Erickson Lubin wants another crack at a title but he’ll have to get by the dangerous Nathaniel Gallimore first in a 154-pound battle Saturday night on SHOWTIME.
In a super welterweight division top-heavy with young, elite-level talent, competition is fierce for top dog status.
This Saturday, October 26, atop a live three-fight SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION card (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from Santander Arena in Reading, Pa., Erickson Lubin (21-1, 16 KOs) meets late replacement banger Nathaniel Gallimore (21-3-1, 17 KOs) in a twelve-round, winner-moves-forward 154-pound battle.
Once regarded as the top American prospect in the game, the career trajectory of Orlando, Florida native Erickson Lubin was stopped cold via a single Jermell Charlo right hand in the first round of their 2017 bout. It’s been almost exactly two years since that crushing defeat. The now-24-year-old Lubin has won three straight, including becoming the first to stop former world champion Ishe Smith.
A hand injury to original opponent, Terrell Gausha, opened the door for late replacement Nathaniel Gallimore, forcing Lubin to shift focus from a more stylistically nuanced opponent to an aggressive, heavier-handed foe.
Gallimore, a Jamaican residing in the Chicago area since the age of twelve, has lost two of his last three, but had positive moments in recent setbacks against Julian Williams and Patrick Teixeira. The 31-year-old is considered by many to be a talent right on the fringes of serious world title contention; some fine tuning and retooling away from a run at the elites of the division.
For Lubin, ranked no. 5 by the WBA and no. 6 by the WBC, this Gallimore battle could be his last fight before challenging for a world title or, at the very least, getting a crack at a title eliminator. That makes Saturday’s contest a “must win” for him, especially as a young fighter already coming back from a tough, high-profile loss.
For Gallimore, Saturday’s bout presents him with another opportunity at a stepping stone moment and, quite possibly, a title shot of his own in the immediate future. A loss, however, could stall his career indefinitely and earn him the tag of “journeyman,” a difficult designation to ditch.
Lubin is blessed with tremendous reflexes and true one-punch knockout power in both hands. As a natural right-hander fighting out of a southpaw stance, the “Hammer” is a dangerous offensive presence made even more dangerous by having his power hand closer to opposition.
What has set Lubin apart from most offense-minded powerhouse prospects, though, is a cool confidence in the ring which, along with his all-around versatility, makes him a patient, accurate, and supremely effective offensive presence. His plowing through Ishe Smith back in February seems to have answered the question of whether the Charlo bout had affected his confidence and self-belief.
Gallimore has substantial raw ability and potential, especially as an offensive fighter, and has shown glimpses of that proficiency at various points throughout his career, including his two most recent defeats. When working behind a sharp jab and allowing himself proper space to utilize his 73-inch reach, the former Chicago Golden Gloves winner is a dangerous ring presence.
However, Gallimore hasn’t consistently fought using his best assets or ideal ring strategies. He also struggles against opposition able to employ movement and angles, unable to get punches off when his own feet aren’t properly planted.
“ We’re both big punchers and the fans should expect an action-packed fight. ” Super Welterweight Contender - Erickson Lubin
"Gallimore is a banger, he comes forward and puts a lot of pressure on his opponents. He has fought a lot of good fighters like Julian Williams and has nothing to lose. We’re both big punchers and the fans should expect an action-packed fight. I’m putting in the work so that I’m the last man standing."
"I'm approaching this like any other big fight that was in the works for a long time. I've been waiting for this moment in my career for a while. This is a steppingstone that can take me where I want to go. Lubin's a pretty good boxer-puncher. He was on the rise for a moment and I knew about him coming up. It's going to be a great fight. I'll make any adjustment in the ring to capitalize on what I need to do to be victorious that night."
Lubin is clearly the thoroughbred in this race, but Gallimore is very much a live dog.
They key for Gallimore will be in consistently employing his underutilized jab and keeping Lubin off balance, unable to execute his own offensive game plan. When Gallimore is working behind that jab, establishing space and pace, he’s very good and more than a match for anyone in the 154 lb. class. He’ll need to maintain his focus and keep his game sharp for this entire bout against someone like Lubin, who will be pushing forward for fight-ending moments throughout the contest.
Lubin will need to use some footwork and/or misdirection in keeping his opponent from planting his feet and launching his own offense. If he can shut Gallimore’s offense down, things will get ugly, fast, for the underdog.
The smart money will be on Lubin being able to wear down and eventually knock out the inconsistent Gallimore. But Gallimore is not that far away from putting everything together for a real turning-of-the-corner performance. If there ever was a moment to force everything to come together it would be this Saturday in such a high stakes bout against someone like Lubin.
For a closer look at Lubin vs Gallimore, check out our fight night page.