Fight Preview: Lubin vs. Gallimore, Easter vs. Granados
By: Robert Aaron Contreras
Erickson Lubin’s first world title shot did not take long—aged just 22 when he challenged Jermell Charlo in 2017—but his second will take longer than expected. Originally set to face Terrell Gausha in a WBC eliminator, Lubin (21-1, 16 KO) is still headlining this weekend’s PBC on Showtime bill from Reading, Pennsylvania, but after a hand injury forced Gausha off the card, the Orlando-born popularizer is in line to fight divisional gatekeeper Nathanial Gallimore (21-3-1, 17 KO).
Gallimore, a 31-year-old Jamaican transplant, showed no qualms about answering a late-notice call recently as the second week of October. Gallimore falls short of Gausha’s amateur pedigree but has shown signs of being as equally an athletic jigsaw puzzle, with his pushing six-feet in height and even higher punch output. The title implications become unclear considering Gallimore is nowhere to be seen in the WBC’s top-15 junior middleweight ranking. An honest showing from Lubin at least could still push him back onto the championship stage.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Lubin’s first taste at the sport’s highest level did not go as planned. But he has been on a roll since suffering his first professional loss, an early knockout to Charlo. A win this weekend would extend his win streak to three straight—all knockouts.
The resurgence has also coincided with a new trainer. Lubin joined Kevin Cunningham in 2018. Cunningham, who is best known for his longtime handling of welterweight Devon Alexander, has made a career out of rebuilding southpaws.
The results speak for themselves. Lubin and his team are 2-0 in 2019. First competing in February where the upstart became the first man to stop veteran Ishe Smith inside the distance. Smith could not keep up his younger opponent. Lubin especially whipped Smith around in the second round, scoring three knockdowns, initially taking Smith’s feet out from under him with cracking one-twos. A fourth knockdown in the fateful third round signaled the end. In the corner, the referee called a halt to action, unwilling to send Smith out for more punishment.
In June, Lubin was back in the ring competing on the undercard of the other Charlo brother. There, the southpaw puncher overwhelmed a former European champion, the standout Frenchman Zakaria Attou. Sitting on his left hands, Lubin touched up his man early. Attou mostly looked to wrap up after feeling the American’s might overhand left. Finally Attou went down in the fourth round. He picked himself up, but the corner recognized his glassy eyes and shaky legs, and thew in the towel.
The destruction left in his wake makes Lubin a heavy favorite (-2000) opposite Gallimore. The 24-year-old quickly broke into the pro ranks with a real reputation. Never fighting in the mold of the typical “slippery southpaw,” or the reticence associated with that stereotype, Lubin’s game couples his supreme athleticism with a menacing clubbing ability, at his best when probing a stiff right jab followed by throwing his weight into an overhand left, to the head and body.
It was none other than Mike Tyson who took notice of Lubin early on. Lubin was a teenager when the legendary heavyweight convinced him to forego the Olympics and sign a promotional deal. Tyson’s company eventually went under. But Lubin carried on. And by 2016, both ESPN and The Ring Magazine named him their annual Prospect of the Year.
With less fanfare, Gallimore left Jamaica as a preteen and found a home in Chicago. He did not turn professional until his late-20s but carved out a respectable career competing between 154 and 160 pounds. In his most recent outing he helped headline a club show in Atlanta. There he decisioned the hometown man, Antonio Todd.
In 2018, a competitive showing against Julian Williams, who would later unify the super welterweight division, left Galllimore with a majority-decision loss. But the performance pushed him into a title eliminator with Patrick Teixeira that very same year. The parvenu was not afraid to pull the trigger, punching away at the house fighter with abandon. Teixeira remained calculated and counterpunched his way to a clear points win. In all bringing Gallimore’s record to 1-2 over his last three bouts.
Robert Easter Jr. (21-1-1, 14 KO) vs. Adrian Granados (20-7-2, 14 KO)
Deprived of the sweet taste of victory, Easter Jr. is looking for his first win in over 20 months. His bout against Granados also represents his first fight since 2016 with no championship belts on the line.
Earlier this year, Easter saw his IBF share fo the lightweight crown ripped from his grasp by Mikey Garcia. Next he was met with a sizable challenge in Rances Barthelemy, a Cuban switch-hitter. There were two titles on the line but somebody forget to let the boxers know because neither seemed excited to be there. The excruciating 12-round staring contest resulted in a split-draw.
Unlike the Cuban stylist, Granados has the banger mentality to drag a fight out of Easter. Back in 2015, the hard-hitting Amir Imam could not keep Granados off of him and succumbed to his attack in the eight rounds–a giant upset.
The shocking victory secured repeated opportunities for Granados against some of boxing’s biggest names.
Over the last three years, the Mexican-born brawler (now fighting out of Illinois) tussled with Adrien Broner, Shawn Porter, and Danny Garcia. That meeting with Garcia represented Granados’ most recent contest, and to be honest his worst beating to date. Granados came out the gates well, outlanding his superstar opponent in the opening frame. But it was all down hill from there, coming undone in the seventh round for the first TKO loss of his career.
Granados at this point is worse for wear, pegged at nearly four-to-one dog odds against a sharp boxer like Easter, the considerable betting favorite who opened at -600.
Postol Defeats Mimoune, Easter Draws with Barthelemy
By: Hans Themistode
It was an uneventful night of boxing at the Cosmopolitan, in Las Vegas Nevada, on April 27th.
Both Robert Easter Jr (21-1-1, 14 KOs) and Rances Barthelemy (27-1-1, 14 KOs) battled it out for the vacant WBA Super Lightweight title. The word battled might be a phrase to strong for what actually occurred.
Barely any punches were thrown or landed throughout the contest. Easter connected on a mere 54 of his 415 shots while Barthelemy wasn’t much better, landing 52 of 328.
It was a flat out awful fight. There’s no sugarcoating or denying it. All three judges gave the appropriate scores as they ruled the match a draw. Neither man did anything to claim victory.
The real loser was the fans. Not only was the main event a complete dud but the co main event did not produce much fireworks either.
Former WBC Jr Welterweight champion Viktor Postol (31-2, 12 KOs) easily dismantled Mohamed Mimoune (21-3, 2 KOs).
Since knocking out Lucas Matthysse in 2016, Postol had gone just 2-2 in his past four contests. Those losses weren’t against just anybody as he lost to undefeated contender Josh Taylor and arguably the best fighter on the planet in Terence Crawford. This fight against Mimoune was one that he desperately needed.
Postol dictated the pace of the fight early. He repeatedly tagged his man and managed to keep his distance throughout. It wasn’t until the later rounds where Mimoune began to experience a bit of success as he began to find a home for his right hand.
It was clear that Mimoune was trailing big time going in to the 10th and final round. When the period began, he did his best to let his hands go. Unfortunately for Mimoune, in 24 professional fights, he has only been able to stop two of his opponents. In short, he lacked the power to turn the fight around.
When the final bell rang all three judges scored the contest widely in favor of Postol. 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93. With the victory Postol now becomes the WBC mandatory and has officially placed himself back in the championship mix.
With such little action taking place in either bout, most notably the main event, let’s all hope that we’ll see a bit more action whenever these fighters back inside the ring.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Estrada, Rungvisai, Easter, Barthelemy, Byrd, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 26th to April 2nd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Estrada vs. Rungvisai Rematch Will Be Twice the First Fight
Juan Francisco Estrada says he will be 100 per cent fit for his rematch with Sor Srisaket Rungvisai – and that will make the fight twice as good as the first clash and see him become World champion at The Forum in Inglewood, LA on Friday April 26, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
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Estrada and Rungvisai served up a fight of the year contender at the famous LA venue last February, with the Thai star edging out ‘Gallo’ to retain his WBC Super Flyweight title and land the Ring Magazine crown.
Former WBA and WBO king Estrada was hampered in the build up by a knee issue for the first clash, yet the Mexican ace delivered a fantastic performance. The 28 year old has recorded a pair of wins since the majority decision loss to Rungvisai, and crucially, has enjoyed a great camp in Los Mochis, Mexico to enter the showdown in great shape.
“I’ve always said there’s always a second chance and we need to take advantage of it,” said Estrada. “I was 50 per cent prepared last time, not because I didn’t want to train but because I had some injuries that affected my preparation and we had no choice but to keep facing the fight as it was a very important fight. This rematch is an opportunity and we will make the most out of it because we are well trained and the goal is to be a World Champion, doesn’t matter if it’s against Rungvisai or anyone else.
“After his hand was raised, I knew there will be a rematch because it was an interesting fight for the fans and for us, it had to be a rematch. I had to win my way back with two or three flights because I was ranked on the top 10 but needed to come up to the second rank to be able to get this fight and my team and I made it happen.
