Lubin Outpoints Gausha
By Caryn A. Tate on September 19, 2020
The official scorecards read 115-113, 116-112, and 118-110. (Amanda Wescott/Showtime)
On Saturday, super welterweights Erickson Lubin (23-1, 16 KOs) and Terrell Gausha (21-2-1, 10 KOs) fought in a 12-round WBC world title eliminator. The event was broadcast live on Showtime.
Lubin, a southpaw, fought well and patiently. Gausha, always tending to be more of a “tricky” fighter who tries to lull his opponents into making mistakes he can capitalize on, fought the same way tonight. Sometimes he had success, but it wasn’t enough. He never took control of a round until late in the bout.
Lubin fought perhaps too patiently overall. Early in the bout, it was fine—there was a lot on the line for both boxers, and neither of them wanted to take silly risks. But as the bout went on and Lubin continuously controlled the rounds, it would have been nice to see him crank up the pressure more.
Occasionally Lubin showed a few defensive lapses that he likely wouldn’t get away with against one of the champions in the division. After the fight, he told Showtime’s Brian Custer that he thought the layoff might have had something to do with his less-than-perfect performance.
In the 10th, Gausha caught Lubin suddenly with a straight right hand that hurt the southpaw; in fact, his leg wobbled and he nearly went down. He gritted his teeth and rode it out, though, grabbing and holding Gausha and then fighting back until the end of the round. Gausha jumped on Lubin at first after he hurt him, but then allowed Lubin to recover. At the beginning of the next round, it was the same thing—Gausha sat back and was very measured. Hence, Lubin fully recovered before the 11th round ended.
The official scorecards read 115-113, 116-112, and 118-110, all for Lubin. The right man won but the closer cards were bizarre and really show how inconsistent too many boxing judges are. What criteria are they using? What training have they had?
In a 12-round featherweight contest, Tugstsogt Nyambayar (12-1, 9 KOs) faced unbeaten Cobia Breedy (15-1, 5 KOs). In most of round one, Breedy boxed very well and looked sharp. But late in the round, Nyambayar timed Breedy and caught him with a 1-2, dropping Breedy to the canvas.
Nyambayar’s nose was bleeding after the first, but in round two he came out looking relaxed. The knockdown seemed to have helped his confidence. Breedy seemed flustered and was moving backward when Nyambayar caught him with a left hand upstairs that caught Breedy off balance and knocked him back to the floor.
As the rounds went on, though, Breedy began to change up his timing with some herky-jerky movements and lateral foot movement. This all seemed to throw Nyambayar off. Breedy began winning rounds, showing surprising composure and intelligence by calming down and figuring out a way to throw his opponent off his game. And it was working.
In the seventh, though, Breedy’s nose was bleeding and he blew it. The commentators suggested that it may have caused swelling around Breedy’s left eye, and it did indeed start to swell as he fought. Still, he calmed down again and went back to his busyness and potshotting that was working so well against Nyambayar.
It was a truly engaging fight, with lots of back and forth and good work from both fighters. Several of the rounds were true swing rounds, and the result was a rare, truly close bout.
The judges scored it 115-111 for Breedy, 114-112 for Nyambayar, and 114-113 for Nyambayar. They were all fair cards.
The first bout of the broadcast featured welterweights Jaron “Boots” Ennis (26-0, 24 KOs) and Juan Carlos “Merengue” Abreu (23-6-1, 21 KOs) in a 10-rounder.
Ennis boxed beautifully, switching between orthodox and southpaw at times, and alternating between fighting at range and fighting on the inside depending on what Abreu offered. In fact, there wasn’t a lot coming from Abreu at all, and Ennis was largely able to do what he liked.
In the fifth, Ennis landed something of a low shot that the referee either didn’t see or didn’t think was serious enough to stop the action for. But Abreu took things into his own hands and repaid the favor, landing a clean shot very low. Ennis reacted and the referee, Johnny Callas, called time, allowing Ennis to recover and advising Abreu that he would take a point for retaliation. The fault was with the referee, though, not the fighter—it’s the referee’s responsibility to take control of the fight and prevent fouls, instead of sitting back watching avoidable fouls happen and then blaming the fighters for them.
At the end of the round, Ennis landed a beautiful, clean uppercut that dropped Abreu immediately. The referee issued the count, and Abreu jumped up before eight. The ref, very slow in his responses, told Abreu to walk forward—which he did—and then the ref told him to walk to the side (this instruction by referees is to test the fighter’s neurological function, to make sure he’s fit to defend himself). Abreu didn’t respond, and Callas wiped his gloves anyway and allowed the fight to continue.
In the sixth, Abreu got touched by a few shots and then went down again after a pause, in what seemed like a delayed reaction. Later, Ennis went after Abreu and knocked him back against the ropes in what should have been ruled a knockdown. More importantly, the fight should have been waved off right away—it was clear Abreu wasn’t able to really compete at this stage and the knockdowns had done some damage. Instead, Abreu took several more punches until he went down again, and finally referee Callas waved it off.
It was an excellent performance by Ennis. Hopefully we’ll next see him in the ring with higher level opposition.