By Keith Idec
LOS ANGELES – Robert Easter Jr. came away from his loss to Mikey Garcia with a healthy amount of respect for Garcia’s power.
Easter just doesn’t think it’s comparable to the power possessed by Errol Spence Jr., Garcia’s probable opponent later this year. The former IBF lightweight champion sparred against Spence when they were amateurs and still remembers how hard Spence punches.
Garcia would have to move up two divisions – from the lightweight limit of 135 pounds to the welterweight maximum of 147 – to challenge the bigger, stronger Spence (23-0, 20 KOs).
Easter admires Garcia’s ambition, but he cautioned that fighting Spence will be every bit as difficult for the undefeated four-division champion as most experts expect. The 27-year-old Easter discussed a potential Garcia-Spence showdown during the post-fight press conference Saturday night after his 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Garcia in their lightweight title unification fight at Staples Center.
“I’ve been in the ring with Spence, too,” Easter said. “You know, we sparred a few years back, when we was amateurs, and Spence always had this type of power, you know, tremendous power. But, you know, Mikey has his mind made up. He has his mind made up of going up in weight classes. You know, that’s what boxing’s for.
“[In] boxing, you know, champions believe they can take on other champions. So there you have it. I tip my hat off to him, you know? You seen it tonight. He’s a true champion, a true warrior. But, you know, Errol Spence, he’s a different breed. He’s an animal, man.”
The 30-year-old Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs), of Oxnard, California, knocked down Easter with a left hook in the third round Saturday night. Easter (21-1, 14 KOs) quickly reached his feet and Garcia couldn’t drop the Toledo, Ohio, native again during the next nine-plus rounds.
Garcia won their 12-round bout comfortably on each of the three scorecards (118-109, 117-110, 116-111) to take Easter’s IBF lightweight title and defend his WBC 135-pound championship.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.