“I had a knee injury first time around and my reactions were not the same. I could not run the same, I was tired but I showed heart. The final round was one of the best rounds of the year, and if I was 100 per cent prepared with no injuries the whole fight would have been like that and maybe he wouldn’t handle that round.
“When a right-handed fighter faces a lefty, it could be a boring fight because of the stances, but when Rungvisai and I fight, our style of boxing is a great match and I think it wasn’t a dirty fight, I think it was a good fight for the fans and that they enjoyed it.
“If he is 100 per cent prepared like he was or more, I think it will be a more aggressive fight for both of us, a tougher fight but I will throw a lot more punches and that will make the difference. He is a fighter that doesn’t throw a lot of combinations, he is a fighter that is has trusts his punch, he has very strong punches and I progressively throw more combinations. I will look for the knockout thawing more punches and showing more intensity.
“Really being champion is the most important, doesn’t matter who is it against, and fighting Rungvisai, in my opinion he is the best of this division. If god gives me the chance to win the fight, I would like to fight against other World champions and defend my title with a few fights and then get to the next division.
“It will be like the first fight but now throwing a lot more punches, and like I said our styles are a great match. Our physical preparation will be crucial last time I was 50 per cent and now the key will be to get their 100 per cent.”
Estrada’s rematch with Rungvisai tops a huge card in Los Angeles with WBA World Super-Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman and IBF ruler TJ Doheny clashing in a unification battle.
Jessie Vargas (28-2-2 10 KOs) is on the hunt to become a three-weight World champion and he faces fellow two-weight World king Humberto Soto (69-9-2 37 KOs) in a crunch clash for their elite level aspirations. The Soto clash will be Vargas’ first fight with new trainer Freddie Roach, and it’s a busy evening for the Hall of Fame coach as Scott Quigg (35-2-2 26KOs) also looks to move to world honors in a new weight, targeting a Featherweight World title shot in the second half of the year.
Unbeaten Super-Middleweight talent Anthony Sims Jr is set for a breakout year and will fight for his first title on the bill. Sims (17-0 16 KOs), who is in action in Peterborough, England on Saturday night live on DAZN and Sky Sports, clocked three stoppage wins in the second half of 2018, and will look to convert that momentum in style in first the UK and then in LA.
Shakhram Giyasov (7-0 6KOs) and Diego Pacheco (2-0 1KO) landed wins in Tijuana, Mexico this weekend and will fight on the bill, while Eddie Hearn’s latest addition to his blossoming stable of young USA talents, Houston’s Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams, will make his pro debut on the card.
Robert Easter Jr. and Rances Barthelemy Meet in WBA Lightweight Title Fight on April 27th
Former lightweight world champion Robert Easter Jr. and former two-division champion Rances Barthelemy will meet for the vacant WBA Lightweight Title on Saturday, April 27 live on SHOWTIME from The Chelsea inside of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will also feature former super lightweight champion Viktor Postol taking on France’s Mohamed Mimoune in a WBC super lightweight title eliminator, while rising heavyweight sensation Efe Ajagba looks to remain unbeaten against once-beaten German Michael Wallisch in a 10-round heavyweight attraction.
Easter vs. Barthelemy pits two highly skilled and explosive former 135-pound champions against each other as they look to grab a title and vault themselves back into the top echelon of the lightweight division.
Easter will return to the ring for the first time since losing his IBF title in a unification showdown with WBC Champion and pound-for-pound great Mikey Garcia last July on SHOWTIME. Barthelemy is undefeated at 135 pounds and returns to the lightweight division for his second fight since losing a 140-pound title rematch to Kiryl Relikh last March on SHOWTIME.
“Two former champions looking to reclaim their championship status speaks for itself in terms of the action and will to win that Easter and Barthelemy will bring on April 27,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Both guys have already proven that they have what it takes to take care of business at this level. The eliminator bout, with Postol bringing his experience and Mohamed looking to take advantage of the opportunity, is a great lead-in to the main event attraction. Plus, Efe Ajagba will bring his A+ game in pursuit of a victory over Michael Wallisch. The fans in attendance at the Cosmopolitan here in Las Vegas, and tuning in on SHOWTIME, are in for a treat.”
“Easter vs. Barthelemy is a true 50-50 fight that will end with one of these fighters leaving the ring with one of the top spots in the lightweight division,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Both are former world champions at lightweight and possess the styles and attributes that should make this an action-packed match. Combined with a very competitive title eliminator between Viktor Postol and Mohamed Mimoune, plus the can’t-miss punching power of Efe Ajagba, this is going to be a dramatic night on SHOWTIME and at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions in association with About Billions Promotions, go on sale Monday, April 1, and can be purchased at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster.
The 28-year-old Easter (21-1, 14 KOs) won the IBF Lightweight Championship in 2016 by edging an exciting split-decision against then-unbeaten and current IBF titleholder Richard Commey. After two successful title defenses in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, Easter defeated former champion Javier Fortuna by decision in a January 2018 fight in SHOWTIME.
That victory set up a unification with WBC champion Mikey Garcia, in which Easter survived an early knockdown to push Garcia the full 12 rounds before coming up short on the scorecards. At 5-foot-11, Easter has continued to show the combination of size, skill and athleticism that made him a highly regarded prospect following an amateur career that featured a spot as an alternate on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.
“I’ve wanted to fight Barthelemy since he had the lightweight title and vacated it, and now I have the chance,” said Easter. “He has an awkward style and I’m up for that challenge. I am still coming in as the taller fighter with a reach advantage and I’ll use it to make this fight go how I want it to. He is a former world champion and he is coming to bring it just like I am.”
A decorated Cuban amateur who hails from a boxing family that includes his older brother, Olympic Gold Medalist Yan, and younger brother, unbeaten featherweight Leduan, Rances Barthelemy (27-1, 14 KOs) will return to lightweight to vie against one of the best fighters in the division. The 32-year-old now trains in Las Vegas and previously captured a 135-pound belt by defeating Denis Shafikov in December 2015.
Barthelemy won a 130-pound championship by defeating Argenis Mendez in 2014 and attempted to become the first Cuban three-division champion when he moved up to 140-pounds for his first fight against Relikh, a title eliminator that he won by decision. After dropping the rematch to Relikh in a vacant title fight on SHOWTIME, Barthelemy returned to the ring in December and stopped Robert Frankel.
“I’m looking forward to a great fight against Robert Easter Jr,” said Barthelemy. “I know I have what it takes to beat him and capture another title and become a three-time world champ. My best performances have come at 135 pounds. Both of us are former world champions who are hungry and will give the fans a sensational night of boxing. I’ve never lost at lightweight and that will continue on April 27. Don’t miss this fight on SHOWTIME. It’s now or never!”
Originally from Ukraine, but now fighting out of Los Angeles, Postol (30-2, 12 KOs) previously earned a 140-pound world title by knocking out Lucas Matthysse in 2015. The 35-year-old dropped the title in a unification showdown with Terence Crawford in 2016 before bouncing back by defeating then unbeaten Jamshidbek Najmiddinov. Last June he dropped a decision to unbeaten contender Josh Taylor and most recently he defeated Siar Ozgul in November.
The 31-year-old Mimoune (21-2, 2 KOs) has fought professionally since 2010 and will be making his U.S. debut against Postol on April 27. Representing Haute-Garonne, France, he is unbeaten in his last 10 fights dating back to 2014. His last five victories have come in 12-round decisions, including two last year over then unbeaten Emiliano Dominguez and most recently against Franck Petitjean.
Nigeria’s Ajagba (9-0, 8 KOs) gained notoriety last August 24 when his opponent, Curtis Harper, walked out of the ring after touching gloves to start the first round. The 24-year-old, 2016 Nigerian Olympian won the fight without throwing a punch as Harper was disqualified. In his last fight Ajagba, who lives in Stafford, Texas and trains with Ronnie Shields, defeated his toughest competition to date by stopping longtime contender Amir Mansour after two rounds.
Fighting out of Munich, Germany, Wallisch (19-1, 12 KOs) won his first 19 pro fights after turning pro in 2010, including a German heavyweight title-winning performance in 2013 against Alexander Kahl. The 33-year-old fought three times last year, picking up two knockout victories before losing to Christian Hammer in December.
World Heavyweight Champion Chris Byrd Joins BYB Extreme Announcing Team
Two-time world heavyweight boxing champion and 1992 Olympic silver medalist Chris Byrd has been added to an already strong BYB Extreme pay-per-view announcing team for its inaugural event, “BYB Brawl 1: Brawl For It ALL”, on Friday night, April 5, live from the Cheyenne Ice & Event Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Byrd will be part of the BYB Extreme announcing team at cage-side, along with blow-by-blow announcers Din Thomas and the othercolor commentators, Dyrushio “Rusy” Harris and his brother, Dhafir Harris, AKA iconic backyard-brawler Dada 5000. Tony Martinez will support the BYB announcing team in Spanish (SAP option), while veteran Bob Alexander is the BYB ring announcer.
