By Keith Idec
Javier Fortuna is the smaller man, but you wouldn’t have known it when he and Robert Easter Jr. weighed in Friday afternoon at the Brooklyn Marriott for their lightweight title fight.
The 5-feet-11 Easter, who’s unusually tall for the lightweight division, made weight comfortably for their 135-pound title fight Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Easter (20-0, 14 KOs), of Toledo, Ohio, got on the New York State Athletic Commission’s scale at 134½ pounds.
The 5-feet-6 Fortuna was nearly two pounds overweight, however, and was given the customary two hours to return to the scale. If Fortuna, who weighed a career-high 136.8 pounds on his first attempt, cannot get down to at least 135 pounds, Easter’s title would not be at stake in a fight Showtime will televise as the opener of a doubleheader (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Easter also could decide not to face Fortuna if his opponent doesn’t make weight on his final attempt, but Easter said they’ll fight even if Fortuna cannot get down to the lightweight limit.
“[Missing weight] is just his excuse not to fight me,” Easter told Showtime’s Steve Farhood following the weigh-in. “But hopefully, he can make the weight so we can make this fight happen and I beat his ass.”
Easter also called Fortuna’s failure to make weight “unprofessional.”
Fortuna (33-1-1, 23 KOs), a former title-holder at 126 pounds and 130 pounds, had not weighed in at more than 135 pounds for any of his first 35 professional fights. He weighed 135 pounds for his pro debut in March 2009, but never more than that.
When asked by Farhood why he had trouble making weight for this 12-round title fight, Fortuna alluded to the cold weather in New York.
“It’s a little difficult because I’m not used to the weather,” Fortuna said through a translator. “I’m not used to this climate. But I have two hours to rectify it.”
Fortuna, 28, was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, but lists his residence as Braintree, Massachusetts.
After Fortuna missed weight, there was no such drama when Errol Spence Jr. and Lamont Peterson got on the scale for their 12-round, 147-pound title fight, the main event Saturday night.
Spence (22-0, 19 KOs), of DeSoto, Texas, officially weighed in at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds. Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs), of Washington, D.C., weighed 146¾ pounds.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.