Erickson Lubin lowered the boom on Jorge Cota with a single punch that put “The Hammer” on the cusp of fighting for a world title.
Lubin caught Cota with a devastating left hand Saturday night that resulted in a fourth-round TKO in their 154-pound title eliminator at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The 21-year-old southpaw was in control for the duration of the fight before catching Cota with a spectacular left to the chin that knocked the Mexican to the canvas.
Jorge Cota (25-2, 22 KOs) beat the count and rose to his feet, but referee Earl Brown didn’t like what he saw and waved an end to the bout at the 1:25 mark of Round 4.
“I put a few tricks on him,” Lubin said. “I knew he was going to come with the big shots early.
“I baited him with the jab, then I landed that overhand left and it was night-night. I was ready to follow up with a right, but he was already out."
With the victory, Erickson Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs) put himself in line to challenge Jermell Charlo for his title. Charlo, however, is scheduled to first defend his championship against Charles Hatley.
Lubin has a chance to supplant Japanese 108-pound titleholder Kosei Tanaka, who is 3½ months older than “The Hammer,” as boxing’s youngest current world champion.
“That would mean a lot to me; that would mean a lot to Orlando, Florida,” Lubin said in regard to his hometown. “This is my second time knocking someone out in front of Ray Leonard (who was ringside as an analyst for CBS). He’s one of my favorite fighters of all time. It’s an honor to do this on CBS.”
Lubin outlanded Cota 50-to-32 in total punches, including a 37-to-30 edge in power shots, while connecting at a higher percentage.
Cota, who normally fights out of the orthodox stance, switched to southpaw early in the first round and stayed there most of the bout.
He was more effective fighting as a lefty, especially in Round 2 when he was able to land a couple of counter shots, but he was in a right-handed posture when Lubin caught him with the looping knockout punch.
Cota, 29, had won nine straight coming into the bout, but hadn’t competed since earning a 10-round unanimous decision over Yudel Johnson in August 2015.
Lubin, who signed a professional contract on his 18th birthday, gained his seventh stoppage in nine fights over the last 24 months.
For a complete look at Lubin vs Cota, visit our fight page.