Lubin vs. Gausha: Much To Gain, Everything To Lose

It's a high stakes 154-pound showdown between two talented operators as Erickson Lubin takes on Terrell Gausha in a world title eliminator Saturday night on SHOWTIME.

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Lubin vs Gausha PREVIEW: September 19, 2020

This Saturday, September 19, live from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn, SHOWTIME and Premier Boxing Champions present a key clash in the talent-heavy 154-pound division. Headlining a three-bout card, hard-hitting blue chip contender Erickson "Hammer" Lubin (22-1, 16 KOs) meets 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha (21-1-1, 10 KOs) in a WBC Super Welterweight Title Eliminator.

The SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features a featherweight title eliminator featuring Mongolia’s Tugstsogt "King Tug" Nyambayar and unbeaten Cobia "Soldier" Breedy. Opening the televised card will be a 10-round welterweight clash between one of the sport's top prospects, the undefeated Jaron “Boots” Ennis and the Dominican banger Juan Carlos Abreu.

The Story

Erickson Lubin, a former Ring Magazine Prospect of the Year, was once regarded as the top young American fighter in the sport. Nothing has changed about the 24-year-old as a fighter, but that momentum he once had slowed down considerably after a 2017 KO loss to Jermell Charlo in a bid for the WBC Super Welterweight title.

The Orlando, Florida native is undefeated since the setback and is now one win away from a second shot at a world title. In a 4-0 post-Charlo run, he became the first to stop veteran former champ Ishe Smith and also earned a dominant decision victory over Nathanial Gallimore. An impressive win over Gausha not only gets him another crack at a title, but also helps restore his reputation as an elite-level fighter.

Terrell Gausha came up short in a world title opportunity to Erislandy Lara in 2017 and is 1-0-1 since the defeat, with the controversial draw coming in his last fight against former titlist Austin Trout. 

The 33-year-old former Olympian, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio by way of Encino, California, was 20-0 and on track to next-level stardom when he suffered his frustrating defeat at the hands of the Cuban boxing wizard. Now in the second half of his physical prime, time is of the essence if he wants to make another serious run at a world title. A win on Saturday moves Gausha to the front of the super welterweight main stage.

The Stakes

The winner of this WBC title eliminator is in line for a crack at the winner of the upcoming Jermell Charlo-Jeison Rosario title unification bout on September 26, live on SHOWTIME PPV (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT). He'll also be in line for any number of big showdowns in the stacked division. 

The Matchup

Lubin is a high-functioning offensive threat with legitimate one-punch power in both hands. A natural righty who fights out of a southpaw stance, he carries his power hand closer to his opposition, something which makes his right hand especially quick and powerful. 

His power, however, is just part of the full package.

Lubin, who side-stepped an Olympic run to turn pro at 18, is cool and confident in the ring and shows an underappreciated level of nuance in his game. Using footwork and subtle misdirection, he's adept at establishing favorable positioning for his offense. This makes him a supremely efficient fighter who is precise without being predictable and explosive without being reckless. 

Lubin's best asset on defense is his smart positioning and good instincts due to loads of high-end amateur experience. 

I’m going to show the world that I’m one of the best 154-pounders out there and I’m ready to put a strap around my waist. Super Welterweight Contender - Erickson Lubin

Gausha is a deceptively simple fighter who is primarily equipped with a solid, probing jab that ranges from a prod to a flick, as well as a winging right hand. He's not really one-punch powerful, but he does have some pop, especially with the right hand.

The depth in his game, though, comes in the subtle pressure he puts on opponents. While not a traditional pressure fighter in the "bull forward" sense, he does apply slow, steady stress that forces an opponent to engage. 

Gausha, who began boxing at the age of 10, has the depth of experience one would expect from an Olympian. He's also well-versed in dealing with the challenges southpaws present. His last three opponents have been lefties. Two of them, Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout, were absolute riddles in the ring. 

Defensively, he's adequate, sometimes employing a high guard defense, but often depending on reflexes and the ability to pick off punches with his gloves.

The Words

Erickson Lubin

"I’m focused and ready to make my 2020 debut on SHOWTIME. Terrell Gausha has been in the ring with a few good fighters and he’s also an Olympian, so I know he has the experience, but I’m expecting to dominate him. My mindset will be to execute my game plan and come out on top. I’m going to show the world that I’m one of the best 154-pounders out there and I’m ready to put a strap around my waist. It’s Hammer time!"

Terrell Gausha

"Training camp has obviously been a little different ahead of this fight, but we’ve done what we need to, and I’ll be ready on September 19. This is a big fight for me, being my second chance at getting to a world title. I know Lubin is a young, good fighter and I’m sure he’ll also be ready. But this is my fourth southpaw in a row, so I’m very prepared for this fight and I’m going to show that I’m on another level."

The Breakdown

Lubin is a big puncher; Gausha isn't. The outcome of the fight could be determined by something as simple as that. 

However, Gausha's ability to come forward and apply subtle pressure could work to offset Lubin's offensive prowess. The Charlo fight offers some evidence to suggest that Lubin may be stymied, at least a little, when facing someone who won't let him fully employ his prodigious offensive tools.

Lubin, though, is very good at working angles and positioning. Gausha has been unable, at least in his two biggest bouts against Lara and Trout, to truly impose his will on a foe with next-level skill and ability. The question is whether Lubin is that kind of "next-level" fighter.

On Saturday, Lubin and Gausha have so much to gain and everything to lose. One will move forward and get a second chance at world championship glory. The other will take that long walk back to the end of the line.

For a closer look at Lubin vs Gausha, check out our fight night page. 

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