Erickson Lubin and Terrell Gausha will fight for the right to meet WBC 154lbs champion Jermell Charlo when they clash in a final eliminator at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut on Saturday.
Charlo will face WBA Super and IBF title-holder Jeison Rosario one week later at the same venue, behind closed doors, so there is plenty at stake with Orlando southpaw Lubin determined to take advantage.
The 24-year-old Lubin has been rejuvenated since linking up with respected trainer Kevin Cunningham, following a surprise blowout loss to Charlo in October 2017.
Gausha (21-1-1, 10 KOs) drew with former WBA champion Austin Trout in his last fight, having lost his unbeaten record on the same card as Lubin when he was outscored by Erislandy Lara in an unsuccessful world title bid.
“I respect him as a fighter, but I don’t think Gausha is on my level,” said Lubin (22-1, 16 KOs). “He’s standing in my way of becoming a world champion, so I need to take care of business Saturday night, and look good doing it. I have to make a statement in this fight.
“Gausha is a US Olympian who’s fought at the championship level, so I know he’s going to bring that experience to the table. This is a chance for me to show my growth in the ring and really separate myself as one of the elite fighters in this division.”
“[We’ve been] in West Palm Beach, Florida. and training camp has been going as planned. It’s just hard work and dedication day after day. Coach Cunningham and I are working great together. Everyone knows that he’s a no-nonsense type of trainer, so that mindset is contagious. I’ve done everything that’s been demanded of me so far in training. I’m in great shape and will be ready to go into deep waters if the fight goes the distance.
“This is a title eliminator, so everything is on the line for me. I have to bring the heat from the opening bell. We are in the business of entertaining the fans, so I’m coming with everything I’ve got. Fans can expect to see an explosive fight on Saturday night.”
Lubin-Gausha will be broadcast live on Showtime in the US.
Ukrainian KO artist Serhii Bohachuk (17-0, 17 KOs) will face Alejandro Davila (21-1-2, 8 KOs) in a potentially gripping 140lbs encounter at the Grupo Sipse parking lot in Mérida, Mexico, on September 25.
The heavy-handed Bohachuk is on the fringes of world title contention but faces a good test against skilful Mexican Davila. Bohachuk is now training with Manny Robles after a split from Abel Sanchez.
The career of 154lbs prospect Evan Holyfield, son of former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, has stalled after a legal dispute with trainer and manager Maurice ‘Termite’ Watkins.
The 22-year-old Holyfield (4-0, 3 KOs) is seeking damages of more than $500,000 “to proceed with his boxing career under a different, legally licensed and trustworthy manager”, according to the suit as detailed in the Houston Chronicle.
The 6ft 2ins, ‘Yung Holy’ is currently working with former amateur coach Bert Wells in Georgia as he seeks to relaunch his career in a different direction.
Main image: Erickson Lubin, Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME.