Erickson Lubin has come a long way from training in an Orlando garage.
Back then, it was just Lubin, his “brother” — fellow boxer and co-training partner Dennis Galarza — and trainer Jason Galarza, Dennis’ father.
For most of his amateur career, Lubin worked out of that two-car garage while piling up national accolades. Lubin, a junior middleweight prospect from Orlando, Fla., is a former National Golden Gloves champion and a world champion in the 2013 PAL championships.
Now, he’s set to make his Fox Sports 1 debut Thursday. And he’s noticing how quickly things have changed.
“(Growing up), it wasn’t really the right training I needed,” Lubin said. “We now have different trainers looking at us at every moment. Before it was just me and (Dennis). We were just trying to cut weight for fights and it wasn’t that serious. Now, I have eating patterns and weight training. It’s real different, but I like it.”
These days, when Lubin 5-0 (5 KO), enters the gym of his promoter Mike Tyson, the 18-year-old is surrounded by modern equipment and a team of supporters. Of his fights since turning pro in November of 2013, it’s his sixth that is out of the ordinary for a fighter so young.
Lubin faces 36-fight veteran Noe Bolanos Thursday on Fox Sports 1 as the first fight of a tripleheader at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, headlined with a rematch of junior lightweights Argenis Mendez and Rances Barthelemy.
Lubin’s previous five opponents had a combined number of 43 fights. Bolanos, 25-9-1 (16 KO), nearly equals that.
“I feel like I’m ready for this fight,” Lubin said. “A lot of these guys coming out of the Olympics, they’re taking fights with fighters with negative records. I feel like a positive record like this will help me put my name out there.
“I’m just confident,” he added. “I know a lot of these veterans have a decorated record after 28 fights and he’s one of them. I’m just out there to expose him. “
Lubin was once considered a top amateur for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil before signing with manager Henry Rivalta and Tyson’s Iron Mike Productions. Lubin said that he had offers from promoters at 16, but felt the offer from the two felt right for him and his family.
He also said that the AIBA’s decision to remove headgear for the next games played a factor in turning pro.
“We might as well get paid for it. You’re not paid in the amateurs to fight with no headgear and you never know what can happen going against the best in the world,” Lubin said.
The 18-year-old first met his manager Rivalta when Lubin was training in the Olympic training center for Team USA. Rivalta then invited Lubin to Miami where the prospect met Tyson and they presented him with an offer to turn pro.
“I feel like I always have to perform at my best even when no one is watching,” Lubin said. “Still, that day gave me extra motivation — knowing Mike Tyson wanted to sign me.”
Tyson has high hopes for his prospect, who is confident in matching Lubin with competitive opponents like Bolanos early in his career. Tyson, of course, was similarly moved at a rapid pace — winning a world title at the age of 20.
“There are exceptions to the rule and I believe that Lubin will be one,” Tyson said in a news release. “We have some very young talent that we will develop slowly, but this kid is different. He clearly has great talent, but is also mentally tough and he’s ahead of everyone at this age, and he can handle it.”
As he prepares for Bolanos, Lubin is aiming for a showcase to those watching on Fox Sports 1. Lubin said he was unsatisfied with his two previous appearances on ESPN and wants to make an impression.
“I’m ready to showcase this talent that people really haven’t seen yet,” Lubin said. “I want to become a champion and become well known. I want to leave a mark in this sport.”