Easter: ‘I want to be the top dog at 140 pounds’

Former world champion Robert Easter Jr. and all-action veteran Adrian “El Tigre” Granados will go toe-to-toe this Saturday, October 26 in a crucial super lightweight showdown as both fighters look to insert themselves into the title picture with a win live on SHOWTIME from Santander Arena in Reading, Pa.

“I want to be the top dog at 140 pounds,” said Easter. “I have to go after those guys that have the belts in this division. It doesn’t matter to me who I fight. I just have to fight the best and to me all the belts in the division are up for grabs.”

“Beating Easter would definitely bring me back to championship contender status,” said Granados. “I feel like everything is on the line in this fight. I’m treating this as if my back is against the wall. Easter being a former champ would elevate me for sure, and a win against him would go a long way.”

The weight for this fight is of particular note for both fighters as Easter, a former lightweight champion, will make his super lightweight debut and Granados will move back down after suffering defeats to the 147-pound elite. Both believe big improvements could be in-store because of the weight.

“I’ll be stronger at this weight and more dominant,” said Granados. “I can do a lot more at this weight and it’s more natural for me. I’m stricter on my diet and I have to push a little more in training for this weight. But I’ve had more success at this weight and my body is still geared towards fighting at this weight.

“Overall, this has been night and day from the training camp for my last fight compared to this camp. I was so sick during camp for my last fight that we were almost ready to cancel the fight. This camp has been totally different. I feel completely healthy now and can’t wait to put on great performance on October 26.”

“I felt it was time to make the move up and explore a higher weight class,” said Easter. “Making 135 pounds wasn’t that hard for me, but I was taking off too much muscle to make that weight. Now I’ll definitely have more power and be better hydrated. I’ll feel much more comfortable heading into the fight and inside the ring.

“I know that the guys I’m facing in this weight class will be stronger too, so we’ve been working a lot with my strength and conditioning coach. We’re doing lots of legs and upper body drills. I’m focusing on staying strong, as well as keeping the cardio up.”

With Easter bringing his slick boxing style and top flight speed to the table, and Granados being known as a come-forward fighter who never lets his opponent rest, the winner could be determined by which fighter is able to impose their will and adjust as the fight progresses.

“Granados will come to fight,” said Easter. “I know that. I’ll try to use my boxing skills and not just stand there banging with him, but you never know how it’ll play out until we actually get in the ring. You can’t really put together a blueprint. I’ll just have to adjust to whatever style he brings to the table on October 26.

“Granados is a tough fighter, and I’ve had a plenty of tough fights, but he’s been in there with some great fighters. I know he’ll test me, but I’m ready for whatever he throws at me. I’m training really hard for this one.”

“I think this fight is a classic boxer versus puncher-brawler,” said Granados. “I am going to apply the pressure and I’m going to come out to take this one from him. I think Robert is a tough, good fighter, but I’ve been in there with lots of elite fighters.

“I’m excited to be back at my natural weight. I know that he’s the taller, longer fighter, but I’m not much shorter than him and I know that I have what it takes to beat him when I’m at my best.”

Easter-Granados, Lubin-Gausha set for October 26

Top super welterweight contender Erickson “Hammer” Lubin returns to take on former world title challenger and U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha in a 12-round WBC title eliminator on Saturday, October 26 live on SHOWTIME from Santander Arena in Reading, Pa., in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features former lightweight world champion Robert Easter Jr. making his super lightweight debut against battle-tested veteran Adrian “El Tigre” Granados in the 10-round co-featured attraction. The televised opener will see former world champions collide as Rau’shee Warren takes on Emmanuel Rodriguez in a 12-round WBC bantamweight title eliminator.

 Orlando, Florida’s Lubin (21-1, 16 KOs) was one of the fastest rising contenders in boxing as he quickly raced to the top of the ladder to challenge Jermell Charlo for the WBC 154-pound championship in 2017. Since the setback against Charlo, the 23-year-old has scored three straight stoppage victories to regain his momentum toward a championship run. In February, Lubin became the first boxer to stop former champion Ishe Smith and is coming off a TKO victory over Zaharia Attou in his last fight on June 29 on SHOWTIME.

“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to showcase my talents once again on SHOWTIME,” said Lubin. “I’m focused on the task at hand, and that’s beating a world class opponent in Terrell Gausha. My plan is to put all of the belt holders in my division on notice with a victory. I’ve been in camp for five weeks with five weeks to go. I’ll be supremely conditioned and fundamentally sound on October 26. You’re definitely not going to want to miss it.”

