Tuesday, March 21, 2023  |



Lubin starches Cota in fourth round of 154-pound eliminator


Erickson Lubin’s nickname is the hammer and in his fight with Jorge Cota on Saturday it was evident why.

Just 21, Lubin is a former amateur star who upset U.S. officials by turning pro instead of trying to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympics, where he would have been a gold medal favorite. Now, the Orlando resident may be considered a favorite to win a 154-pound title in the not-so-distant future.

Lubin (18-0, 13 knockouts) dropped the 5-11 Cota with a chopping overhand left, forcing referee Earl Brown to waive off the junior middleweight title eliminator at 1:25 of the fourth round at Barclays Center in the CBS co-feature, showing the hype behind the blue-chip Lubin was warranted.

Cota (25-3, 22 KOs) rose from the left but was unsteady, falling back into the ropes. The New York State Athletic Commission’s referees have been quicker to err on the side of caution recently and Brown decided that Cota had enough, ending things. Lubin had been in control of the previous three rounds, stunning Cota with a left midway through the third, signaling the end could be near. Sure enough, in the fourth, Lubin bent down, nearly in a crouch and swung for the fences with his left hand from his hip, nailing the knee-brace wearing Cota.

The bout was a junior middleweight title eliminator for Jermell Charlo’s WBC strap so after Charlo faces another mandatory in Charles Hatley, Lubin will get his chance. “I baited him with the jab,” Lubin said in the ring afterward. “I knew he was going to come with the big shots early. I put a few tricks on him, I landed that overhand right and it was night-night. I put my hands down to bait him in, I did a squat and then it was night-night. I was ready to follow-up with a right but he was already out.” Added Lubin, “This is my second time knocking someone out in front of Ray Leonard (who was commentating on CBS). He’s  one of my favorite fighters of all time. It’s an honor to do this on CBS.”