By Keith Idec
Javier Fortuna’s second trip to the scale Friday afternoon wasn’t all that different from the first time he got on it.
Fortuna was only able to lose four ounces within the two hours he was afforded to lose 1½ pounds. Fortuna’s final official weight was 136.4 pounds for his fight Saturday night against IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr.
The 28-year-old Fortuna’s failure to make the lightweight limit of 135 pounds cost him a title shot, as Easter’s title won’t be at stake when they square off on the Errol Spence Jr.-Lamont Peterson undercard at Barclays Center (Showtime; 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
BoxingScene.com learned Barclays Center personnel took Fortuna from the nearby Brooklyn Marriott to a steam room inside the arena following his first failure to make weight. The former two-division champion used almost all two hours he was given to try to make weight, yet still couldn’t come close.
The 5-feet-11 Easter, who’s five inches taller than Fortuna, made weight without issue. Easter was 134½ pounds when he got on the New York State Athletic Commission’s scale earlier Friday afternoon.
The first time Fortuna weighed in, he was a career-high 136½ pounds.
Easter could’ve refused to fight Fortuna because the Dominican southpaw didn’t make weight. The Toledo, Ohio, native immediately made it clear, however, that he would go ahead with the fight no matter how much Fortuna weighed on his final attempt.
“[Missing weight] is just his excuse not to fight me,” Easter told Showtime’s Steve Farhood right after the weigh-in. “But hopefully, he can make the weight so we can make this fight happen and I beat his ass.”
Fortuna (33-1-1, 23 KOs, 1 NC) won world titles at 126 pounds and 130 pounds, but had not weighed in at more than 135 pounds for any of his first 35 professional fights. It’s been nearly nine years since he weighed 135 pounds, Fortuna’s weight for his pro debut in March 2009.
When Farhood asked Fortuna why he had trouble making weight for this 12-round title fight, Fortuna mentioned 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.”
Though born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Fortuna has lived and trained in recent years in Braintree, Massachusetts.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.