Some folks will be really right and others really wrong come tomorrow night.
Either it will be sorta easy work, and Mikey Garcia will continue his march up the pound for pound later, and his weight class mastery by snagging the IBF 135 crown from Robert Easter…or Easters’ confidence will show to be egit, and, in fact, his length and reach will give Mikey problems and this one will be a LOT closer than most assume.
I put it to Brian Custer…
… the smooth master of ceremonies who heads up the Showtime coverage, and then tosses it to the ringside crew, Mauro Ranallo, Al Bernstein and Paul Malignaggi. Cus, what do you think we will see tomorrow, in the main event from a card unfolding in Cali, at Staples Center?
“A great night and if it’s anything like the last time Showtime broadcasted a lightweight title unification fight, Castillo vs Corrales, it should be one hell of a night,” Cus told me of the Showtime featured fight. “One guy showing why he’s a pound for pound great, another champion looking to show why he’s the real deal!”
OK, so I take it you give Easter a chance to win? Cus, I think Mikey, who owns the WBC's 135 strap, has a talent gulf edge, and I give Easter a 15 percent chance to win….basically, a punchers’ chance…with 3 percent ticking up to cover the possibility that Mikey is fighting off a summer cold.
“I do.. Easter looks good if he stays focused and uses his range he can be successful in this fight,” Custer said. “He has to stay focused and disciplined.”
Hey, I ALWAYS root for great fights, so I’m hoping Cus is spot on. Readers, what percent chance do you give Easter to beat Garcia?
Here is the release Sho sent out after the weigh in:
WBC & IBF LIGHTWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP UNIFICATION – 12 Rounds
Mikey Garcia – 135 lbs.
Robert Easter Jr. – 134 ½ lbs.
Referee: Jack Reiss (Calif.); Judges: Larry Hazzard Jr. (N.J.), Edward Hernandez Sr. (Calif.), Steve Weisfeld (N.J.)
HEAVYWEIGHT CO-MAIN EVENT – 10 Rounds
Luis Ortiz – 241 lbs.
Razvan Cujanu – 269 lbs.
Referee Jerry Cantu (Calif.). Judges: Max DeLuca (Calif.), Dr. Lou Moret (Calif.), Zachary Young (Calif.)
WELTERWEIGHT BOUT – 10 Rounds
Mario Barrios – 141 ½ lbs.
Jose Roman – 142 lbs.
Referee Gerard White (Calif.). Judges: Max DeLuca (Calif.), Dr. Lou Moret (Calif.), Zachary Young (Calif.)
“All the work is done; the talking is done. Now it’s time to settle this thing in the ring.”
Robert Easter Jr.
“I told Mikey there ain’t no more talking. I’m coming in shape. It’s going to be an exciting fight for all the fans that are here from my side and from his side. We’re just ready to fight and put on a great performance for LA.
“This fight is champion vs. champion. It’s going to determine who’s the best, for real. Tomorrow is going to be the best of the best and you’re going to see the best out of me.”
“I’m going to do what I’ve always done in my career and even in the amateurs, and that’s just fight. It’s going to be no different. I’m going to come out punching.
“Every fight is an important fight and tomorrow night I will show what I can do. I’m going to show why I’m known as the most avoided fighter.”
“I’m in very good shape. Tomorrow night it’s SHOWTIME. We’re going to bring the pain.
“The secret to beating Luis Ortiz is two things. One, I cannot say because I’m in front of the cameras but the other one is the heart.”
“Everything about fighting on SHOWITME excites me. I’ve been working for this and dreaming about this day since I was a little kid. Now it’s here and I want to take full advantage of it.
“I hope the fans can expect a lot. I’m here to showcase my talents and they are going to see fireworks. I always get a lot of love from the fans when I fight in L.A.”
“I have a special motivation for this fight. My cousin’s son is battling leukemia so I dedicate this fight to him. He’s only three years old. It’s really hard because I’m a father and just imagining that breaks my heart.”