Saturday, September 23, 2023  |


Robert Easter Jr.: After Javier Fortuna, I’m ready for Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares

Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions
Fighters Network

Robert Easter Jr. is quickly rising through the sport as one of its beast young talents.

The lanky lightweight titleholder is preparing for his third title defense and Saturday’s fight will also mark his Showtime debut. The Toledo, Ohio native puts his 135-pound belt on the line against Javier Fortuna in the co-feature to Errol Spence Jr. vs. Lamont Peterson, but soon, he’s ready for far bigger fights.

“I’m 100 percent focused on this fight Saturday. Javier Fortuna is all that I’m thinking about,” said Easter, THE RING’s No. 2 lightweight. “After that, I’m ready to go after Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares.

” … “A lot of guys are trying to prove they’re the best at the weight. Each fight for me is a preparation for unification bouts down the line. That’s what I really want.”

Matchups with both Garcia and Linares would represent sizable steps up in competition and the unification fights Easter (20-0, 14 knockouts) is seeking. So far, the 26-year-old has topped tough, rugged fighters in Richard Commey, Denis Shafikov and to a lesser extent, Luis Cruz.

Fortuna (33-1-1, 23 KOs) proved his power at 126 pounds, but the Dominican also possesses a shaky chin (he’s rated No. 10 by THE RING at 135). Easter should take care of business Saturday on his biggest stage yet, and prove he’s ready for the likes of Garcia and Linares.

“Don’t think that my skinny frame and long arms don’t have power in them,” he cautioned. “You will see that on display Saturday night.

“We’re going after him. … I’m going to hit him wherever he gives me openings. I’m looking to finish him off on Saturday. It’s going to be a breakout performance.”

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger