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Jermell Charlo faces Erickson Lubin on Sat.


By Eric Thomas: WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs) puts his title and unbeaten record on the line this Saturday night on October 14 against 22-year-old Erickson “The Hammer” Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs) in a big tripleheader at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Charlo vs. Lubin is the co-feature bout on the Erislandy Lara vs. Terrell Gausha card. Three fights on the card, Lara-Gausha, Charlo-Lubin and Jarrett Hurd vs. Austin Trout, will be televised on Showtime Championship Boxing, as part of a Premier Boxing Champions presentation. It’s three excellent junior middleweight bouts in what could lead to unification fights between the winners.

This looks to be the toughest match of 27-year-old Charlo’s 10-year pro career. He hasn’t faced anyone with this combination of power, boxing skills and youth thus. The advantage that Charlo has in this fight is he’s the best he’s ever been.

Charlo seems to be improving with every fight. Up until 2015, the one thing that Charlo had going against him was a lack of world class power. However, Charlo has done an excellent job of improving his power, and he’s now knocking guys out like never before.

The 154lb division is a really tough one right. Even if Charlo beats Lubin, he’s still got a number of highly talented contenders that will quickly be coming after him trying to dethrone him. Lubin is just the first of many talented contenders that Charlo will need to deal with for him to keep his World Boxing Council junior middleweight title. Charlo won the WBC belt last year in stopping John Jackson in the 8th round on May 21. Charlo has since defended the title once in knocking out Charles Hatley in the 7th round in his last fight on April 22 at the Barclays Center.

Lubin is very confident of his boxing skills, and he sees himself being too good for Charlo to handle on Saturday night.

”I don’t feel like Charlo has ever fought anyone like me,” said Lubin. ”And October 14 the world will definitely know what my name is, Erickson Lubin. They’re going to know who The Hammer is. I’m definitely preparing myself for a knockout. I want to get the knockout and make a big statement winning my first world title,” said Lubin.

Lubin might need to get a knockout in this fight for him to get the ‘W’, considering how good Charlo’s technical skills are. Charlo is tall, rangy and he’s got an outstanding jab that he likes to use to win rounds. Charlo tends to set a lot of traps in his fights. He sets up his opponents like a chess player, and then he goes on the attack with a blistering flurry of shots.

Charlo catches his opponents by surprise with the suddenness of his attacks. With Charlo’s power and his furious attacking style, he’s very hard to beat. In his last 3 fights, Jermell has become more like his twin brother Jermall Charlo, who has devastating power, and a fearlessness that few fighters possess in the sport. Jermall doesn’t think twice about taking chances in his fights. His ruthlessness and power is what makes Jermall so good. Jermell started his career more as a boxer than a puncher, but he’s changed his style recently and fighting just like his brother.

The power and the speed are there for Jermell. He’s now like a carbon copy of his brother Jermall in terms of his offensive skills and his courage. If Lubin can beat Jermell, it’ll say a lot about how talented he is. Lubin is going to need to start quickly on Saturday night if he wants to score a knockout. If he waits too long, he’ll get taken out by one of Jermell’s lightning attacks.

The first 6 rounds are going to be key for Lubin. If Lubin doesn’t score a knockout over Charlo first half of the fight, then he’s going to have problems in the last 6 rounds. Charlo, 5’11”, has a 2-inch height advantage over the 5’9” Lubin, and he has a 3 inch reach advantage to go along with that. Lubin will need to pressure Charlo to get close enough to land his bombs in this fight. It’s not going to be easy for Lubin to do that, as Charlo unloads on his opponents with powerful combinations when they get near enough to throw shots. Charlo isn’t going to wait for Lubin to start throwing punches for him to begin teeing off.

”I can definitely go 12 rounds. I already been ten rounds before. I’m definitely ready. I trained for it,” said Lubin.

Lubin has gotten some good sparring for this fight. Daniel Jacobs, a former middleweight champion, is one of the guys that Lubin has talked of sparring with. Jacobs, 6’0”, is around the same size as Charlo, but a little heavier. Jacobs and Charlo has similar power. The only difference is Charlo and his brother Jermall are a lot more aggressive than the 30-year-old Jacobs and younger than him by 3 years.

”Erickson Lubin wins,” said Lubin in making his prediction for his fight with Charlo. ”He does have decent power. I’ve seen a few of his fights where he did what he had to do and knocked the guys out, like Charles Hatley of course, and John Jackson. So the guys they put in for him that he’s supposed to get out,” said Lubin.

Knocking out Hatley and Jackson showed that Charlo is dangerous. Jackson had been knocked out in the 5th round previously by Andy Lee in 2014, and Hatley had been stopped by Lanardo Tyner in the 1t round in 2012. Never the less, the shots that Charlo knocked Jackson and Hatley out with were punches that would have stopped a lot of fighters in the 154 lb. division. Those guys didn’t go down just because they had limited punch resistance. They were knocked out because Charlo hit them with major shots that they simply couldn’t take.

Lubin needs to make sure he keeps his guard up at all times on Saturday night. He needs to be aware of what angles Charlo is punching from, and he can’t let himself get caught in one of his steel traps. Charlo springs on his opponents like a cobra snake when he attacks. He doesn’t just throw one shots.

Charlo puts his punches together in sequence, and it’s hard for his opponents to block all the incoming, especially when the attack comes suddenly and with blazing speed and force. Lubin hasn’t fought anyone yet as a pro that fights like that. It’s possible that in Lubin’s amateur career he fought some tricky fighters with a style similar to Charlo, but he hasn’t been in the ring with anyone with the boxing skills that he’ll be seeing on Saturday.

This fight comes really early for Lubin in his career. At 22, with only 4-years of experience in the pro ranks, Lubin is being thrown with the lions a little early. As an amateur, Lubin was being groomed to compete in the Olympics. But he passed up that option and turned pro in 2013.

The last 4 years has been more or less an extension of Lubin’s amateur career. He’s beaten Jorge Cota, Juan Ubaldo Cabrera, Ivan Montero, Daniel Sandoval, Noe Bolanos, Norberto Gonzalez, Jose De Jesus Macias, Alexis Camacho and Orlando Lora. Some of those guys are good fighters. Lubin learned from those fights, and he’s improved dramatically. Lubin still isn’t anywhere near the peak of his skills yet, which is what makes it so scary. He’s going to be a very good fighter one of these days. The only question is whether Lubin is taking the fight with Charlo a little too early. That question will be answered on Saturday night when Lubin and Charlo meet up at the Barclays Center.

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