Erickson “Hammer” Lubin takes to social media to rant about his weight both in and out of the ring

With the rise of influencer boxing, many social media stars are taking notice who, despite their lack of athleticism and boxing technique, are getting away with huge paydays. While it’s easy to become envious of such large sums of money being made by those without talent, savvy boxing pros seek to take a page from the books of these content creators.

One boxer in particular, Erickson “Hammer” Lubin, is a rising star in the boxing world. Currently 24-1 with 17 KOs, Lubin has dominated in the ring but sees opportunities outside of sport to raise his profile. Ahead of his upcoming fight with Sebastian Fundora this weekend, Lubin has plenty to say about his professional boxing journey and his plans to draw attention to what he’s doing outside the ring through social media.

Friedrich Daso: I was watching your Showtime series on HBO and one of the things that caught my eye was the scene where your mother was attacked by robbers who broke into your house. Then, shortly after the attack, she walked away. You were still at the beginning of your career, but were in the middle of your apprenticeship when you found out about it. How did that affect you, knowing that a loved one was attacked while you were training? Has that psychologically changed the way you approach your boxing career?

Erickson “Hammer” Lubin: I was young when it happened. My mother moved to New York from Florida. She’s done it a few times. Being so young, I didn’t understand why she left and came back. Still, I fell in love with boxing. I was so in love with boxing and my father took care of me most of the time and helped me go to tournaments. Other times I’m on my own as a kid, asking for donations outside and raising some money because my coach is funding the rest. All I ever knew was boxing. As a kid, all I focused on was boxing.

daso: Building on that, you went into fights, both as an amateur and shortly thereafter as a professional. I want to know how were your first pro fights? Was there a significant change in the difficulty, pace and skills of your competitors? Have these changes affected the approach to combat?

Lubin: The pace was different. The pace was different because I was on the USA team in the amateurs. I was number one. I was the best hope for a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics. Every tournament I went to, I was simply the best. Every time I fight someone from Cuba or Brazil and come in second or third place. It wasn’t easy, but I still got through. That’s what had my stocks so high as a pro. Shortly thereafter, Mike Tyson picked me up. I had that kind of buzz but US boxing made a big stink about it because they wanted me to represent them at the Olympics. Mike Tyson, on the other hand, offered me some money. I couldn’t deny it. I accepted this deal instead.

Once you’re a pro, you can’t go back to the amateur system. The competition I had to face early on wasn’t easy. I wanted to be challenged. I wanted the fast track to get to that title very quickly.

daso: You have entered the fast lane. And that fast track was led by Jermell Charlo. When you fought him and lost, how was that moment for you? How did that lead you to completely re-evaluate your boxing career? How did you manage to move with the people around you to take yourself to the next level where you can beat him and other competitors?

Lubin: When I had to accept this loss, it was heartbreaking. I woke up the next morning hoping it was a nightmare, but it made me a lot hungrier and it made me go back to the drawing board and figure out what I did wrong. I had five weeks for this camp. When I’m fighting now, I usually go camping for about 8, 9, 10 weeks. I just wanted to do it as quickly as possible. I was in the fast lane and not fully prepared. Mentally I was fine, but physically I wasn’t that well prepared because I had lost a lot of weight.

I don’t want to apologize either. I had a broken hand and didn’t start sparring until two weeks before the right one. I had plunged into combat, but it was a lesson. I have regrouped. I have a new trainer. I kept my old trainer with me as an assistant. I added to rebuild myself and my brand and now here I am. What matters most to me is how I came back from adversity.

daso: A loss does not define you. This is how you react to it. It’s really interesting because when I watched the Showtime series, there was a part where they interviewed Coach Cunningham. He mentioned that the team you had back then put you in that fast lane. He said they ‘didn’t get it right’, or like you took the Charlo fight too soon.

Lubin: With boxers, it’s usually the management they criticize, and obviously they say, “It’s my team that put me in a fight too early.” I didn’t feel like it was too soon with me and my competitive nature. But looking back now, I feel like maybe it was and that I didn’t prepare properly. Still, it was all a lesson that made me better.

daso: I have it. One of the main things I’ve always wondered about is how boxers today, especially in this new era of influencer boxing, there are a lot of young but not talented individuals stepping into the ring but they’re making really big bags because they have the audience around them. For someone like you who has the talent but is starting to grow your audience, how does social media play into your strategy of marketing yourself for these bigger fights than just proving it in the ring? How do you make social media part of your strategy for getting yourself into the conversation, or “in the mix” as you like to say?

Lubin: Going out on fight night and taking care of business is a key part. But it’s also important that after the fight I show the world how I live daily when the buzz is still hot. I’ll probably go on vacation after a fight, but I want to document things more and give my audience what they want to see. I feel like I haven’t done too much of it before.

daso: The last question for you is your upcoming fight with Sebastian Fundora. From what I’ve read online he’s a very tall guy. He has your reach on you. How do you plan to dismantle him and field yourself for the next upcoming title fight?

Lubin: Well, I was in the dispute. He’s just trying to put himself in his shoes now. I’m number one in the weight class but I think all these fights are important because he’s one of the guys coming out now. He’s really hungry, but I’m still hungry. Just that he’s so big makes everyone fascinated by his size. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. But I know him from my days as an amateur boxer. His father took me to a few tournaments. I won a few national tournaments with his father. He hasn’t been on this stage yet because he’s a bit younger than me, but seeing where he is now is good for him. But he takes a step too early by looking at me.

He steps into the ring with someone one step above him.

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