Preview: Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr.

By Robert Ecksel on July 10, 2018
Preview: Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr.
"I want to give the fans fights to remember. Those are the fights that excite me the most."

“I know Easter is very tall and has a longer reach than me. I have to catch him reaching in or put pressure and work my way inside…”

On Saturday, July 28, in a unification bout televised live on Showtime Championship Boxing from the Staples Center in LA, WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs), the undefeated four-division titlist from Ventura, California, gets it on with his IBF counterpart, lightweight champion Robert Easter (21-0, 15 KOs) the hungry young gun from Toledo, Ohio.

“It’s been seven years since I last had the chance to fight here in LA,” said Garcia at today’s media workout in Los Angeles, “and that was even before I was champion. Now after all of my accomplishments, I get to come home and put on a unification match for my local fans.

“Every time I walk into the ring, there’s a moment where I get butterflies and feel the emotions from the fans. This time it’s with my hometown fans and that’s really special. I’m really looking forward to it because I know the fans are going to show up and show their love and support.”

As long as Mikey keeps winning, the fans are going to show up and show their love and support. But if and/or when he starts losing, the depth of that love will be put to the test.
“I think I’m in my prime right now,” said 30-year-old Garcia. “I’m in the best shape physically and mentally that I’ve ever been in. I need to take advantage of the moment right now and take on the biggest challenges. I want to give the fans fights to remember. Those are the fights that excite me the most.”

Garcia is the favorite going in. But he is three years older than the 27-year-old Ohioan. He is also giving up five inches in height and eight inches in reach, which will be a challenge until it is not.

“I know Easter is very tall and has a longer reach than me,” Garcia said. “In the gym, we’ve been working on sparring partners who present different challenges and made adjustments from there. I have to catch him reaching in or put pressure and work my way inside. There are different things that I’m capable of doing.

“I’m pretty experienced from fighting taller guys in the past, so I don’t think it’s going to make too huge a difference. It’s a disadvantage on paper, but once fight night comes, I’ll be ready.”

The co-main event features Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs), the heavy-handed southpaw contender from Camaguey, Cuba, returning to action after being stopped by Deontay Wilder four months ago to face former title challenger Razvan Cojanu (16-3, 9 KOs).

Also on the card, unbeaten super lightweight contender Mario “El Azteca” Barrios (21-0, 13 KOs) faces hard-hitting Jose Roman (24-2-1, 16 KOs) in a 10-round special attraction.

The Showtime tripleheader starts at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT.

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