By Keith Idec
Robert Easter Jr. didn’t hesitate.
When asked if he thinks Mikey Garcia is overrated, Easter quickly replied, “Of course.” Garcia has a spot in the top 10 on every credible pound-for-pound list, but Easter doesn’t pay much attention to those lists, nor what fans and media think his upcoming opponent.
According to Easter, Adrien Broner is the only noteworthy win on Garcia’s unblemished record (38-0, 30 KOs). Broner, a former four-division champion and Easter’s close friend, lost a unanimous decision to Garcia in their 12-round, 140-pound fight last July 29 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Easter is certain the outcome of the Garcia-Broner bout would’ve been different if Broner had hired Kevin Cunningham before he fought Garcia, rather than after that defeat. Cunningham now trains Broner and Easter, who moved his training camp from his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, to Cunningham’s gym in West Palm Beach, Florida, for the Garcia fight.
“The only name that he has [on his record] is AB,” Easter told BoxingScene.com. “Everybody in the boxing world knows that isn’t the AB you first seen coming out, explosive and all that. That’s not the AB that fought [Garcia]. But he beat him. He got the win. But that’s the only win that he’s got under his belt – no one else.”
The 30-year-old Garcia and the 27-year-old Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) will fight for Garcia’s WBC lightweight title and Easter’s IBF championship July 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles (Showtime).
Garcia became a four-division champion in his last fight. The Oxnard, California, native out-pointed Kazakhstan’s Sergey Lipinets (13-1, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-round, 140-pound bout to win the IBF junior welterweight title March 10 at Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio.
That win wasn’t all that impressive to Easter.
“I look at every fighter the same,” Easter said. “That’s other people thinking he’s bigger than what he is, but not to me. At the end of the day, he has two hands, just like I have two hands, and he’s not better than the next man. Like I said, every fighter is the same in my eyes. It’s just some of them have better stature, I guess.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.