Boxing, like most sports, is a young man’s sport and as the old guard falls new prospects inevitably rise and claim their place in the ranks. One of boxing’s more talked about prospects is Erickson ‘The Hammer’ Lubin, an 18 year old fighter who drew attention when he decided to sign with Iron Mike Productions to pursue his professional career rather than staying with the Olympic amateur squad. Since his debut Lubin has amassed a 5-0 record with 5 KO’s and is showing promise in the stacked welterweight division.
In this special ‘On the Ropes’ interview with Erickson Lubin, I speak to him ahead of his 6th fight, which on paper is the most difficult fight of his career. Erickson talks about his move to professional boxing and what his experiences have been like to this point. Lubin also shares his thoughts on his next opponent and what his goals are in the sport. Lastly, I get his views on the current stars of the welterweight division, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Here is what Erickson Lubin had to say.
Jenna J: Erickson, could you tell the fans a little about yourself and how you got into boxing?
Erickson Lubin: I’m 18 years old, 5-0 with 5 KO’s. I’m from Orlando, Florida. I actually got into boxing because my brother used to box when we were younger, I always looked up to him, he introduced me to the game a little bit and I followed through with it.
Jenna J: You’ve been highly touted so far in your career, how do you feel your progression has gone so far?
Erickson Lubin: I think the progression has been real good. I got a great team behind me, Iron Mike Productions. Mike Tyson, Garry Jonas and my manager Henry Rivalta, they know the game.
Jenna J: How do you feel about working with Iron Mike Productions and to be involved with somebody that has the history of the sport like Mike Tyson does?
Erickson Lubin: Oh it’s great because Mike, he was 18 years old coming to the game just as I am right now. I just feel like I got some footsteps to follow but just the right ones.
Jenna J: A lot was made about your decision to turn pro. United States boxing wanted you to compete in the 2016 Olympics. What was that decision like for you, choosing to turn pro instead of staying and amateur fighter?
Erickson Lubin: Well the amateur system was changing a lot, so me and my team and my family, we all just decided to go pro because why wait around when there’s no headgears involved, you’re not getting paid for it? Anything could happen in this game so I decided to turn pro and get paid for it. I’m just as talented as the ones that just came out of the Olympics. It’s real good to be a pro.
Jenna J: What kind of benefits do you think you have going pro earlier? Do you think you’ll be able to adjust better to the pro game being that you turned pro sooner?
Erickson Lubin: Yeah I feel like I’m coming along real good right now, I’m adjusting real great. I got Stacey McKinley and my long time trainer Jason Galarza teaching me the game. They know the game very well. I feel like I’m gonna do very good in this game.
Jenna J: What division do you expect yourself to be competing in?
Erickson Lubin: Welterweight as of now until I capture a title at 147 then I plan on moving up to 154lbs.
Jenna J: For a welterweight you’re 6 foot tall, you’re a southpaw. What kind of advantage do you think your style and your height gives you?
Erickson Lubin: I think it gives me a great advantage because I also have a 76 inch reach, that’s pretty long for a welterweight. I feel like I have great power, great speed, and great movement to succeed in the welterweight division.
Jenna J: You’re taking a pretty big step up in competition, you’re facing a veteran with over 35 professional fights. What makes you think you’re ready to take this step up now?
Erickson Lubin: A lot of these guys, the one ones that came out of the Olympics they are taking easier fights, but I want to get my name out there real fast. I don’t want to rush myself but I feel that I am ready for this fight. I see Danny Garcia is fighting a dude that’s 19-3 so basically I’m saying that this guy is a decorated fighter, he had most of his fights in Mexico, not to throw dirt on him or anything but I’m real ready for this fight. I’ve been training for almost two months, I’m already on weight, I’ve been on weight for about two weeks and I’m just ready to go Thursday night.
Jenna J: I want to get your views on the welterweight division. You got two major stars that you see out in the distance, you got Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. What do you think about both of them?
Erickson Lubin: I feel like they’re both great fighters. Who knows if they’ll be around by the time I’m already up there, but if it happens then that would be great. Those are the guys that I actually look up to. I look up to Floyd Mayweather, he’s one of my favorite fighters. Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter, great speed. I hope to see them two clash one day.
Jenna J: If Mayweather and Pacquiao ever got into the ring, how do you think that fight goes?
Erickson Lubin: I give it to Floyd, he’s smart. He’s a magician in the ring, that’s why I look up to him as my favorite fighter.
Jenna J: Floyd has a fight coming up on September 13th, a rematch with Marcos Maidana. Who are you picking in that one and why?
Erickson Lubin: That’s a real tough fight, the first fight was pretty tough but I feel like Floyd is gonna make it real easy this time because Floyd is a great adjuster, he adjusts in the ring real good.
Jenna J: Manny Pacquiao is gonna have a rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez. I’m curious, how do you see that fight going?
Erickson Lubin: Right now that’s unpredictable because Marquez looked real sharp in his last fight. I’m gonna give it to Manny because Manny beat him three times before and I feel like that shot that Juan Manuel Marquez landed last time was pretty lucky. I won’t say just lucky but he just placed it real on time, he was on time with that punch. Manny will probably be more careful this time.
Jenna J: Back to your upcoming fight. You’re facing an experienced veteran, what do you think is going to be the most important thing for you to do to come away with the victory?
Erickson Lubin: I’m just gonna stay smart in there. A lot of veterans know the game pretty well, he’s fought people like Ed Paredes, Vivian Harris. I just gotta stay smart, I’m way taller, I feel like I’m way stronger. My youth has an advantage. I’m just gonna outsmart him and pick him apart and then when it’s time to go for the kill, we’re gonna go for the kill. We’ll stay smart at doing that too.
Jenna J: Every fight that you’ve had has ended in a knockout, how long do you think you’re going to be able to continue that?
Erickson Lubin: Who knows. This is my first eight round fight, I haven’t been four and I haven’t been six but I’m ready to go eight rounds. I’ve been sparring about ten to twelve rounds. I just feel like every punch that I throw from the first round through the eighth round is gonna be hard, even my jab, everything.
Jenna J: In a perfect world, how long do you think it’s going to take you to reach your goal of becoming a champion?
Erickson Lubin: At the pace I’m moving at right now, I feel like by next year I’ll be on my way to a title or at a title.
Jenna J: Any message you want to pass along to all the fans out there?
Erickson Lubin: I just want everybody to tune in on Fox Sports 1, July 10th. I’ll be facing Noe Bolanos, 25-9, in an eight round fight. This is something they don’t want to miss, it’s gonna be explosive, there’s gonna be a lot of fireworks.