By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Javier Fortuna feels he was “robbed” on Saturday night in Brooklyn.
He’s still willing to travel to Toledo, Ohio, if that’s what it takes to get a second shot at Robert Easter Jr. That’s the proposal the Dominican southpaw pitched following his controversial, split-decision defeat to the IBF lightweight champion in their 12-round, non-title fight at Barclays Center.
“I’ll give him a rematch right in Ohio,” Fortuna said through a translator, “right in his hometown.”
Two judges – Glenn Feldman (114-113) and Kevin Morgan (115-112) – scored their back-and-forth fight for Easter. One judge, John McKaie, had Fortuna in front following 12 rounds (114-113).
Easter criticized Fortuna for holding and running, but Fortuna’s movement and hand speed caused him problems. Fortuna also appeared to buzz Easter three times during their very competitive fight.
The 5-feet-11 Easter mostly wasted his five-inch height advantage and seven-inch edge in reach by bending over and fighting inside during much of their fight.
“He’s got no punch,” Fortuna said, “he don’t know how to box, nothing. … He’s a little girl. He can’t fight. He don’t got nothing for me.”
Fortuna’s trash talk didn’t faze Easter, who doesn’t see the need to face Fortuna a second time.
“There will be no rematch,” Easter said. “Like I said, we’re unifying these titles, man. I’m tired of fighting these fighters I don’t have to fight.”
If they all can continue winning, Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) wants 135-pound championship unification matches against WBC champ Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) or WBA champ Jorge Linares (43-3, 27 KOs). He wasn’t particularly interested if fighting Fortuna once, much less twice.
“Fights like this, it really don’t make sense,” Easter said. “I’m ready to unify these titles, man. I’m ready to put the best up against the best. That’s what I’ve been working for and trying to get these unification bouts. All these other fights is unnecessary.”
The Toledo native also pointed to Fortuna’s failure to make weight Friday as another reason not to give him a rematch. Fortuna (33-2-1, 23 KOs, 1 NC) couldn’t get lower than 136¼ pounds, thus their lightweight title fight was switched to a non-title bout.
“That was unprofessional,” Easter said. “He hollering rematch, but you had a chance to win a belt [Saturday night].”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.