BIG FIGHTS AWAIT MIKEY GARICA, BUT FIRST ROBERT EASTER
4-division world champion Mikey Garcia is in the prime of his career and his Los Angeles, CA homecoming against IBF lightweight world champion Robert Easter Jr. on Saturday, July 28th at the Staples Center appears to be one of the noteworthy moments of what seems to be the beginning of the last chapter of Garcia’s career.
It is no secret that the 30-year-old, Garcia, is now approaching the money era of his career and as he is looking towards big fights in the horizon. Robert Easter is a world champion, but in many regards, he is an underachiever to a certain extent as Easter was a promising prospect who never really improved since winning an IBF lightweight world title against Richard Commey. If anything he has found himself in multiple competitive fights against Denis Shafikov and Javier Fortuna as he is struggling to separate himself from his opposition.
Leading into the bout, Garcia is the favorite, but the venue of Los Angeles, a place in which Garcia never got to fight for the majority of his tenure at Top Rank makes this a fitting mark to the latter half of his career as his last fight in Los Angeles was in this very building in 2011.
Garcia is one of the four best fighters in the world along with Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko and Errol Spence Jr., the major goal of this bout appears to not just stay in that conversation, but have a compelling environment and atmosphere that mirrors environments Crawford and Spence have fought at home as well as possible put himself into the conversation to land one of these bouts.
It is odd to write about a fight without focusing on the fight, but the fight is the fight for this bout. Easter will more than likely win some rounds and be dangerous, but Mikey Garcia is far too disciplined to play into Easter’s hands of exchanging and despite Easter being the much bigger man, Easter has never shown at the highest level the ability to use his distance to his advantage. In short, Easter is a body puncher who believes so much in his power he negates what appears to the outside to be Easter’s biggest advantage of his long arms which leads to a reach advantage.
Interesting enough, Garcia will be fighting at the Staples Center, a week before the UFC, the fledgling fight promotion which has seen better days since a sale of their company has created a more business model approach to their sport. Why is this interesting? The UFC has no real born and breed, Los Angeles-based fighters on their card, so Garcia’s gate numbers and attendance should be comparable and best case scenario better than the UFC’s fight card next week.
For Garcia, one of the best business minds in the sport of boxing, this card is just as much about the action in the ring as it is for what the future holds as Garcia needs a win to await a very interesting and possibly transcendent fight.
With all that being said, in theory, Easter has the faster hands and a long rangy body-type that Mikey Garcia hasn’t seen since maybe Juan Carlos Burgos in 2014, a fight Garcia dominated. This bout is not quite a showcase fight but appears on paper to be a homecoming for Garcia.