One of the hottest young prospects in the sport is back in action on Saturday night at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, when undefeated super welterweight Erickson Lubin takes on experienced veteran Daniel Sandoval. This fight will be an undercard bout for the PBC broadcast on NBC.
Lubin was considered one of the USA’s best shots to medal at the summer Olympics in 2016. But instead he was lured into the professional ranks in 2013 by Iron Mike Promotions, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson’s erstwhile attempt at promoting boxers. Tyson’s signing of Lubin created a mini-controversy, with USA Boxing blasting Tyson for “poaching” fighters, against their best interests.
In my opinion, USA Boxing’s complaints sound about as genuine as NCAA basketball powers whining over teenage basketball prodigies turning professional. In both cases, a condescending and parochial argument is being postured to justify protecting the interests of administrators at the expense of allowing grown men to earn a living with their talents.
Lubin is now connected with Al Haymon’s PBC series, which should put him in an ideal position to emerge as a true star in the coming years. At 5’11” and with a 76″ reach, Lubin has outstanding length for a super welterweight. He’s got the technical skill to exploit those gifts.
Lubin has defeated some experienced journeymen in his past three fights. He stopped Orlando Lora in six in September 2015. He knocked out Alexis Camacho in two last November. In January, he shut out Jose De Jesus Macias over ten rounds.
Sandoval is perhaps a minor step up. At only 25, he’s already fought over 41 professional bouts. He’s lost just three times as a pro, though he hasn’t exactly faced top competition. The most well-known fighter he’s faced is probably Grady Brewer, who he knocked out in February 2015. He lost a close decision to borderline contender Omar Chavez in 2014.
This is a bout that Lubin should almost certainly win, but it should be a good measuring stick for his development.