Lubin gets new opponent amid PBC card changes

Showtime’s Premier Boxing Champions card on Oct. 26 has undergone a radical change with a main event fighter dropping out and the opening bout of the tripleheader being replaced entirely.

Junior middleweight Erickson Lubin will face new opponent Nathaniel Gallimore in the main event of the card (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET) at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania, the network announced on Thursday.

Lubin (21-1, 16 KOs), 24, of Orlando, Florida, was initially scheduled to face Terrell Gausha, a 2012 U.S. Olympian and former world title challenger, in a 12-round world title elimination fight. Now he will instead face Gallimore in a 10-round bout after Gausha withdrew because of a hand injury.

“It’s unfortunate that Gausha had to pull out because I was really looking forward to that fight,” said Lubin, the 2016 ESPN prospect of the year. “Now I’m facing Nathaniel Gallimore, who is a very good fighter, whose only losses are to top level guys. I’m expecting a very difficult fight, one that will be explosive for the fans, but one I know I will win. It’s my time to show the world I’m ready to be back on top of the division.”

Gallimore (21-3-1, 17 KOs), 31, a Jamaica native fighting out of Chicago, lost both of his fights in 2018 — a title eliminator by decision to Julian “J Rock” Williams and an eight-round decision to Patrick Teixeira. Gallimore rebounded with an eight-round split decision victory over novice professional Antonio Todd on Aug. 4.

“I’m approaching this like any other big fight that was in the works for a long time,” Gallimore said. “I’ve been waiting for this moment in my career for a while. This is a stepping stone that can take me where I want to go. Lubin’s a pretty good boxer-puncher. He was on the rise for a moment and I knew about him coming up. It’s going to be a great fight. I’ll make any adjustment in the ring to capitalize on what I need to do to be victorious that night.”

The original opening bout was supposed to be a bantamweight world title eliminator between former 118-pound world titleholders Rau’shee Warren and Emmanuel Rodriguez. However, Warren was forced to withdraw after suffering an injury to his right hand in a recent sparring session, and the fight was canceled.

Replacing the bout will be a 10-round heavyweight fight between blue-chip prospect Efe Ajagba (11-0, 9 KOs) and Jack Mulowayi (7-1-1, 3 KOs).

Ajagba, 25, a 2016 Nigerian Olympian who fights out of Houston, is coming off the most notable bout of his career — a 10-round unanimous decision against 2016 Turkish Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen on July 20 on the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman undercard in Las Vegas.

Mulowayi, 32, a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who fights out of Belgium, will be making his United States debut against by far his most formidable opponent.

The co-feature remains intact — a 10-round bout between former lightweight world titlist Robert Easter Jr. (21-1-1, 14 KOs), 28, of Toledo, Ohio, who is moving up to the junior welterweight division to face battle-tested Adrian Granados (20-7-2, 14 KOs), 30, of Chicago.