“I’m excited to be part of the BYB team,” Bryd said. “I’m Looking forward to commenting and sharing my vast knowledge of boxing and many years of experience. Although the two sports are different, they are still very much the same. Looking forward to April 5th
“BYB Brawl 1: Brawl For It ALL” Is the first sanctioned-event promoted by BYB Extreme Fighting Series (BYB), bare-knuckles fighting’s most intense combat sports promoter, featuring 10 professional bare-knuckle fights and two mixed-martial-arts fights, all held inside the “The Trigon”, the most confrontational cage in combat sports. The much-anticipated show is presented by title sponsor Pure and Natural (www.getpureandnatural.com) and available to watch live worldwide on pay-per-view.
BYB Extreme and Lights Out Productions was initially inspired by the Backyard Fights that were held in Miami, featured in the award-winning documentary “Dawg Fight”, which debuted on Netflix and it still remains available to watch. Dada 5000 was the subject and star of “Dawg Fight”. Production of “Dawg Fight 2”, produced once again by award-winning documentary filmmaker Billy Corben (Rakontur), concludes at “BYB Brawl 1: Brawl for it ALL”.
Byrd, who now lives in San Diego, captured a silver medal for Team USA at the ’92 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. In 2003, Byrd upset Vitali Klitschko to become the World Boxing Organization (WBO) World heavyweight champion. During his illustrious professional career, Byrd (415, 22 KOs) also defeated Evander Holyfield and David Tua.
“Seems like every day a new piece gets added that gives BYB more depth and experience,” BYB Extreme president Mike Vazquez noted. “The addition of two-time World Heavyweight champion and US Olympic medal winner Chris Byrd does just that. We are very excited that Chris will be joining Din Thomas, Rusy Harris and Dada 5000 as part of our BYB Brawl broadcast team. His experience as a world Champion and what he will bring to the commentary is priceless. BYB may be a relatively new series, but we have all the tools to bring fight fans what they want, exciting well matched fights and a quality and experienced broadcast team that know first hand what they are talking about.”
“BYB Brawl 1: Brawl For It ALL” will revolutionize bare-knuckles fighting with all fights held inside its triangular cage, “The Trigon” (pictured below) – 7′ high fences, two beveled corners and a 60-degree, tight third-corner forming a triangle, totaling 187 square feet – marking the first time a professional bare-knuckles event is held inside a cage. This will also be the first time bare-knuckles fighting and MMA are contested in a cage on the same night.
Yunusov Shows Heart and Determination with Unanimous Decision Over Colon at SugarHouse Casino
Three-time Olympian Anvar Yunusov remained perfect by getting off the deck and fighting through a bad cut to win an eight-round unanimous decision over Carlos Colon in a junior lightweight bout that highlighted an action-packed ten bout card before a sold-out crowd on Friday night at SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia.
The card, which was promoted by King’s Promotions in association with Titans Boxing Promotions, was streamed LIVE (and now can be seen on-demand) all of the world on the King’s Boxing Facebook Page. The Main event can be seen HERE
Yunusov was dropped by a right hand in round three. He was cut badly in the same round over his right eye. Yunusov was able to shake off the rough 3rd frame to come back and put Colon down with body shot’s in rounds four and five. Yunusov was able to control the action down the stretch, and win by scores of 79-71 and 78-71 twice.
Yunusov of Philadelphia by way of Tajakistan is now 7-0. Colon of Lares, Puerto Rico is 5-2.
Erik Spring and Terrance Williams locked up in a very competitive eight-round super welterweight battle that saw Spring come through with a majority decision.
Spring of Reading, PA won by scores of 77-75 and 76-75, while one card read even at 76-76.
Spring is now 12-2-2. Williams of York, PA is 5-3-1.
Popular super middleweight Brandon Robinson needed one left hand to the body to take out Lawrence Blakey at 2:49 of the 1st round of their scheduled six-round bout.
Robinson of Philadelphia is 12-2 with nine knockouts. Blakey of Pittsburgh is 5-13-2.
Colby Madison beat down Emilio Salas and scored a 2nd round stoppage in a scheduled six-round heavyweight bout.
Madison of Owings Mills, MD is 8-0-2 with five knockouts. Salas of Yonkers, NY is 5-3-1.
Laquan Evans took a four-round split decision over Jordan Demko in a a middleweight bout featuring pro debuters.
The fighters mixed it up in an entertaining four-round scrap that saw the fight go back and forth. Evans was able to overcome being dropped in the 1st round.
Evans was able to fight back, and win by scores of 39-37 and 38-37 with Demko winning a card 39-37.
Anthony Mercado proved to be too much for Andres Navarro by scoring a stoppage at the end of round five of a scheduled eight-round bout featuring junior welterweights based in Puerto Rico.
Mercardo is 13-4 with 11 knockouts. Navarro is 11-8-1.
Ryan Humburger and Brent Oren put on a display that not only thrilled the capacity crowd in attendance, but kept everyone on their feet for the duration of their middleweight bout.
Both guys took turns pounding away on each other, with each debuter being several times before Oren was worn down and not able to come out for round four.
Michael Coffie scored a vicious 2nd round stoppage over Eduardo Vitela in a scheduled six-round heavyweight bout.
Cofffie landed a thudding left hook that immediately knocked Vitela out, and the fight was stopped at 1:10 of the 2nd frame.
Coffie of Brooklyn, NY is 6-0 with five knockouts. Vitela of Durango, Mexico is 3-4.
Showtime Boxing Results: Mikey Garcia Decisively Defeats Robert Easter
By: William Holmes
The Staples Center in Los Angeles, California was the host site for tonight’s Showtime World Championship Boxing card. Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions was the lead promoter for the card.
Three bouts were broadcast on tonight’s card, including a main event between Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter Jr. for the WBC/IBF Lightweight Titles.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
The first televised fight of the night was between Mario Barrios (21-0) and Jose Roman (24-2-1) in the junior welterweight division.
Barrios was the bigger boxer of the two and came out the more active fighter. Barrios got a cut by his left eye in the opening round from a punch.
Barrios landed some solid body shots in the second round and was walking Roman down. Barrios landed a good right to the body left hook to the temple combination.
By the third round, Barrios landed twenty body shots in comparison to the three body shots that Roman had landed.
Roman went down in the fourth round after getting stung with a straight right hand and a hard left hook upstairs. Roman closed the round strong in the fourth.
Barrios continued to chase Roman down in the fifth round while Roman tried to circle away. Barrios continued the barrage into the sixth and seventh rounds and his left hooks were landing well.
Barrios continued to obliterate Roman in the eighth round and forced Roman’s corner to stop the fight.
Mario Barrios remains undefeated with an 8th round TKO.
The next bout of the night was a heavyweight fight between Luis Ortiz (28-1) and Razvan Cojanu (16-3).
Cojanu towered over Ortiz with a huge height advantage. Ortiz, a southpaw, was walking down Cojanu with a steady diet of jabs. Ortiz was able to land a few lead left hooks that seemed to stun Cojanu.
Ortiz had a stiff jab in the second round and continued to back Cojanu up. Ortiz was able to land a hard straight left hand to the chin of Cojanu that sent him falling to the mat face forward. He attempted to get up but stumbled several times and forced the referee to stop the fight.
Luis Ortiz wins by knockout in the third round.
The main event of the evening was between Mikey Garcia (38-0) vs. Robert Easter Jr. (21-0) for the WBC/IBF Lightweight Titles.
Easter looked significantly taller than Garcia and used his lengthy jab to keep Garcia at bay in the opening round. Garcia appeared to start to find his range at the end of the first, but Easter had thrown the higher number of punches.
Easter threw straight right hands to the body and was able to land his left hooks to the head. Garcia was able to momentarily trap Easter in the second and land some combinations by the ropes. Easter closed the second with some sharp jabs to the head.
Easter pressed the pace early in the third round but Garcia was able to slow Easter with his jab and left hook. He pressed Easter until he landed a right cross left hook combination that sent Easter down. Garcia ended the round with Easter on full retreat.
Easter with active with his jab in the fourth round. Garcia was able to sneek a right hook around the guard of Easter and was sharp with his lead left hook.
Garcia continued to land the heavier shots in the fifth and sixth rounds and was landing a consistent jab. Garcia had a dominant seventh round and was landing heavy shots at will. Easter was doing his best to circle away from Garcia ‘s power in the eighth round but often got tagged.
