the 26 fighters he’s battled in his 7½ years as a pro.
However, two of Cota’s last three opponents have taken him the distance. That includes once-beaten Yudel Johnson, whom Cota defeated by 10-round unanimous decision in his most recent fight in August 2015. It was Cota’s ninth consecutive victory since suffering his only loss to three-time 160-pound title challenger Marco Antonio Rubio by seventh-round TKO in June 2012.
The victory over Johnson in Winter Haven, Florida, was Cota’s first career bout outside of his native Mexico. Now he’s headed for the bright lights of New York to face a young, hungry fighter who is equally as heavy-handed.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for over a year, and I am looking forward to becoming the mandatory for the championship,” Cota said. “Lubin has never faced a crafty fighter like me.
“Lubin has some experience, but I will be his first real challenge. Don’t be surprised if I knock him out.”
For complete coverage of Lubin vs Cota, check out our fight page.