All the promotion leading into Saturday’s lightweight unification fight between Mikey Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs) and Robert Easter Jr. has been centered on the former’s continued quest of becoming the pound-for-pound best and an all-time great in the sport.
Many feel Easter, the undefeated IBF titleholder (21-0, 14 KOs), is set up to become another notch on Garcia’s record and hand over the championship.
“I do look at it like that,” Easter said.
“Mikey is one of the popular faces in boxing right now. He’s a four-division world champion. But, I’m supposed to look at him like that. After I beat him, then they will be looking at me as the new face of boxing.”
After Garcia defeated Sergey Lipinets in March to capture the IBF junior welterweight title, the speculation surfaced as to what Garcia would do next. Would he continue to stay at 140 pounds and try to win all the belts? Would he go up to welterweight and take on Errol Spence Jr.? Or would Garcia go back down to 135 and defend his WBC title against WBO champ Vasyl Lomachenko instead of sticking around to fight Easter?
“There was some worry at times that he was going to avoid me, but it’s finally here, so I’m going to make the most of it,” Easter said.
Easter was at Garcia vs. Lipinets back in March. While not saying it in words, the tone of Easter’s voice made it apparent that he wasn’t too impressed with Garcia’s performance, giving Garcia credit for doing what he had to do to win. He also knows he and Lipinets are two completely different fighters though.
“I don’t really think like that because no fighter fights every opponent the same,” Easter explained. “He’s not going to fight me the same as he fought Sergey. He hasn’t faced me and I know what I’m coming to do. I know for a fact that he can’t beat me.”
Heading into this weekend’s showdown on Showtime (10 p.m. ET), Easter holds two key advantages over Garcia: a five-inch height and an eight-inch reach advantage.
The 27-year-old feels if he uses those attributes, along with his speed and power, then he will do what the majority of the boxing world thinks he can’t and finally earn the respect he deserves and walk out the unified lightweight champion.
“A stoppage would be great,” Easter said. “A dominant performance would be great as well. I’m not focused on not knocking someone or anything like that. This is a fight I’ve wanted for years and finally getting to unify the titles. It’s a huge fight for the sport to have two undefeated champions who are in their prime stepping into the ring. I’m focused on getting this win in good fashion and coming out with two titles.”