The ninth round featured several good violent exchanges, but Garcia appeared to be landing the more damaging punches. Garcia had Easter trapped several times in the tenth and eleventh rounds and took advantage by landing heavy shots, but wasn’t able to send him to the mat.
Garcia was comfortably ahead in the final round but still tried to get the stoppage victory. Easter fought valiantly, but wasn’t good enough to beat Garcia.
Mikey Garcia wins with scores of 116-111, 117-110, and 118-109.
Showtime Boxing Preview: Ortiz vs. Cojanu, Garcia vs. Easter
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Showtime will broadcast three bouts live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. This fight card will be presented by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
The main event of the night will be between Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter Jr. in a WBC/IBF Lightweight Title Unification Bout. The co-main event of the night will feature the return of heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz as he takes on Razvan Cojanu.
Other boxers on the undercard include Mario Barrios, Jose Roman, Roberto Marroquin, and other prized prospects. The Barrios vs. Roman fight looks likely to be broadcast on Showtime in addition to the Easter-Garcia and Ortiz-Cojanu bout.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
Luis Ortiz (28-1) vs. Razvan Cojanu (16-3); Heavyweights
Luis “King Kong” Ortiz fought a hard battle against Deontay Wilder in his last match but eventually succumbed to Wilder’s power.
He returns on Saturday against Razvan Coajnu, a three loss Romanian heavyweight that should be viewed as a comeback opponent that stands little chance of winning.
Cojanu will have a rather large five and a half inch height advantage, but will still be giving up about three inches in reach. Ortiz is eight years older than Cojanu.
Ortiz has a strong edge in amateur experience. Cojanu has no notable amateur accomplishments while Ortiz was a multi time National Champion in boxing mad Cuba as an amateur.
Ortiz’s age and recent inactivity could be a factor. He only fought once in 2018 and once in 2017 and is pushing 40. Cojanu fought once in 2017 and three times in 2016, but it should be noted that two of his past three wins were against opponents with losing records.
Ortiz has beaten the likes of Malik Scott, Tony Thompson, Bryant Jennings, and Monte Barrett. His lone loss was to Deontay Wilder.
Cojanu doesn’t have any big wins on his resume, but his best wins have come against Zhiyu Wu, Ed Fountain, and Manuel Alberto Pucheta. His losses were to Alvaro Morales, Joseph Parker, and Donovan Dennis.
This fight will likely not be competitive. Ortiz should stop Cojanu within the first six rounds.
Mikey Garcia (38-0) vs. Robert Easter Jr. (21-0); WBC/IBF Lightweight Titles
Mikey Garcia is considered by many to be one of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters. He’s held world titles in four different weight classes spanning from featherweight to the junior welterweight divisions.
Garcia is facing a fellow undefeated fighter in Robert Easter Jr. Garcia is only thirty so he’s still in his athletic prime, but Easter is three years his younger and will have a large four inch height advantage and an even larger seven inch reach advantage.
Garcia does have an edge in power. He has thirty stoppage victories on his resume while Garcia only has fourteen. Garcia has stopped two of his past five opponents while Easter has stopped one of his past five opponents.
Easter had a close win against Javier Fortuna in his last bout. He has also defeated the likes of Denis Shafikov, Luis Cruz, Richard Commey, and Argenis Mendez.
Garcia has enver tasted defeat and has beaten the likes of Sergey Lipinets, Adrien Broner, Dejan Zlaticanin, Juan Carlos Brugos, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, and Orlando Salido.
Garcia did have an extended break from boxing from January of 2014 to July of 2016 while he was working out promotional issues, but has been fairly active since then.
Both boxers enjoyed moderate success as amateurs in the national scene. Garcia was a Bronze Medalist in the National Golden Gloves while Easter was a US Olympic Team Alternate.
Technically, Garcia is one of the best in the sport. The height and reach of Easter should give Garcia problems early on, but Easter doesn’t have enough power for Garcia to worried about trying to force his way on the inside.
The opening few rounds should be close, but Garcia should be settled and win a comfortable decision victory when the final bell rings.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Garcia, Easter, Diaz, Boxing Documentaries, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 5th to June 12th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter to Meet in Lightweight Unification Fight
WBC Lightweight World Champion Mikey Garcia and IBF Lightweight World Champion Robert Easter Jr. will square-off in a 135-pound unification showdown between unbeaten stars Saturday, July 28 live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The main event of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) will see Garcia look to become a unified champion for the first time in a career that has seen him win titles in four weight classes. Easter, who enters with a 5-inch height and 8-inch reach advantage, looks to stamp his name amongst boxing’s elite by unifying titles at 27 years old, less than two years after capturing his first belt.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, begin at $50, plus applicable fees, and are on sale today at 12 p.m. PT. To purchase tickets, visit AXS.com.
“SHOWTIME Sports continues to lead the industry with the biggest events, the most important matchups, week after week, month after month,” said Stephen Espinoza, President Sports & Events Programming, Showtime Network Inc. “Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr. is the third world championship unification match on SHOWTIME this year. A consensus top-10 pound-for-pound champion facing an undefeated young champion while both are in the prime of their careers. July 28 has all the makings of an instant classic.”
“Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter is an outstanding lightweight matchup that is sure to deliver drama for fight fans at STAPLES Center and on SHOWTIME,” Said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Garcia will look to unify in his hometown and further solidify his credentials as boxing’s pound-for-pound best. He’ll have perhaps the toughest test of his career in the unbeaten Easter, who has a lethal combination of size, speed and power that he brings to the ring. With both fighters defending their titles and undefeated records, this is shaping up to be a can’t-miss night of boxing in downtown Los Angeles.”
“This is the kind of matchup that boxing fans love and a fight that I believe will certainly live up to expectations,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports. “With two undefeated world champions, and two of the top guys at 135 pounds, this fight is guaranteed drama. Mikey Garcia will look to become a unified world champion and add another accolade to a career that is already shaping up to be historic. Robert Easter Jr, a proud champion in his own right, is coming to STAPLES Center on July 28 to upset Mikey Garcia in his hometown. This is the quality of matchup that fans watching on SHOWTIME have come to expect and I suspect they will be fulfilled once again when these two warriors meet in the ring.”
“We are really looking forward to this incredible fight at STAPLES Center,” said Lee Zeidman, President, STAPLES Center. “These two fighters will undoubtedly headline an amazing night of fights for boxing fans in Los Angeles and we are looking forward to welcoming back Premier Boxing Champions and SHOWTIME for the second time in just two months.”
One of Southern California’s most popular fighters, Garcia returns to STAPLES Center for his first fight since becoming a world champion, and his first in California in seven years. Easter returns to the site of his professional debut, having started his career at STAPLES Center in 2012 after serving as an alternate in the London Olympic Games.
Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs), of Moreno Valley by way of Oxnard, Calif., became only the third fighter in modern history to become champion at 126, 130, 135 and 140-pounds, joining future Hall of Famers Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao, when he defeated Sergey Lipinets for the IBF 140-pound title in March. The 30-year-old relinquished that title so that he can unify the WBC Lightweight World Championship that he won in January 2017 with a highlight reel knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin.
These wins, combined with a summer 2017 victory over Adrien Broner, have seen Garcia return to the top of pound-for-pound lists after a layoff of two and a half years. Garcia accrued wins over a list of notable names while winning his first two titles at 126 and 130-pounds, including Orlando Salido, Roman Martinez and Juan Manuel Lopez.
“This is the toughest fight of my career to date,” said the four-division champion Garcia. “Robert Easter Jr. is an undefeated world champion who presents serious challenges that I’m going to have to work hard to overcome. Unifying titles is something I’ve dreamed of doing for many years, and to do it at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles will make it even more special. This is the kind of fight that will help my legacy. To be the best you have to beat the best, and Easter is certainly one of the best out there. I’m very thankful to have this opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it on July 28.”
Representing his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) has made three successful defenses since winning his world title in an exciting contest over Richard Commey in 2016. The 27-year-old delivered a fifth-round destruction of former champion Argenis Mendez to earn the title shot, and since winning the title has held off challenges from Javier Fortuna, Denis Shafikov and Luis Cruz to retain his 135-pound belt.
Easter will be making the move to work with Kevin Cunningham for the first time for this fight and conducting training camp in West Palm Beach with him. Cunningham, the longtime trainer of former world champions such as Devon Alexander and Cory Spinks, spurred Adrien Broner to a strong performance in a draw against Jessie Vargas and Gervonta Davis to a dominant knockout of Jesus Cuellar in their first fights together in April.
“This is a fight I’ve been waiting for and I’m really excited that the time is now,” said Easter. “This is the best fighting the best. These are the fights that boxing is all about. I made the move to train with Kevin Cunningham down in Florida and I think it’s going to help me reach another level. It’s just eat, sleep and train down there. We’re going to be ready on July 28 to put on a show and deliver fireworks.”
