Super welterweight contender Erickson Lubin returns to the ring in the co-main event of a September 30 fight against Jesus Ramos at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The 27-year-old developed a formidable reputation as one of the sport's punchers before he himself got out-punched and knocked out in a single round when he came up against Jermell Charlo in 2017.
As he rebuilt, and put together a run of six straight wins punctuated with a sixth-round finish of Jeison Rosario, Lubin gave a masterclass in how to rebound following a setback as brutal as a first-round knockout.
But in his next fight, a 2022 headliner in Las Vegas against rising 154-pounder Sebastian Fundora, Lubin left the ring second-best, with his face rearranged, having lost a Fight of the Year contender.
Though Lubin won his comeback, it is little wonder he has, as told to reporters this week, "a chip" on his shoulder.
Maybe he'll take it all out on Ramos next month, in the final bout before Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Jermell Charlo vie for super middleweight supremacy.
"I’m going into this fight very hungry. I have a young, hungry kid in front of me, but I’m young and hungry as well. You can expect fireworks on September 30. I’m looking to win and be in the big fights against the best guys in the division.
“I’m fueled by adversity. My first title challenge against Charlo brought me back to working real hard and eventually winning six fights in a row," said Lubin. "I was winning the fight against Sebastian Fundora, and losing fueled me to go back to the drawing board and work even harder."
Lubin said he has long lobbied for a fight with Ramos. "I want the toughest test every time out," he said, knowing a title shot beckons for the winner.
He continued: "He’s a tough guy and opponent. I’m now here trying to downplay him. He’s a great fighter. But when I was 22 years old I took a step up in competition, against a 27-year-old in Charlo, and I fell short. I feel like history repeats itself, just in my favor."
Ramos disagreed, and shrugged off the claim with a nonchalance befitting of a fighter who, themselves, feels destined for top honors in their division.
"I’m not Lubin and I don’t think he’s Charlo so I think it’s not the same," he said. "So history won’t repeat itself on September 30."
He finished by saying: "Whatever I have to do to win, I’m ready for. I’m here to dominate. I want to make a statement, and in order to do that, I have to dominate. That’s the plan."