Erickson Lubin continues inexorably marching towards a second world championship opportunity when he faces Nathaniel Gallimore tonight at the Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
The Orlando, Florida native will be looking to work his way back into title contention, having registered three successive stoppage victories on the bounce since a devastating defeat to Jermall Charlo for the WBC title back in October 2017.
Neither fighter dominated the early proceedings, but it was Charlo who connected with an explosive right uppercut that spectacularly laid the southpaw out in the opening round.
Indeed, many were tipping the Hammer to dethrone Charlo on that fateful night, two years ago, and although the Floridian would have no doubt been distraught to lose his first title shot in such a manner, he has licked his wounds and rebounded with a vengeance.
Lubin, a powerful boxer-puncher, certainly sent out a statement against Ishe Smith, becoming the first man to ever stop the former world champion. Gallimore, who has similarly never been stopped, must nonetheless be wary of engaging with reckless abandon, lest he succumb to Lubin’s accuracy and hand speed inside the distance.
On the same bill, Robert Easter Junior will also be making his highly-anticipated light-welterweight debut against seasoned veteran Adrien Granados.
Easter ‘Bunny’, a former IBF lightweight champion from Toledo, Ohio, lost his title less than eighteen months ago in a unification clash with Mikey Garcia at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
After seemingly frustrating the Oxnard fighter for the opening couple of rounds with his volume punching and busy lead hand, he was felled by a counter left hook from Garcia in the third and was subsequently forced on the defensive for the remainder of the contest; ultimately losing a lopsided unanimous decision after twelve rounds.
Easter’s bid to capture the secondary WBA lightweight title against Rances Barthelemy was similarly unsuccessful in April of this year. After an uneventful twelve rounds where neither fighter was able to sustain any meaningful offensive work, the bout was declared a split draw.
Many attributed Easter’s uncharacteristically lacklustre and uninspired display to a debilitating weight cut. Indeed, the Ohio fighter has always possessed freakish dimensions for the lightweight category, and fans of will be hoping that the move up to light-welterweight pays dividends.
Granados, meanwhile – a native of Chicago, Illinois – was systematically beaten to a pulp by Danny Garcia in his last contest. In what, for all intents and purposes, appeared to be a brutal mismatch, Granados was bloodied and punished repeatedly with vicious counterpunches, and was dropped on multiple occasions before the bout was stopped in the seventh round.
Prior to that contest, Granados had garnered a reputation as someone profoundly difficult to look good against and had pushed the likes of Adrien Broner and Shawn Porter in competitive encounters, after dramatically upsetting previously undefeated hopeful Amir Imam in November 2015.
Ultimately, however, the nature of his loss to Garcia is likely to change things forever for the Chicago fighter, who is now a spent force. Despite Granados’ many tricky, tenacious qualities, Easter Junior is likely to return to winning ways by setting a high pace, winning comprehensively all three scorecards in the process.
Article by: Navi Singh
Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________