Christopher Diaz to Fight Masayuki Ito for WBO 130 Pound Title on July 28th
Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz wants to add his name to the storied list of Puerto Rican world champions. He will get that chance July 28 at the Kissimmee Civic Center, when he squares off against Masayuki Ito for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight title.
And, in the 10-round co-feature, undefeated welterweight prospect Carlos “Caballo Bronco” Adames will face Artemio Reyes of San Bernardino, Calif.
Diaz-Ito and Adames-Reyes will stream live and exclusively in the United States at 9:30 ET on ESPN+ — the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. Undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. ESPN+ is available to all fans on the ESPN App and ESPN.com.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with All Star Boxing and Teiken Promotions, tickets to this world championship event will go on sale Tuesday, June 12 at 10 a.m. ET. Priced at $100 (red carpet ringside), $50 (lower bowl), and $30 (general admission), tickets may be purchased at the Kissimmee Civic Center box office, online at ticketerapr.com, or charge by phone at (787) 305-3600.
“This fight is dedicated to all of Puerto Rico and to my family that has always been there to support me,” Diaz said. “Now it’s my time to become a world champion, and I promise that I will bring home the world title. I love you, Puerto Rico. This one’s for you!”
“I am really pleased to be able to fight a great fighter like Christopher Diaz for the WBO title. Diaz is a very good fighter with power and speed, but on July 28, I will become the champion,” Ito said. “I will bring the belt home back to Japan without fail. I have promised my wife and children. I will fight as if my life depended on it.”
“I am happy and excited to return to the ring quickly because I want to keep as active as possible. This will be my second fight with Top Rank, and now I will return to the ring much better prepared because I have the experience and the confidence of fighting on big stages,” Adames said. “I will come ready to give the public what they always expect from me… a spectacular knockout! On July 28, ‘Caballo Bronco’ will come to Kissimmee with all the ‘Platano Power’ from the Dominican Republic.”
Diaz (23-0, 15 KOs), from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, is entering his first world title match riding a four-bout knockout streak. The WBO’s No. 1 junior lightweight contender, Diaz won the vacant NABO junior lightweight title last December with a third-round knockout of Bryant Cruz, knocking Cruz down five times en route to the stoppage. In his last bout, March 17 on the Jose Ramirez-Amir Imam undercard at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Diaz defeated Braulio Rodriguez via fourth-round TKO to earn the shot at the world title. For Diaz, this world title opportunity is beacon of hope, as his home and most of his possessions were destroyed when Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico last year.
Ito (23-1-1, 12 KOs), from Tokyo, is the WBO’s No. 2 junior lightweight contender. He has won seven consecutive bouts since the lone defeat of his career, a 10-round majority decision to then-undefeated Rikki Naito in February 2015. Ito, who has fought all of his professional bouts in Japan, has won four of his past five bouts via knockout, including a ninth-round stoppage of Lorenzo Villanueva in April of last year. In his last bout, on March 3 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Ito stopped Vergil Puton in the ninth round.
Adames (14-0, 11 KOs), one of the welterweight division’s fastest rising contenders, made his Top Rank debut as the ESPN-televised co-feature May 12 on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Jorge Linares card, rolling to a unanimous decision win over Alejandro Barrera. The Dominican Republic native will be fighting for the second time under renowned trainer Joel Diaz and is training in Palm Springs, Calif. Reyes (25-2, 20 KOs) is 10-0 with eight knockouts since his last defeat, a first-round TKO at the hands of Alan Sanchez on April 13, 2012 in Las Vegas. In his previous bout, in August of last year, Reyes knocked out Steve Marquez with a body shot in the fourth round.
Mekhrubon Sanginov Arrives in Las Vegas to Pursue Boxing Greatness
Undefeated super-welterweight prospect Mekhrubon Sanginov (5-0 3 KOs), from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, has moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to continue his dream of becoming a world champion. The highly decorated amateur returns to action June 23, 2018 in Tijuana, Mexico.
“I am excited to take my training to a new level working in Las Vegas,” said Sanginov. “Las Vegas is the fight capital of the world and I feel that training in Las Vegas will take my career to the next level.”
Sanginov, who captured the WBC Youth Middleweight title in his last bout, has begun training with Justin Gamber, the well-respected trainer of undefeated super middleweight contender, Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (17-0, 10 KOs). Mekhrubon is looking forward to taking his career to new heights, as he will campaign at super-welterweight moving forward. Sanginov is currently a promotional free agent.
“I am excited to be training with Justin Gamber,” Sanginov continued. “He is an experienced coach, who is making me into a world champion. The sparring I am getting is top notch sparring as well. I’ll be looking to be signing with a credible promoter in the near future.”
Sanginov was an outstanding amateur, amassing a record of 105-14, which made him a heavy fan favorite in his native country of Tajikistan. His hometown fans are wanting to see how he progresses as a professional.
“I am going to make a statement in the world of boxing, especially in the super-welterweight division, and the world will know my name after my upcoming performances.” Mekhrubon concluded.
Boxing Documentary The People’s Fighters by Peter Berg Premiers on Olympic Channel
The Olympic Channel today announced the worldwide premiere of The People’s Fighters, the second film in its Five Rings Films signature series, which examines the triumphs and challenges faced by Cuban boxing today and how the rise of local talent is paving continued success for Cuba. The feature-length documentary, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Patriots Day), is now available to all audiences at olympicchannel.com and its mobile apps, in addition to a United States television premiere on NBCSN today, Thursday, 31 May, at 8 p.m. ET.
The People’s Fighters (87 minutes) takes an in-depth look at Cuba’s overwhelming history of success in the sport of boxing. Over the past 50 years, and despite being a nation of only 11 million residents, Cuba has produced more Olympic boxing medallists than any other country taking home 73 medals in the sport, 38 of which are gold. The success has been led by three-time heavyweight gold medallists Teófilo Stevenson, who once famously turned down a million-dollar offer to fight Muhammad Ali and turn professional in favour of continuing to fight for his beloved homeland, and Félix Savón, as well as the man behind their greatest achievements, the legendary coach Alcides Sagarra Carón.
“As a champion, Teófilo was the greatest, an example to all of us,” said Savón at the time of Stevenson’s death in 2012. “When he stopped fighting he taught me his tricks, and they were the secret of my success.”
Directed and narrated by Peter Berg and produced by Hollywood legend Frank Marshall (Jason Bourne, Jurassic World, Indiana Jones) and Mandalay Sports Media (MSM), The People’s Fighters features historical archival footage, interviews, and remarkable access in Havana and beyond.
Filmed in Havana and the United States and told through personal commentary from Savón, Sagarra, other Cuban Olympic boxing medallists and athletes, and former boxing world champion and Team USA Olympic gold medallist Oscar De La Hoya, the film provides an authoritative look at the country’s seminal boxing culture.
“As an American, I wanted to make money after becoming an Olympic gold medallist, to give my family a better life,” said De la Hoya. “But not in Cuba – they’re not built that way. Cuban fighters don’t think about how many millions they can have, it’s all about making your country proud. That’s the Cuban way.”
Five Rings Films, the Olympic Channel’s signature documentary series, is produced exclusively for the global media platform by Hollywood legend Frank Marshall and MSM. Five Rings Films is a series of incisive and entertaining documentaries directed by some of the biggest names in film from around the world. The first film in the series, The Nagano Tapes, which told the inspiring underdog story of the Czech Republic’s stunning gold medal win in men’s ice hockey in 1998, the first Games to allow NHL players, premiered in February. Future films include the story of Manu Ginobili and the rise of Argentinean basketball.
“Bringing Olympic stories to life through great filmmaking is a goal of our Five Rings Films signature documentary series” said Mark Parkman, General Manager of the IOC’s global Olympic Channel. “Peter Berg is not only an acclaimed filmmaker, but also a passionate boxing fan and he brings a personal perspective to the making of The People’s Fighters that is sure to resonate with fans around the world.”
“This film has all the elements that make the Olympics so fascinating – the intersection of politics, culture, huge personalities and incredible athletic achievement,” said Jon Weinbach, Executive Vice President of MSM. “Cuba’s boxing legacy is one of the great stories in modern sports history, and it was a privilege and a ton of fun making this film with Peter and our team.”
Marshall, whose producing credits include legendary titles such as the “Jason Bourne,” “Jurassic World” and “Indiana Jones” franchises, and MSM’s Mike Tollin are executive producers. MSM Executive Vice-President Jon Weinbach and Olympic Channel Director of Original Programming Greg Groggel are co-executive producers.
