By Jim Calfa: Sebastian ‘The Towering Inferno’ Fundora (18-0-1, 12 KOs) faces Erickson ‘The Hammer’ Lubin (24-1, 17 KOs) meet this Saturday, April 9th on Showtime in a fight between #1 & 2 with the WBC at 154.
Fundora, a fighter with height and high-volume punch output, will be looking to pull off a minor upset when he takes on the 26-year-old Lubin.
The southpaw Florida native Lubin has turned his career around with six consecutive victories since his first-round knockout loss to Jermell Charlo in 2017.
This could be the last stop for the Fundora vs. Lubin fight winner before they challenge for a world title against the winner of the May 14th rematch between junior middleweight champions Brian Castano and Jermell Charlo.
The 24-year-old Fundora and Lubin will be battling in the headliner on Showtime at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada.
It’s taken Lubin five years to rebuild himself after his brutal first-round knockout loss to Jermell Charlo in 2017.
If Lubin loses this fight to Fundora, he’s going to need to sit down and make a carefully thought-out decision on which direction he wants to go in his career.
Going through another five-year rebuild could prove to be a waste of time for Lubin because he’s not likely to improve enough to beat the killers in the 154-lb division.
Lubin wants to fight only the best
“I came back blazing; I’m beating all these top guys. I’m beating top guy after top guy,” said Erickson Lubin to Punsh Drunk Boxing about his fight against Sebastian Fortuna on Saturday.
Lubin has beaten some good fighters but hardly the top fighters in the 154-lb division.
In the last four years, his best wins have come against Jeison Rosario and Terrell Gaushua, and those are hardly the best in the division.
Until Lubin starts beating guys like Tim Tszyu, Israil Madrimov, and Tony Harrison, you have to continue seeing him as a question mark. Lubin is still easy to hit as he was in his first-round knockout loss to Jermell Charlo.
As far as I can tell, Lubin hasn’t improved enough on defense for you to say that he’s a different fighter from the one that Charlo exposed five years ago in 2017.
“I don’t even want those easy tune-up fights; I don’t want those types of guys. I want the best guys,” said Lubin. “I want to be a champion and be like, ‘I beat that guy, that guy, that guy, that guy.’ That’s what I want.
“I think it should be high-risk, high reward, but there are certain situations where like the one Devin Haney is in. I can’t really explain too much about that because I don’t know too much about it.
“But I feel like he’s doing it for his legacy, he wants those belts so bad, and he wants to take care of Kambosos. He’s going to be able to ask for really big paydays. Sometimes you have to take those risks, though.
“We’re risking our lives and putting it all on the line, so I feel high-risk high reward. Sometimes you got to take that chance. Chances make champions,” Erickson Lubin said.
Lubin’s last six opponents:
- Jeison Rosario
- Terrell Gausha
- Nathaniel Gallimore
- Zakaria Attou
- Ishe Smith
- Silverio Ortiz
The best of the bunch that Lubin has beaten since his loss to Jermell is arguably the 34-year-old Gausha, and he’s nothing special.
Rosario was recently knocked out by Jermell in 2020, and Nathaniel Gallimore stopped him in 2016. Lubin is a good fighter, but he’s still too profoundly flawed to see him as a threat to Charlo or Brian Castano.
There’s an excellent chance that Fundora will overwhelm Lubin on Saturday night and take advantage of the same defensive lapses that Charlo exposed in 2017.
Lubin is too offensive-focused and lacks the chin and the defense for him to fight guys with power or a high work rate like Fundora.
Fundora targeting Charlo – Castano 2 winner
“I hope to have next after the Charlo vs. Castano fight,” said Fundora to Abrams Boxing about him wanting to battle for a world title in 2022.
“This will be for the #1 with the WBC, and that’s the mandatory right there,” said Fundora. “I imagine he’s different now, and I imagine he learned from that fight. I hope he brings the best Lubin to bring.
“Yeah, I just fight the way I fight; I don’t care what other people think, the opponent across from me. I just want to go in there and do what I do best and get the job done.
“I always think to myself, why not, especially if I’m stronger than the guy. You can tell when you’re stronger than the person. I go over there and dog them out. That’s what I like to do. I like to go and fight.
“If it does that’s wonderful. If it doesn’t that’s fine too, but we just want to win,” said Fundora when asked if a victory over Lubin will take his career to the next level.
“This is the last fight before the title. That’s what we’re aiming for; we’re aiming for a championship in this weight class. My mind is like a racehorse. I keep it straight towards my goal, and I’m going to keep running it towards my goal until I get to it.
“I didn’t watch the fight, but I saw the highlights on Instagram,” said Fundora about Tim Tszyu beating Terrell Gausha by a 12 round unanimous decision in his U.S debut on March 26th.
“I’m happy for him. It was his debut here in the United States, and I’m sure he captured a lot of fans.
“I have [Jermell] Charlo. He’s too strong for him,” said Fundora when asked for his prediction on the May 14th rematch between IBF/WBA/WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo and WBO champion Brian Castano.
“From the first fight, I saw that Charlo was too strong, and I think he’s going to exploit that in the second fight. Not really. It’s not as if I’m going to go gamble after the fight. April 9th, tune in.
“It’s going to be the fight of the year hopefully,” said Fundora about his fight against Lubin. Just expect an entertaining fight.”