Tuesday, May 22, 2018  |


Mikey Garcia, Robert Easter Jr. agree to deal for July 28 unification title fight in L.A.


While Jorge Linares defends his RING lightweight championship bout on Saturday against Vasiliy Lomachenko, the other two best fighters in the division will meet to unify titles months later.

Mikey Garcia, who holds the WBC lightweight title, and IBF beltholder Robert Easter Jr. agreed to meet in a unification matchup on July 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, sources with knowledge of the talks told THE RING. Super middleweight titleholder David Benavidez will defend his belt in the other half of the Showtime Championship Boxing doubleheader.

The sources requested anonymity because they’re not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Garcia (38-0, 30 knockouts) hasn’t competed at 135 pounds since he won the title with a spectacular third-round knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin in January 2017.

The undefeated fighter from Oxnard, California, jumped up to junior welterweight for a high-profile showdown with Adrien Broner months later, and then grabbed a title in a fourth-weight division with a decision victory over Sergey Lipinets in March.

Now, Garcia, THE RING’s No. 5 pound-for-pound fighter, will meet his biggest test at lightweight while he looks to become a unified champion for the first time.

The 30-year-old relinquished his 140-pound belt to continue defending his 135-pound title, and now he’ll seek to add to his collection of belts.

Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) looked shaky in a split decision win over Javier Fortuna in January, but the Toledo, Ohio, native will boast a considerable size advantage (five inches in height, eight in reach) and packs a punch.

The 27-year-old has reeled off three title defenses since he won the vacant strap with a decision nod over Richard Commey in one of the best fights of 2016.

Easter will step way up in competition for this fight, and on his biggest stage yet. It will be his first headline bout on Showtime, and he’s finally facing an elite fighter.

Ideally, the winner of Saturday’s bout on ESPN between Linares and Lomachenko will meet the victor of Garcia-Easter (THE RING’s No. 1- and No. 2-rated lightweights, respectively) to determine lightweight supremacy, but it’s a long shot for 2018.

Linares, after all, is promoted by Golden Boy and aligned with HBO, while Linares is with Top Rank/ESPN. Garcia and Easter are both advised by Al Haymon and fight on Showtime.

But if Linares-Lomachenko is any indication, the promotional divide can be bridged, and just maybe, we’ll crown an unquestioned top dog at lightweight in the near future.

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

  • ozzy

    Was Easter Jr’s problems with Fortuna due to his style or because of problems Easter Jr had making the weight? I guess we’re gunna find out because the last person you want to meet if you have weight problems is Mikey Garcia.

    • A Guy Who Owns A Coffee Table

      I don’t think Easter has weight problems, I think he is just a BIG guy who doesn’t know how to fight on the inside and refuses to fight on the outside. Sad to say but I think Mikey picks him apart.

      • Bakari K. Lumumba

        I agree 100%

      • Stephen M

        At the top level Easter has looked ordinary.

        • Affro-hop

          he has 3 questionable wins on his resume. Mikey will beat him easier than he did with Broner

        • ceylon mooney

          yeah. he doesnt look like hes gotten better since the commey fight.

      • Mauro Hermida

        Easter gives his height up too often, but unlike Paul Williams(who did the same), he doesn’t throw 100+ punches per round.

      • Marvin Meeks

        Doesn’t know how to fight on the inside? Refuses to fight on the outside? Smh, are you sure you’ve watched Bunny fight before?

    • ceylon mooney

      neither. hes just so so at the world level.

    • Marvin Meeks

      Problems making weight? Obviously you don’t know anything about EBunny or probably the fight game itself.

      • Rocco Arroyetti

        he got owned by Fortuna!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Marvin Meeks

          Ayo Rocco, forget aboudit!!!!


    Robert Easter should only fight once a year…..on Easter Sunday!

    • Matt M


  • Black Oracle

    Mikey by knock out in round 8

  • Canek

    Easy fight for Mikey. The Easter Bunny has no idea how to use his length against top fighters.

  • Lion king

    Meanwhile Robert Garcia says the Loma figth it’s going to take a few years

  • Oc

    Good fight…I’m looking forward to it.

  • Tiger Bradley

    wow this will b a good one the winner meet Loma wow

  • Floridastorm

    Garcia will KO him sooner than you can say “and the winner is”. Easter has no chance and no chance at all. Take your pick. I’m afraid that only Lomo can give Garcia a competitive fight and has the only chance of defeating him. I would actually like to see Garcia fight Crawford even though the difference in weight. I think he would defeat Crawford.

    • Marvin Meeks

      Miss me with the BS, Ebunny is a WORLD Champion, so take that for Data!!!