In the co-main event, super welterweight contender Erickson “Hammer” Lubin (25-2, 18 KOs) dropped and stopped Luis “Cuba” Arias (20-4-1, 9 KOs) in the fifth-round of their scheduled 10-round showdown.
Lubin, who was returning to the ring for the first time since losing to Sebastian Fundora in a 2022 Fight of the Year, was the cleaner puncher throughout the five rounds, consistently landing a variety of shots.
“I felt like I was landing my shots pretty well,” said Lubin, “He was a lot slower than I was and I was able to see everything he had coming. I felt good. I’ve been in the gym since my Fundora loss and I’m ready for them all.”
Arias spent much of the fight looking to close down the distance and land a game-changing power shot against Lubin, who had been stopped in both of his defeats.
“Lubin fought a good fight, but I still had five more rounds to land that shot,” said Arias. “I landed it a couple times and he definitely felt it.”
Already having one of his best rounds of the fight, Lubin broke through in round five to hurt Arias with a chopping right hand that sent Arias to the mat. Arias took a knee and appeared to just barely beat referee Zac Young’s count, but instead the fight was called 2:11 into the round.
“I know that if they were going to let him keep fighting I was going to attack him and try to get him out anyways. I knew he was hurt, I hurt him with a body shot earlier in the round and he started to slow down a little bit, and then the head shot just took him down.”
Arias, who had never been stopped before and who had entered the fight having won two of his last three outings, strongly disagreed with Young’s decision when asked about it post-fight.
“That was definitely a bad count,” said Arias. “I need to go back and look at it and see if it was 10. That’s just part of the game. It was loud, [the referee] saw us taking some shots both of us and he did, and what he had to do but I felt like it wasn’t a fair count. And like I said, I’ll be back. my career has always been about reviving myself, fighting the best.”
The 27-year-old Lubin was jovial post fight and declared his intention to take on top fighters, including the winner of the night’s main event.
“That Fundora fight just motivated me,” said Lubin. “We got Fight of the Year last year, and I just came back strong. It just motivated me man. I’m ready for the fights at 154 and I’m ready for the winner of this main event.”