Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions was the lead promoter for the card.
Garcia, 38-0 with 30 knockouts, will defend the WBC lightweight championship, one of four different divisions in which the native of Oxnard, Calif., has won a world title during his career.
With the belts unified and no other major lightweight or even junior welterweight fight available to him, Garcia is adamant about going up in weight to face the unsafe Spence (24-0, 21 KOs), 28, of DeSoto, Texas, also one of boxing’s best pound-for-pound fighters. “Mikey and Errol Spence both want to have the fight, they have the same adviser, so we’ll see if it can be put together”.
A right hand-left hook in the third round deposited Easter on the seat of his trousers. He connected on 44 percent of his power punches (104/239) compared to 26 percent for Roman (34/132), who had just five body shots on the night.
The second and third rounds were close, with Roman making it clear he didn’t come to lose.
Impressively, Roman continued and made things hard for Barrios. Barrios continued the barrage into the sixth and seventh rounds and his left hooks were landing well.
Showtime will televise the main event as part of a triple-header that also includes Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz of Cuba against Razvan Cojanu of Romania in a 10-round heavyweight bout, and unbeaten Mario Barrios of San Antonio taking on Jose Roman of Garden Grove, Calif., in a battle of lightweights.
“He likes to exchange punches and gives up the height and reach advantage at times”. Ortiz, a southpaw, was walking down Cojanu with a steady diet of jabs.
In the second round, Ortiz delivered some of the most beautifully set up punches I’ve seen so far this year. He attempted to get up but stumbled several times and forced the referee to stop the fight.
“Those are things that my trainer and I have been practicing at the gym”, Ortiz said after the fight.
The three judges scored it 118-109, 117-110 and 116-111 as Garcia improved to 39-0 overall after this fight, which marks a return to the lightweight division. (21-0) for the WBC/IBF Lightweight Titles.
What also makes this fight special is that Garcia will be fighting in his home state for the first time in more than seven years.
“We’ve always said we shouldn’t move too fast and take that chance right now because we’re doing great at lightweight, even junior welterweight, but that’s what Mikey wants”, Robert Garcia said. Easter has good power in both hands as well as a good chin to handle Garcia’s heavy shots, meaning that Garcia would have to bypass that reach and take punishment of his own to get to work.
The sharp and consistent punching by Garcia began to take its toll on Easter.
Easter, a Toledo, Ohio, native, comes in with a ideal 21-0 record at age 27, but with only 14 knockouts.
On one hand, Garcia is one of the most talented pound-for-pound fighters in the world, and he’s widely expected to win. It’s also helped by the fact that Easter doesn’t always use his jab enough to control distance. Even against Easter’s longer arm reach, Garcia was still able to walk down his opponent, repeatedly putting him on the ropes. It was a dominant performance by Garcia, and a gutsy one by Easter, who showed a ton of heart.
Fans in the United States will have the ability to watch Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr. stream live for free, legally. “Nobody can perform like that, so I wouldn’t do well in sparring and my dad would get mad at me, thinking I wasn’t in shape”. Easter, JR., showed that he’s a bit better than his previous two fights indicated and were he to come in with the right game plan (think of the possibilities with thelate Manny Steward in his corner), it’s not out of the question that he could find success against Linares.