Fox Sports Acquires “They Fight” Boxing Documentary
Today, FOX Sports Films announced the acquisition of the North American rights for boxing documentary “They Fight,” as an addition to its “MAGNIFY” series. The film is directed by Andrew Renzi and produced by Emmy® Award winner, Academy Award® winner, Golden Globe® winner, and two-time Grammy Award® winner Common; his company Freedom Road Productions; and Argent Pictures, the film’s production and financing company run by Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, and Ben Renzo. The film was executive produced by Argent Pictures partners Drew Brees, Tony Parker, Derrick Brooks and Michael Finley.
The documentary follows Coach Walt Manigan’s Lyfe Style Boxing, an after-school program in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8 – a community rife with inequity. Walt mentors young boxers, “Peanut” Bartee and Quincey Williams on the path to the 2017 Junior Olympics, while he also fights to find a permanent home for his program to help young fighters avoid the troubles he found in his own youth.
“It is important to share Coach Walt’s story and seeing how he overcame extreme hardships and now serves as a mentor to the youth in Ward 8,” said Common. “It is a true example as to how we can take the most challenging of situations and turn them into a positive, not only for ourselves but for others. Boxing is more than just a sport to these kids, it empowers and unifies them to fight for a better life.”
This project is the newest in the Sports Emmy®-nominated “MAGNIFY” series from FOX Sports Films. The series leverages sports as a lens for exploring important cultural stories and investigates the challenges, change, and unity they bring to communities. Since its November 2017 launch, the MAGNIFY series’ roster of influential contributors includes: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chance the Rapper; and, most recently, Kevin Durant.
“From the opening minutes of this powerful film, we knew it was a perfect fit for our ‘Magnify’ series,” said Gabe Spitzer, Senior Vice President and Executive Producer, FOX Sports Films. “The power of sports as a community builder is visible throughout the documentary.”
The producers are Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, and Renzo for Argent Pictures; Derek Dudley, Shelby Stone, and Melisa Resch through Common’s Freedom Road Productions; Renzi, Michael Minahan, Daniel Yaro, Nick Boak, and Chris Burt through Renzi’s North of Now production label; and Andrew D. Corkin through his Uncorked Productions company. Jason Michael Berman executive produced for Mandalay Pictures along with Michael Sherman and Matthew Perniciaro of Bow and Arrow Entertainment; Tommy Oliver and Codie Oliver of Confluential Films; and Stanley Twarog. The deal was negotiated by Endeavor Content.
“We continue to connect really strong contributors to the ‘Magnify’ series,” added Charlie Dixon, Executive Vice President, Content, FOX Sports. “These varied, authentic voices that influence and support the films add an important layer to the mission of telling stories that focus on life beyond sports.”
“They Fight” will premiere this fall as a FOX Sports broadcast. Other “MAGNIFY” films, past and future:
• 2018 Sports Emmy®-nominated “89 Blocks,” executive produced by James and Carter for Uninterrupted, along with Sports Illustrated (November 2017)
• “Shot in the Dark,” executive produced by Wade and Chance the Rapper (February 2018)
• “Nossa Chape,” from award-winning directors Jeffrey Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist (The Two Escobars, Pele: Birth of a Legend) focuses on the 2016 plane crash involving Brazilian soccer club Chapecoense. It premieres June 23rd at 4:15 pm ET on FOX immediately following 2018 FIFA™ World Cup coverage.
ESPN+ Debuts Its Newest Boxing Brand: Camp Life
ESPN+ has debuted its newest boxing brand, Camp Life, a series that takes fans inside the training camps of today’s biggest fighters for intimate and penetrating looks at boxers’ lives as they prepare for battle. The premiere episode visits pound-for-pound elite Terence “Bud” Crawford at his training camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and gives fans an opportunity to take a peek behind the curtain of one of boxing’s modern greats as he prepares for his bout against WBO welterweight champion Jeff “The Hornet” Horn, June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“Camp Life” is available now live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+ — the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.
Errol Spence, Jr. & Robert Easter Win in New York’s Barclay Center
By: Ken Hissner
At the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, NY, Saturday over Showtime Boxing and PBC, two IBF World champions were featured and promoted by DiBella Entertainment.
IBF Welterweight champion and former Olympian southpaw “The Truth” Errol Spence, Jr., 23-0 (20), of Dallas, TX, stopped former IBF World, WBA Super World Super Lightweight champion and WBA Super World welterweight champion now No. 5 contender Lamont “Havoc” Peterson, 35-4-1 (17), of D.C., who was returning after an eleven month of inactivity, at the end of the seventh round.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round after half a minute Spence landed a chopping left hand to the chin of Peterson. Spence goes to the body and head with Peterson standing right in front of him defense minded. It was a lopsided round for Spence. In the second round Peterson countered a right hook by Spence to a left to the body. Spence landed a 3-punch combination hurting Peterson with a minute left in the round. Peterson landed his best punch of the round a left hook to the head of Spence with half a minute left in the round.
In the third round Spence started with a right hook and overhand left to the chin of Peterson. Spence continues landing good body shots. Peterson landed left hooks to the head of Spence who complained they were behind the head. Just prior to the bell Spence landed a straight left to the head of Peterson who countered with a left hook to the head of Spence. In the fourth round top Referee Harvey Dock warned Spence of landing a low blow. Peterson and Spence take turns being the aggressor. Spence kept using combinations well. Peterson landed a good right hand countered by a Spence left.
In the fifth round Peterson came charging out landing several punches hand from Spence to the side of the head dropped Peterson. Under a minute left in the round and Spence landed half a dozen punches without return from Peterson. The last 30 seconds both boxers went at it throwing punches.
In the sixth round a lead left from Peterson landed through the defense of Peterson. Spence landed a 3-punch combination. Peterson’s best punch has been a left hook. Peterson started back pedaling for the first time in the fight with a minute left. Peterson’s left eye under the eye brow started swelling. His corner took a good look and didn’t like what they were seeing. The ring physician came in to take a look at that eye.
In the seventh round Spence came out looking for a knockout landing many more punches than the back pedaling Peterson. It was a big round for Spence. The corner of Peterson stopped the fight before the round started in the eighth round.
Julie Lederman, Don Trella and Steve Weisfeld were the judges. This writer had it 70-62 at the end.
“I want to thank Lamont Peterson for taking this fight while others turned it down. He is a tough fighter who still wanted to continue at the end. You are going to see an improved fighter every time I enter the ring. Keith Thurman has to get in there with me,” said Spence. “I don’t question my trainer (Barry Hunter) when he stopped the fight. Spence is the best fighter I have met,” said Peterson.
IBF Lightweight champion Robert Easter, Jr., 21-0 (14), of Toledo, OH, defeated the former WBA Super Featherweight champion and now No. 13 contender southpaw Dominican Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna, 31-2-1 ??? of Braintree, MASS, by split decision in a non-title bout due to Fortuna being over weight.
In the first round used his height advantage using an effective jab and lead right hands to the chin of Fortuna. At the halfway mark Fortuna missed three punches but landed the fourth with a left uppercut to the chin of Easter. In the second round Fortuna held Easter behind the neck while hitting with the left hand three times. Referee Ricky Gonzalez was yelling “stop, stop, stop” instead of getting in quick enough to break them up. Shortly later with Easter‘s head through the ropes Fortuna hit him which cost him a point by Referee Gonzalez who once again got there too late. Easter kept the pressure on Fortuna backing him into the corner landed a good left hook.
In the third round Easter backed Fortuna into the ropes landing a solid right to the chin of Fortuna. Fortuna came back landing solid left hands and roughing up Easter in a close round. In the fourth round it was another close one with Easter pulling it out while Fortuna does too much holding. In the fifth round Easter had Fortuna against the ropes landing a flurry of punches primarily left hooks to the head.
In the sixth round Fortuna did a step around landing a good right hook to the head of Easter. Fortuna continues his dirty tactics of holding and pulling down Easter’s head then leaning on him. Easter landed a long right hand to the chin but Fortuna landed a counter left hand to the chin rocking Easter.
In the seventh round both boxers were talking to one another to “come on!” Easter clearly took the round. In the eighth round Easter used his jab and reach more than at anytime in the fight keeping Fortuna at bay. It was a big round for Easter.
In the ninth round Easter continued out working Fortuna. Easter landing nice lead jabs to the chin of Fortuna. When Easter comes in low that is when Fortuna pulls his head down and ties him up. In the tenth round both let loose with punches at the start of the round unlike previously in the bout. Fortuna lands a good body shot which there was very little of during the fight by both boxers. While on the ropes it was Fortuna out working Easter right up until the bell.
In the eleventh round it continued to have Fortuna on the ropes but landing well. Coming in over weight may be the reason for the back pedaling Fortuna to spend so much time on the ropes. Fortuna came forward and landed a combination that seemed to surprise Easter. Both had words at the bell. Fortuna may have pulled out the round.