The 31-year-old Gausha (21-1-1, 10 KOs) is a brilliant ring tactician with an impressive boxing pedigree that included representing the United States at the 2012 Olympics. Born in Cleveland and now living in Encino, Calif., Gausha suffered the only loss on his record when he dropped a unanimous decision to long-reigning WBA Super Welterweight Champion Erislandy Lara in 2017. He most recently fought to a disputed split draw against former super welterweight champion Austin Trout on May 25. 

“This is going to be an action-packed fight with me and a strong young fighter like Lubin,” said Gausha. “He’s a good test for me. Lubin will be the fourth southpaw in a row that I’ve faced and I’m ready to go again. I’m just at a point where I want to fight the best and most challenging fights possible. He called me out and I’m definitely going to be ready for him on October 26. The fans won’t want to miss it.”

A former IBF Lightweight World Champion, Easter (21-1-1, 14 KOs) won the belt with a split decision victory over current champion Richard Commey in 2016 at Santander Arena in Reading. The 28-year-old from Toledo, Ohio successfully defended the title three times before losing it to four-division world champion Mikey Garcia in a 2018 unification clash on SHOWTIME. He is coming off a split draw against Rances Barthelemy in his last fight on April 27 and will be making his super lightweight debut when he steps in against Granados at the site of his first world championship fight.

“I’m moving up to 140 pounds and I’ve been preparing really hard for this fight,” said Easter. “Expect me to come out and be very explosive on October 26. I anticipate Granados coming to fight like he always does. He’s a fighter who always comes prepared and puts his heart into it, but I’m going to do the same thing and show that I’m ready to make a statement in this division.”

The 30-year-old Granados (20-7-2, 14 KOs) has battled a slew of accomplished junior welterweights and welterweights over the course of his career including Shawn Porter, Adrien Broner and most recently Danny Garcia in April. The 30-year-old from Chicago will return to 140-pounds where he’s had most of the success in his career, including his 2015 stoppage of a then-unbeaten Amir Imam. 

“I’m expecting a tough fight against Robert Easter Jr. on October 26,” said Granados. “Our styles mesh well. Easter is a sharp fighter and that’s why I’m giving it everything I have in training camp. I’m looking to bounce back from my last fight and show everyone that I still have a lot to give the sport of boxing. Easter is a technician in the ring but I’m a warrior and I’m going to come with everything that I have.”

Easter: ‘I’m going to show everyone what they’ve been sleeping on & why I’m a world champion’

WEST PALM BEACH, FL. (July 19, 2018) – IBF Lightweight World Champion Robert Easter Jr. has made the most of his inaugural training camp with Kevin Cunningham and will look to bring that same level of focus to the ring when he challenges WBC Lightweight World Champion Mikey Garcia Saturday, July 28 live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

“I decided to go to Florida for a different environment than I usually trained in,” said Easter, a Toledo-native who had trained in his hometown for much of his pro career. “I needed to be taken out of my comfort zone. At home, I was focused on too many other things. Coming to West Palm Beach has allowed me to focus on nothing but myself and boxing.”

Easter saw what Cunningham had done for his close friends Adrien Broner and Gervonta Davis, who both trained with Cunningham leading into April 21 fights on SHOWTIME that saw Broner battle to an entertaining draw against Jessie Vargas and Davis capture a second world title with a spectacular knockout of Jesus Cuellar.

“I was with Adrien Broner and Gervonta Davis every step of the way during training camp with Kevin Cunningham earlier this year,” said Easter. “I saw for myself that it was something I needed to do. I talked with my dad about getting away from the distractions and we agreed this was the right move.”

Easter burst onto the scene in 2016 with a dominant knockout of former champion Argenis Mendez before beating Richard Commey later that year in an entertaining battle to capture the lightweight belt. Easter’s last two defenses however have seen him narrowly escape with decision victories, something the unbeaten champion believes won’t be a factor on July 28.

“People are paying attention to my last couple of fights when I wasn’t using my height and reach,” said Easter. “I can improve on that by taking it back to what I had been doing before. I was knocking people out fight after fight.

“If you’re looking at just my last two fights, you aren’t giving me credit for everything I bring to the table. I faced two tough southpaws recently but on July 28 I’m going to show everyone what they’ve been sleeping on and why I’m a world champion.”

The 27-year-old Easter will now step up to take on one of boxing’s pound-for-pound best in four-division world champion Mikey Garcia. For Easter, this is a fight that he’s had on his mind and one that can put him into the top echelon of the sport.

“I’ve always wanted to fight the best in my weight class and now I have my chance to unify,” said Easter. “I know that Mikey is going to fight his fight and look to counter. He wants to wait for you to make a mistake so he can take advantage.

“What I have to do is go in there and impose my attributes on him. My height and reach are my advantages, but also my speed and power. I just have to combine all that and focus on my footwork.”

