What to Watch: July 28

By Caryn A. Tate on July 27, 2018
What to Watch: July 28
Join me as I break down which of the week's televised fights are most interesting and why.

My pick this week is the headlining unification bout between WBC lightweight world champ Mikey Garcia and IBF lightweight titleholder Robert Easter…

Join me as I break down which of the week’s televised fights are most interesting and why.

Saturday, July 28
10:00am PT/1:00pm ET - Sky Sports (UK)
Dillian Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs) vs. Joseph Parker (24-1, 18 KOs) - 12 rounds, heavyweight; Dereck Chisora (28-8, 20 KOs) vs. Carlos Takam (35-4-1, 27 KOs) - 12 rounds, heavyweight; Katie Taylor (9-0, 4 KOs) vs. Kimberly Connor (13-3-2, 5 KOs) - 12 rounds, IBF & WBA world lightweight titles

6:30pm PT/9:30pm ET - ESPN+
Christopher Diaz (23-0, 15 KOs) vs. Masayuki Ito (23-1-1, 12 KOs) - 12 rounds, WBO super featherweight world title

7:00pm PT/10:00pm ET - Showtime
Mikey Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs) vs. Robert Easter (21-0, 14 KOs); Luis Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs) vs. Razvan Cojanu (16-3, 9 KOs); Mario Barrios (21-0, 13 KOs) vs. Jose Roman (24-2-1, 16 KOs)

My pick this week is the headlining unification bout between WBC lightweight world champ Garcia and IBF lightweight titleholder Easter.

Unification fights are always a positive thing, particularly when both fighters have earned their titles the right way (by fighting top opposition). Garcia has been on a tear since he returned in 2016 from a two-year hiatus—he has faced only world champions and former world champions. He’s made it clear he’s out to establish his legacy in the sport and wants to face the best. His attitude is an incredibly refreshing one. In an age when so many world champions seem to avoid other title holders (for whatever the reason may be—whether it’s money or not, it’s still avoidance), instead opting to face inexperienced opponents or foes with nearly as many losses as wins…let’s just say we need to see more like Mikey.

Easter is in a similar boat. Whatever your opinion of him as a fighter, as a champion he has faced very good opposition. In his last bout, he won a questionable split decision over the tricky and skillful Javier Fortuna; before that, he defeated the experienced Denis Shafikov by unanimous decision. He’s stated he actively sought out the contest with Garcia, that he wanted to fight one of the best fighters in the world, and he got what he asked for.

It may prove to be too much for the IBF champion Easter. Mikey is undoubtedly one of the best boxers in the world today. He’s not flashy, but he does everything right. He puts his punches together very well, his use of angles and distance is masterful, he’s cool-headed even under fire, his footwork is a thing of beauty, and his ring IQ is off the charts. When I spoke with him back in January, he explained he was sparring world champions when he was only 15. It’s obvious when watching him in the ring that his mind is typically far ahead of his opponents, a trait seen in all special fighters. Put simply, Garcia is a technical marvel.

Easter is a good, solid fighter who somehow always finds a way to win. But he normally does not use his incredible 5’11” height (5” taller than Mikey) and 76” reach (8” over Garcia) to his advantage. He tends to fight small, engaging in exchanges much more often than he should. For this bout, Easter trained with coach Kevin Cunningham in Florida and there is no doubt Cunningham has been drilling into Easter to use his height and reach. It is, without question, the single best and easiest way for Easter to have an advantage over Garcia (or any lightweight).

What I expect is for Easter to start out fighting tall and using his reach to box Garcia from the outside. On social media, there will likely be a lot of viewers commenting that he’s beating Garcia, that Mikey can’t figure out Easter’s tactics. But in a few rounds (if not sooner), I expect Garcia’s ring IQ to kick in and he’ll begin utilizing angles to land on Easter. When that happens, Easter may revert to his old habits of giving up his length (despite Cunningham’s urgent instructions in the corner). At that point, if he begins exchanging with Garcia, it’s all Mikey’s game. I believe Garcia will win by stoppage, in the middle or late rounds.

The undercard for this event is a wonderful one. Ortiz is making a comeback after his knockout loss to Deontay Wilder in what should be an entertaining contest. Barrios is taking a step up against Roman in what I expect to be a great performance.

And don’t forget, the non-televised undercard will be streamed live starting at 5pm PT/8pm ET on Showtime’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. Some very good fighters are on the undercard, including 2016 US Olympian Karlos Balderas and Fabian Maidana.

Check out more of Caryn’s work at http://www.CarynATate.com and follow her on Twitter@carynatate

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  1. fan 05:40am, 07/31/2018

    Boxing should have betting special with one round event.

  2. fan 05:16am, 07/30/2018

    To find up the best organization, boxing should have wbc vs wbo event.

  3. Casanovita de Ahome 08:28am, 07/26/2018

    Spot on analysis of Mikey….two things though…..he can really crack and his chin is in the ODLH class! If you saw Smith push/punching Munguia you would know why the first is so important and secondly even someone as skilled as Mikey gets caught with their opponent’s best shots from time to time!

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