In the twelfth and final round inside of the first round Easter rocked Fortuna with a left hook to the chin. Halfway through the final round Fortuna is back pedaling instead of throwing punches. Fortuna continues to come in roughing up Easter inside. Whenever Easter comes in low he gets tied up. Referee Gonzalez warned him about coming in with his head.
Judge Glenn Feldman scored it 114-113 for Easter, John McKaie 114-113 for Fortuna and Kevin Morgan 115-112 for Easter. This writer had it 116-111 Easter.
The best Ring Announcer in the business “It’s Showtime” Jimmy Lennon, Jr. did his usual great job. Fortuna did much too much holding to have won the fight. For some reason Showtime announced future fights on their network along with two of them that have been cancelled in the Danny Garcia fight and the Mikey Garcia fight with their opponents pulling out with injuries.
Light Heavyweight southpaw “Sir” Marcus Browne, 21-0 (15), of Staten Island, NY, stopped Francy Ntetu, 17-2 (4), of Congo and CAN, at 2:15 of the first round.
Heavyweight Adam Kownacki, 17-0 (14), of Lomza, POL, and Brooklyn, NY, stopped Iago Kiladze, 26-2 (18), of Sachkere, GEO, at 2:48 of the sixth round.
Anthony Peterson, 38-1 (24), of Memphis, TN, shut out Columbia’s Louis Eduardo Florez, 23-9 (19) over 10 rounds.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Lamont Peterson, Robert Easter Jr., vs. Javier Fortuna
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions will televise one of the first big fights of 2018 on the Showtime Network.
Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. will defend his IBF Welterweight Title against the entertaining and always tough Lamont Peterson in the main event of the night. The co-main event will be between Robert Easter Jr. and Javier Fortuna for the IBF Lightweight Title.
Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime
Errol Spence has been calling out all the top welterweights and Lamont Peterson is one of the few to answer his call. A victory for either could lead to a welterweight unification fight with Keith Thurman.
The following is a preview of both televised world title bouts.
Robert Easter Jr. (20-0) vs. Javier Fortuna (33-1-1); IBF Lightweight Title
This bout was supposed to be for the IBF Lightweight Title, but Javier Fortuna came in at 136.8lbs during the weigh ins and had two hours to lose the two pounds for fight for the belt. It appeared unlikely that he will make it.
Easter is twenty six years old and two years younger than Fortuna. He will also have a very large five inch height advantage and a seven and a half inch reach advantage.
Both boxers had a successful amateur career, but Easter was able to become an Olympic alternate for the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Fortuna has the edge in power. He has stopped twenty three of his opponents while Robert Easter only stopped fourteen of his opponents. Easter has been fairly active and fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016. Fortuna was able to fight twice in 2017 and three times in 2016.
Fortuna has spent most of his career fighting in the super featherweight division so size will be an issue for him. His lone loss was a shocking TKO loss to Jason Sosa in Beijing in June of 2016. He has defeated the likes of Omar Douglas, Marlyn Cabrera, Carlos Velasquez, Bryan Vasquez, Patrick Hyland, Yuandale Evans, and Abner Cotto.
Easter has never tasted defeat as a professional but won a close bout against Denis Shafikov in his last bout. He has defeated the likes of Luis Cruz, Richard Commey, Argenis Mendez, and Juan Solis.
The fact that Fortuna failed to make weight his first time on the scale is concerning, especially since he’s used to competing at a lighter weight class. Robert Easter’s size and reach advantage will be too much for Fortuna to overcome.
Errol Spence Jr. (22-0) vs. Lamont Peterson (35-3-1); IBF Welterweight Title
Errol “The Truth” Spence is one of the welterweight division’s biggest stars. Many consider him to be the next kingpin of the division post Pacquiao and Mayweather. His opponent, Lamont Peterson, is always in a good fight but this may be his last chance at a world title.
Spence is in the middle of his athletic prime at twenty seven and is six years older than Lamont Peterson. They have the same reach and Spence will have a slight one inch reach advantage on Peterson.
Spence has the edge in power and speed. He has stopped nineteen of his opponents, and is currently riding a nine fight stoppage streak. Peterson has only stopped seventeen of his opponents, and only one stoppage victory in his past five fights.
Peterson was a national golden gloves champion and experienced moderate success on the world stage as an amateur. Spence was also a national golden gloves champion, but he also was a member of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Spence has looked sensational recently, but only competed once in 2017 and twice in 2016. He has defeated the likes of Kell Brook, Leonard Bundu, Chris Algieri, Chris Van Heerden, Phil Lo Greco, and Ronald Cruz.
Peterson has not been so active and fought once in 2017 and twice in 2015. He has defeated the likes of David Avanesyan, Felix Diaz, Dierry Jean, Kendall Holt, and Amir Khan. His losses were to Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, and Timothy Bradley Jr.
Peterson’s biggest issue is his consistency. When he’s aggressive to the body he looks, at times, unstoppable. But as evident in his fight with Danny Garcia, he can be a slow starter and that often hurts him on the scorecards.
Peterson was impressed with Spence’s victory against Kell Brook. “”Errol even taking the Kell Brook fight was impressive to me. Most guys in his position take their time leading up to the first title shot, but he ended up fighting someone in his prime in his country. To will himself to that win was very impressive.”
Spence has looked untouchable and was very impressive in his fight against Kell Brook, in Kell Brook’s backyard.
Even Spence appears to know Peterson is a real challenge. He stated, “”I think it’s going to turn into a war. A lot of people have thought this would be an easy fight for me. But if you follow Lamont Peterson, you know this will be tough. He’s always in great shape and has a lot of skills. IT might be a dog fight and that’s what I wanted. He’s the guy who wanted to fight and I said of course. It’s going to be a rugged fight. Later on in the fights, he always gets rough and stands toe-to-toe.”
Even if Peterson is fighting at his best for all twelve rounds, it’s hard to imagine him beating Errol Spence.
Robert Easter Dominates, Tops Off Entertaining PBC On Bounce Card
Robert Easter Dominates, Tops Off Entertaining PBC On Bounce Card
By: Sean Crose
Terrell Gausha stepped into the ring in Toledo, Ohio on Friday night with a perfect record of 19-0. His opponent, Luis Hernandez, was 15-3, a slightly less impressive resume. Still, Hernandez took it to his opponent right off the bat in the ten-round middleweight affair. Gausha may have had the better talent and pedigree, but Puerto Rico’s Hernandez had come to win. Indeed, Hernandez was reminiscent of Marcos Maidana as he bulled forward, every part the warrior. Gausha, however, wasn’t simply going to lose in front of his home town. After being dropped in the third, he went on to land thudding shots of his own.
Hernandez truly entered the “Maidana Zone” in the seventh when he started to fight dirty enough to lose himself a point due to low blows. He kept coming, though…and the sharper punching Gausha kept firing back. It was a grinding affair, to be sure. Indeed, the fight was a war. When all was said and done, it was Gausha who walked off with a unanimous decision win.
Next up at the bustling and lively Huntington Center, Rau’shee Warren did battle with Shanat Zhakiyaof for the WBA super world bantamweight title in a scheduled 12 round affair. Warren started with blinding speed and subsequently went through his opponent like a lawnmower through foot long blades of grass. Before the end of the first round, Zhakiyaof was down twice. The Kazakh composed himself better in the second round, but Warren was proving to be an incredibly fast nemesis.
Speed does not equal invincibility, though. By the third round, Warren found himself on the mat. The referee claimed it was a slip, but there was little doubt the man was getting tagged. Blood flowed from Warren’s nose after the round, and it was worth wondering whether or not the nose was broken. Zhakiyaof continued to whack away through the fourth. It was clear the tide had changed, at least for the time being.
Warren seemed to get a second wind by mid fight, using his superior footwork to his advantage. He was never fully able to reassert control however, as the fight raced along its violent path into the later rounds. It was truly hard to tell who was in the lead entering the last portion of the bout, or even if either man would be able to last until the final bell. Indeed, both men made it to the end. It was exceedingly hard to tell who had won the fight, but the judges gave it to Shakiyaof by split decision. For the record, Warren was a gentleman in defeat – always something worth noting.
It was then time for the main event. Rising 18-0 star Robert Easter Junior was defending his IBF world lightweight title against 22-4 Luis Cruz. With the crowd in a terrifically intense state, the two men began to do battle. The fight started in competitive fashion, with Easter still having a clear edge after the first few rounds. After four rounds, however, it became clear that Cruz was not going to lay down and collect a paycheck. The man was there to fight. Indeed, Cruz looked impressive in the fifth.
