He entered the arena like something out of “Gladiator”. When Erickson Lubin made his way to the ring Saturday night at Barclays Center, he looked like a young Marcus Aurelius reborn. The problem is– he departed feeling a lot like Commodus.
An enraged WBC super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15KOs), pissed off after all the pre-fight banter, nailed “The Hammer” with a shocking straight left that momentarily paralyzed Lubin with under :30 remaining in a tense 1st round.
I don't know if Lubin still has a deal with Lil Wayne after getting wheezy on the canvas in a way former mentor “Iron” Mike Tyson used to leave foes, but “Iron-Man” is that deal for real. On Wednesday, after completing his media workout, Charlo silently boiled due to what he felt was a lubed up mouth from Lubin. He then boiled over at the weigh-in while absorbing the sound of Lubin's body language.
You saw the result.
All great fighters in their prime, who go on to become all-time greats, do things like this to really good fighters. It is why they're special. Roy Jones once electrocuted a fighter named Thomas Tate for elastic lips. Shit happens.
I just hope it doesn't forever ruin Lubin, who I thought would extend and give Charlo great trouble before indeed getting KTFO. The t-shirt he had trainer Derrick James wear about the perils of too much talking was gangsta, and so was his call out of Jarrett Hurd (which lead to a mini riot between the camps in the crowd).
What James has done with Charlo (in addition to his work with the all-world terror Errol Spence Jr) is amazing. He has transformed the former apprehensive boxer/puncher into something along the lines of a lethal hybrid Felix Trinidad and Julian Jackson. He is the scariest 154 lb fighter on the planet.
HURD A MAN WENT FISHING
Well it wasn't “Swift”, but once Jarrett Hurd (21-0, 15KOs) got Austin Trout (30-4, 17KOs) mangled in his hook things got really ugly. It actually went exactly as I'd thought. Here's an excerpt from Friday's “The Super Welter Invades Brooklyn”:
(((Prediction: Hurd TKO 10
Hurd just has this something extra in him, an intangible you can't quite put your fingers on, yet, you know it exists. Swift wants to be legend, and sorta reminds me of a more technical Paul Williams with the relentless nature of Antonio Margarito. I think that will eventually subdue the craftsman Trout, in a fight that should lead to a showdown with Lara.))
Stubborn, tough and full of teflon in his chin, Hurd endured a torrid start from the savvy veteran Trout– who looked better than ever after four rounds. The former world champion routinely got the best of fiery exchanges that kept getting hotter; piercing right jabs from the southpaw Trout were followed by crispy hooks, straight lefts and uppercuts.
None of this mattered.
Just like “The Punisher” resurrected in physical dimension and volume, with the possesed nature of Antonio Margarito without being a dirty bastard, Hurd, face full of blood, boldly went after Trout like a Viking and rearranged his features. From the 7th round on until his corner saved him from himself, Trout absorbed the type of massive beating that lasts.
Swift (if you're like me, you don't understand this nickname for Jarrett or Danny Garcia) definitely knows of Charlo's threat, but he poses a much greater physical threat than Lubin and would probably fight Godzilla. There's not a water cooler at any office involving casual fight fans who won't be talking about Hurd's mugging of Trout on Monday.
A star was born.
LARA: THE BARCLAYS SCENTER
If Erislandy Lara (25-2-2, 14KOs) ever headlines ANYTHING again in life, it better be Mattress Firm, because he made it very easy for what little remained of the 7,643 in attendance to get a good night's sleep. The WBA super welterweight champion (who seriously calls himself the ‘American Dream' folks) was a “Nightmare on Atlantic Avenue” that would've frightened Freddie Krueger.
We don't fuck around in Brooklyn. So you know you're a real ball breaker of wet dreams when the crowd actually starts chanting: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Yay!!!”, at the end of rounds loaded with Nyquil.
Stephen Espinoza, SHOWTIME Exec VP of Sports, looked as if he'd had a bottle by the looks of things from the jumbotron. Even promoter Lou DiBella was caught taking a long walk after Lara's 12 rounds of decaffeinated disturbia. I've never been so excited to hear from the judges before in my life.
Too athletic and skilled in the arts of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Lara basically paint jobbed a hapless Terrell Gausha (20-1, 14KOs), who could do nothing but watch the paint dry like the rest of us. For his troubles he collected 250K, while Al Haymon granted Lara a very generous 700K to say the least.
Because what Charlo did to Lubin was so emphatic, he may be the only fighter capable of forcing Lara into something other than a recital. We all witnessed the public literally tripping over each other by the 1000's, while heading for the exits to escape Lara. The only fighter capable of saving us from the Cuban defector is Charlo– because he'd kill him.