For Garcia, Easter Fight More Than Just A Lightweight Unification
With some of the biggest decisions of his career awaiting him, Mikey Garcia first has to answer the challenge of Robert Easter Jr. on July 28th in a lightweight unification battle.
The southern California native returns to the Staples Center for the first time in seven years, in his first fight at lightweight since January 2017. Garcia told FIGHT SPORTS that he’s always wanted to come back to lightweight.
“The only reason we went after Lipinets, was to win a fourth world title in a fourth division”, Garcia said over the phone.
“I told everyone that I wanted to come back to lightweight and win titles there.”
Much of the conversation on Garcia has focused on his very public talks with UFC President Dana White and Matchroom Boxing CEO Eddie Hearn. Both promoters are making moves into the American boxing market and have made contact with Garcia.
“I’m still holding conversations with (Dana White and Eddie Hearn),” Garcia said on fight week.
“But I need to focus on my fight, first. I let them know that I want to focus on this fight, and then follow up after”
With potential fights against Ray Beltran or Vasyl Lomachenko on the other side of July 28th, Garcia may need to make a decision soon, but not before facing a formidable opponent in Robert Easter Jr.
“He’s an undefeated world champion, he has been avoided by other fighters,” Garcia said about Easter. “He’s very tricky, its awkward, he’s different, he’s a challenge and that’s why we wanted him…”
“Now with Beltran (WBO champion) and Loma (WBA champion) unavailable, this is the next best thing.”
Most would not argue that Easter Jr. is not at the level of a Vasyl Lomachenko. Easter walks in with his own set of advantages in terms of height and reach, and another regarding the setting for their fight on Saturday night.
Garcia will be the hometown hero who returns to Staples Center for the first time since 2010, Easter Jr. started his pro career inside the arena, and looks to come full circle against the popular Garcia.
“My first fight with every bit of 10 people in the crowd, to this fight back at the Staples Center in front of a huge crowd is gonna be exciting,” Easter told FIGHT SPORTS. Following split decision wins in two of his last four victories, Easter has vowed to dominate Garcia.
“A knockout would be great, but more importantly we’re looking to dominate and get the win.”
Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter Jr. square off in a Lightweight unification battle on July 28th at Staples Center in Los Angeles, airing at 10pm ET on Showtime.