Mikey Garcia could be facing Robert Easter Jr. next
Published: October 11, 2017
so fight only came by signing to gb. not bad but im doing better on my own.— Team Mikey Garcia (@mikeygarcia) October 9, 2017
The world of boxing is forever changing with unexpected fights being announced on a weekly basis. This week the boxing news cycle has been fixated on who will be named as the next opponent for Puerto Rican four-division champion and future Hall-of-Famer Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs). It has now been officially announced that Cotto will be facing welterweight contender Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs). Three-division champion and current WBC lightweight (135) champion Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) was offered the bout with Cotto having stated that he was willing to move up to 154-pounds. The offer, however, was turned down by Garcia as Golden Boy wanted to sign Garcia to a three-fight deal.
After spending over two-years out of the ring to get out of an extended contract with Top Rank, Garcia was not willing to make any long-term commitments with Golden Boy. Since Garcia’s return to the ring, he has stated that he is looking for big fights. In his last bout, Garcia moved up to 140-pounds and defeated Adrien Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) by wide unanimous decision. Many in the sport were calling for Garcia to stay at lightweight where there were still a plethora of challenges awaiting. Fans may get their wish as it was reported to the L.A. Times that IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. (20-0, 14 KOs) might be next to face Garcia sometime this upcoming December or January.
Last week, the WBC (World Boxing Council) ordered a bout between Garcia and WBA and Ring Magazine lightweight champion Jorge Linares (43-3, 27 KOs). Linares is rumored to be facing WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan (33-0, 13 KOs) next leaving a Garcia-Easter bout open to being made.
Easter won the vacant IBF lightweight title in 2016 against Richard Commey (25-2, 22 KOs). Since then he has made two successful title defenses. In his last bout, Easter fought in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio winning a unanimous decision over Denis Shafikov (38-3-1, 20 KOs). The Ohio native is a close friend of Garcia’s last opponent Adrien Broner and is even promoted by Broner’s ‘About Billions Promotions.' In some ways this could be a form of payback for Easter should the Garcia fight take place.
Stylistically, Easter is one of the tougher challenges Garcia could face at lightweight. Easter is 5’11 with a 76-inch reach to go along with a lanky frame. The IBF lightweight champion has also shown the ability to fought on the inside and outside with excellent results.
If Garcia, does decide to face Easter it will be the first time in his career that he will have fought in a unification bout. While Easter is not the most lucrative money bout for Garcia, it will be more than good enough to satisfy fans and pundits alike who want to see Garcia challenged.
(Feature Photo: Elsa/Getty Images and Premier Boxing Champions)