Yet all the willpower in the world can’t be relied upon to bring about victory. Easter started coming on strong in the sixth and the shots were clearly beginning to take their toll on his overmatched opponent. Easter thundered away in the seventh. Cruz was able to stay on his feet, but the bout was a one-sided affair by that point. And so, the match went on, with Easter maintaining the lead while Cruz gamely struggled. Perhaps Easter realized that Cruz had too strong a beard to try to finish off. Or perhaps he felt it wasn’t yet time. Either way, Cruz no longer seemed in danger of being stopped as the match moved onto its later stages.
Then, as if on cue, Easter took his man down early in the tenth. Cruz got up and, once again, Easter banged away. Cruz was incredibly durable, but it was now clear that he could be folded. By that point, all Cruz was doing was surviving. Barring something short of a miracle, the fight was essentially over. Cruz, simply put, was taking a terrible beating.
To his credit, however, Cruz was still throwing punches in the eleventh. A howitzer from Easter put the man down on the mat yet again. Once again, though, Cruz got up…and was allowed to keep fighting. Cruz decided to run in the twelfth. Easter caught him, however, and laid on more of a beating. A murderous shot sent Cruz down once more. Cruz got up again, though – and, of course, was allowed to continue. Needless to say, a thoroughly thrashed Cruz made it to the final bell, only to predictably lose by a wide decision.
Was it worth it?
Jacobs vs. Mora II and Easter vs. Commey at Santander Arena in Reading, PA, Friday!
Jacobs vs. Mora II and Easter vs. Commey at Santander Arena in Reading, PA, Friday!
By: Ken Hissner
Two World Title fights headline Friday night at the Santander Arena in Reading, PA! King’s Promotions bring’s big time boxing to Reading on SPIKE TV with co-features starting at 9pm. Jacobs-Mora II and Easter and Commey for vacant title should be nothing but fireworks!
Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 31-1 (28), of Brooklyn, NY, defends his WBA World middleweight title against former WBC super welterweight champion and No. 15 contender Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora, 28-4-2 (9), of L.A. in a rematch from August of 2015. In December Jacobs scored a sensational knockout over former WBO champion Peter Quillin in the first round. Mora has not fought since August. Several weeks ago on a conference phone call Jacobs said “If he’s saying I didn’t knock him down that caused him to twist his ankle I felt the contact it in my hand,” said Jacobs. “He grazed the back of my head but my ankle was already twisted,” said Mora. Both boxers are managed by Al Haymon. The call ended with “Go F yourself. I’ll see you in two weeks old boy,” said Mora. “Well let’s do it on September the 9th. You already know Sergio I’m coming for you brother,” said Jacobs. There is obvious bad blood between the two since their first fight which should make for a very interesting contest.
In the other co-feature 2012 Olympic alternate Robert Easter, Jr., 17-0 (14), of Toledo, OH, and Richard Commey, 24-0 (22), of Accra, GH, fight it out for the vacant IBF Super lightweight title.
“Yeah I am very excited coming to Reading and fight for the IBF title. I hope Richard Commey is bringing his A game because I will be bringing mine,” said Easter. “I’ve worked very hard to get this opportunity as I’m sure Robert Easter, Jr. has too so it should be a great fight,” said Commey. Commey is No. 3 and Easter No. 4 with both the No. 1 and No. 2 vacant.
There are a dozen bouts on the undercard at this point but several will fall out or the Boxing Director Greg Sirb will see to it you don’t have much more than 7 bouts. In 8 round bouts former IBF welterweight and interim WBC champion Kermit “El Asesino” Cintron, 37-5-2 (28) of Reading continues his comeback. Local favorite super featherweight Frankie De Alba is in an 8. Another local favorite super Heavyweight Travis “My Time” Kauffman, 30-1 (22), of Reading is in a 10.
In a pair of 8 round bouts from Philadelphia crowd pleaser super middleweight Christopher “Ice Cold” Brooker, 10-1 (5) steps up to meet Elvin Ayala, 28-7-1 (12), of New Haven, CT. Light heavyweight Earl Newman, 9-0 (7), of Brooklyn will meet Leo Hall, 8-1 (7), of Detroit. Also scheduled yet without an opponent is Argentina’s Jorge Sebastian Heiland, 27-4-2 (14), who is the No. 1 WBC middleweight contender.
Super welterweight Erik Spring 7-1-1 (1), super welterweight Miguel Martinez, 2-2 (0), and super lightweight Kashon Hutchinson, 1-0 (1) all of Reading are in 6 round bouts. Also, from Philadelphia, the popular super featherweight Thomas “T.J.” Velasquez, 5-0 (4) out of the Danny “Swift” Garcia camp is in a 4 round bout. He is still without an opponent.
PBC on Spike Preview: Easter vs. Mendez, Broner vs. Theophane
PBC on Spike Preview: Easter vs. Mendez, Broner vs. Theophane
By: William Holmes
On Friday night the D.C. Armory in Washington, DC will be the host site for Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike TV’s broadcast. At least two bouts will be televised as Adrien Broner will defend his WBA Junior Welterweight title against Mayweather Promotions fighter Ashley Theophane and rising prospect Robert Easter Jr. will take on former world champion Argenis Mendez in the opening bout of the night.
Several highly rated prospects and contenders will be competing on the undercard and it wouldn’t be surprising if a few of them made it to the televised portion of the card on Friday night. Boxers such as Gervonta Davis, Anthony Peterson, and J’Leon Love will be fighting on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the main event of co-main event of the night.
Robert Easter Jr. (16-0) vs. Argenis Mendez (23-3-1); Lightweights
The first televised bout of the night will be between rising prospect Robert Easter Jr. and former world champion Argenis Mendez. This bout is a major step up for Easter and Mendez is a former world champion that is still in his athletic prime.
Easter does have an advantage in the physicals as he has a two inch height advantage as well as a five inch reach advantage. Easter is also three years younger than Mendez.
At this point in their careers Easter has the heavier hands of the two boxers. Easter has stopped thirteen of his opponents while Mendez only has twelve knockouts despite having seven more fights. Both boxers have a strong amateur background. Easter was a 2012 US Olympic Team Alternate and Mendez represented the Dominican Republic in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Easter has been very active in the past two years and fought four times in 2014 and four times in 2015. This is his first fight in 2016. He has defeated the likes of Juan Solis, Miguel Mendoza, and Alejandro Rodriguez; but he has not faced anyone near the level of competition that Mendez presents.
Mendez, who is trained by Virgil Hunter, fought two times in 2015 and two times in 2014. He has gone 2-1 in his past three fights and has defeated the likes of Miguez Vazquez, Daniel Evangelista Jr., and Juan Carlos Salgado. His losses have come to Juan Carlos Salgado in their first meeting, Rances Barthelemy, and Jaime Sandoval by split decision early on in his career.
This will be a good fight and Mendez has never been stopped before. But Easter will be too tall and too long for Mendez and should win this bout by a decision.
Adrien Broner (31-2) vs. Ashley Theophane (39-6-1); WBA Junior Welterweight Title
Adrien Broner has been the subject of a lot of controversy in the past few years, and is currently facing pending robbery charges. However, the commission has allowed the fight on Friday to proceed despite the fact he’s facing serious charges.
Broner’s opponent, Ashley Theophane, is a past his prime journeyman fight with no major victories to his credit. Theophane, however, is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and that alliance may have helped him last this fight.
Broner has twenty three stoppages to his credit and has gone 4-1 in his past five fights. Theophane isn’t known for his power and only has eleven stoppages on his resume, but he is currently riding a six fight win streak and has never been stopped.
Broner is nine years younger than Theophane, but will be giving up about an inch and a half in height. However, Broner does have a two and a half inch reach. Both boxers have been active the past two years as Broner fought three times in 2015 and Theophane fought twice in 2015.
Broner has defeated the likes of Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina Jr., Emmanuel Taylor, Carlos Molina, Paulie Malignaggi, Antonio DeMarco, and Daniel Ponce DeLeon. Broner is also a former National Silver Golden Gloves Champion as an amateur.
Broner does have trouble when a boxer turns the fight into a brawl, as is evident in his two losses to Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter.
Theophane has not defeated the quality of opponents that Broner has. Theophane’s biggest wins have come against Steve Upsher Chambers, Jason Cook, Lenny Daws, Delvin Rodriguez, and DeMarcus Corley. However, Theophane’s six losses are glaring and some of them have come against subpar competition. He has lost to the likes of Pablo Cesar Cano, Darren Hamilton, Danny Garcia, and Ali Oubaali.
This is a bout that Broner should win easily. Broner has handled distractions well before, and Friday will be no different. If Theophane can turn the bout into a brawl he stands a chance, but it seems unlikely that he’ll be able to solve the problem.