Although Easter will be fighting in Garcia’s hometown of Los Angeles, he has no plans to let the partisan crowd effect his focus as he looks for his biggest pro win in the same building where he made his professional debut.

“It doesn’t matter to me where we fight,” said Easter. “None of the fans can help him fight. It’s only about me and him in that ring together.

“My first pro fight was at STAPLES Center and even though it was early on an undercard, I still felt like there were 10,000 fans watching me. I just fought my fight. It’s all about staying focused. There will be no excuses on July 28.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, begin at $50, plus applicable fees, and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit AXS.com.

The three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) will also see Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortizreturning to action to face former title challenger Razvan Cojanu in a 10-round bout and unbeaten super lightweight contender Mario “El Azteca” Barrios taking on hard-hitting Jose Roman in a 10-round showdown.

Photo: Jose Pineiro/SHOWTIME

Garcia: ‘I’m in the best shape physically and mentally that I’ve ever been in’

WBC lightweight Champion Mikey Garcia worked out for the press Tuesday at Fortune Gym in Los Angeles as he prepares for his 135-pound title unification against IBF titlist Robert Easter Jr. Saturday, July 28 live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

For the Oxnard, CA native, July 28 is an opportunity for him to fight in Los Angeles. Something he has not done in a long time.

“It’s been seven years since I last had the chance to fight here in LA, and that was even before I was champion,” Garcia said today at his media workout. “Now after all of my accomplishments, I get to come home and put on a unification match for my local fans.

“Every time I walk into the ring, there’s a moment where I get butterflies and feel the emotions from the fans. This time it’s with my hometown fans, and that’s really special. I’m really looking forward to it because I know the fans are going to show up and show their love and support.”

Garcia is considered by many to be one of the pound-for-pound best. At this point of his career, Garcia feels he is at his best:

“I think I’m in my prime right now. I’m in the best shape physically and mentally that I’ve ever been in,” Garcia said. “I need to take advantage of the moment right now and take on the biggest challenges. I want to give the fans fights to remember. Those are the fights that excite me the most.”

Easter’s height(5’11) could present an issue for Garcia, but the 30-year-old is confident he will be able to still have success:

“I know Easter is very tall and has a longer reach than me. In the gym, we’ve been working on sparring partners who present different challenges and made adjustments from there,” Garcia said. “I have to catch him reaching in or put pressure and work my way inside. There are different things that I’m capable of doing.”

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® triple-header (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) will also see Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz returning to action to face former title challenger Razvan Cojanu in a 10-round bout and unbeaten super lightweight contender Mario “El Azteca” Barrios taking on hard-hitting Jose Roman in a 10-round showdown.

Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Easter: ‘Fortuna is all that I’m thinking about. After that, I’m ready to go after Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares’

Undefeated 135-pound world champion Robert Easter will defend his IBF Title against former world champion Javier Fortuna in the co-main event of Errol Spence Jr. vs. Lamont Peterson live on SHOWTIME on Saturday, Jan. 20 from Barclays Center.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features unbeaten lightweight world champion Robert Easter, who attended Wednesday’s media workout, taking on former champion Javier Fortuna, who was unable to make the workout due to a flight delay caused by storms in the northeast.

 Here’s what Robert Easter had to say on Wednesday:

“The fans can expect to see what they always see in my fights. It’s going to be hard work, blood, sweat and tears. We are going to have a knockout victory in this fight.

“Every fight is a big fight for me. Javier Fortuna is no stranger to this stage. He’s trying to get back to where I am, and the only thing that can stop him is me. Come Saturday night, he’s going to come up short .

“Most people think I’m supposed to be drained making this weight, but I’ve been doing this since the amateurs and even before. I’m no stranger to this. Making weight is easy for me.

“Sparring was really good. We had a tremendous training camp and I feel ready. I have a great team that’s gotten me perfectly prepared for this 

“I’ve fought big punchers before. This is nothing new to me. We’re going to make adjustments during the fight and get him out of there early.

“Don’t think that my skinny frame and long arms don’t have power in them. You will see that on display Saturday night.

 “We’re going after him Saturday night. I’m going to hit him wherever he gives me openings. I’m looking to finish him off on Saturday. It’s going to be a breakout performance.

“A lot of guys are trying to prove they’re the best at the weight. Each fight for me is a preparation for unification bouts down the line. That’s what I really want.

“I’m 100 percent focused on this fight Saturday. Javier Fortuna is all that I’m thinking about. After that, I’m ready to go after Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares.”

If Easter wins on Saturday night, let’s hope he gets his wish and fights Garcia or Linares.

 

Photos from Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME