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Boxingscene.com

Fortuna: Easter Won't Last Five if He Fights Me Like Shafikov

By Keith Idec

Javier Fortuna isn’t particularly impressed with how Robert Easter Jr. performed in his last fight.

Easter defeated Denis Shafikov by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder June 30 in Toledo, Ohio, Easter’s hometown. The IBF lightweight champion beat his mandatory challenger by big margins on two of the three scorecards (120-108, 120-108, 116-112), but Fortuna is certain the Easter-Shafikov fight was closer than that.

The former WBA super featherweight champion noticed flaws in Easter during that bout and delivered a message to his upcoming opponent during a recent conference call to promote their January 20 bout in Brooklyn.

easter-shafikov-fight (8)

“I figure he’ll be a little better than that,” Fortuna said through a translator. “Because if he just comes the way he fought his last fight, he won’t reach the fifth round. He’s got to reinvent himself, because if he don’t, he won’t go five [rounds].”

Like Russia’s Shafikov, Fortuna is a short southpaw. The Dominican Republic native realizes he is a big underdog against the taller, undefeated Easter, but is confident he’ll pull off an upset on the Errol Spence Jr.-Lamont Peterson undercard at Barclays Center (Showtime).

“That does motivate me much more and it gives me the opportunity to concentrate much more,” Fortuna said. “I’ve been the underdog a few times. Like the [Omar] Douglas fight, I’ve surprised everybody [near] his hometown. I would’ve liked for this fight to be in Ohio and that would’ve been better for me, because I perform better under pressure.”

Easter (20-0, 14 KOs) dismissed Fortuna’s predictions as expected bravado before their fight. The 5-feet-11 champion expects his size and skill to be too much for Fortuna (33-1-1, 23 KOs) in the third defense of his 135-pound championship.

“I understand what Robert’s saying, that he’s more skillful,” Fortuna said. “But he could have more skill, he could have whatever he thinks he has. But he’s not gonna have my will to win. The only way I can demonstrate it is in the ring.

“He won’t be able to [take] the power of my punches. In this fight, I’ll come more focused than any other fight. Hopefully, there’s no excuses from him or his camp. I want the best Easter that could possibly come to fight.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Corelone on 01-10-2018

[QUOTE=Redd Foxx;18393804]"nowadays"?? That's so ignorant. What was Tommy Hearns doing back in the day? Some guys are just built like that. I'm built like that. GTFO w/ vilifying guys because they are in shape and happen to be genetic ectomorphs.[/QUOTE]…

Comment by john l on 01-09-2018

[QUOTE=Redd Foxx;18394081]What boxing fan WOULDN'T like the best fighters? It's the casuals that choose to turn to boxing for their drama fix and make heroes and villains out of all these guys. I think some fanbases can be really annoying…

Comment by Redd Foxx on 01-09-2018

[QUOTE=john l;18394036]I just cant believe how many fans(if you wanna call them that)of this sport are like that.Need MORE fans of BOXING and not just fans of certain fighters.If I live to be 1000 I will never understand why guys…

Comment by john l on 01-09-2018

[QUOTE=Redd Foxx;18393975]Yea, Easter clearly won that, regardless of what the cards read. It was a tough fight, no doubt, but these guys who rany about Shav getting robbed are the biased types who decide the winner before the fight and…

Comment by Redd Foxx on 01-09-2018

[QUOTE=john l;18393862]The scorecards were BS big time but lets not forget right man won.Assume your speakin of D Shak fight.[/QUOTE] Yea, Easter clearly won that, regardless of what the cards read. It was a tough fight, no doubt, but these…

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