Mikey Garcia defeats Robert Easter Jr. in Los Angeles
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: July 29, 2018
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – At the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California four-division champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) defeated Toledo, Ohio’s Robert Easter Jr. (21-1, 14 KOs) via unanimous decision. The Staples Center was filled with 12,560 fans and was Garcia’s first fight in California since 2011. The match started off well for Easter who was able to use his size and reach advantages to coincide with his style of high-volume punching to keep Garcia one step behind.
This would change in the third round with Garcia upping the intensity and applying more pressure on Easter. The jab proved to be beneficial for Garica as it set up a right hand followed by a left hook that put Easter down. This would be only the second knockdown of Easter’s professional career. The Ohio native was not severely hurt by the knockdown and would have his moments of success for the remainder of the bout. After six rounds of action, the bout was relatively even with an edge for Garcia because of the knockdown.
The difference in class began to show in the second half of the fight with Garcia putting each passing round into the bank by landing the cleaner more effective punches. The four-division champion was able to control the pace at which the fight was fought and looked like the more skilled pugilist throughout. After twelve rounds of action, the judges scored the bout 118-109, 117-110 and 116-111 all for Garcia. The punch statistics provide a relatively accurate summary of what took place inside the ring. Garcia landed 176 out of 555 total punches at a 32 percent connect rate and landed 38% of his power punches. Easter landed 129 out of 507 total punches at a 25 percent connect rate.
The victory made Garcia a unified champion for the first time in his career as he now holds the WBC and IBF lightweight titles. As one of the recognized best fighters in the world pound-for-pound, the topic of conversation is in anticipation as to whom Garcia steps into the ring with next. While many are looking forward to seeing a future clash between Garcia and WBA/Ring Magazine lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, that fight has some promotional hurdles to get over with the Ukrainian being promoted by Top Rank.
The next bout for Garcia could be in the welterweight (147) division against IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. With Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter facing off this upcoming September and Keith Thurman returning from injury later this year, it leaves Spence without a significant opponent until 2019. A fight with Garcia would provide Spence with a major bout while he waits for the welterweight division to get sorted out.
Garcia would be a considerable underdog against Spence; however, the rewards for defeating the Texas native would immediately propel him to the top of the sport.
(Featured Photo: Melina Depante-Asplin/Frontproof Media)