By Keith Idec
The feeling within Robert Easter Jr.’s camp is that Mikey Garcia is looking past the unbeaten IBF lightweight champion.
Garcia has openly discussed possible future fights against lightweight champ Vasiliy Lomachenko and welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford during the buildup toward his lightweight title unification fight versus Easter. According to Garcia, that doesn’t mean he isn’t taking Easter seriously.
The four-division champion explained to BoxingScene.com that he simply is giving honest answers to reporters’ questions, not disrespecting Easter. Garcia recognizes that their 12-round, 135-pound title unification fight won’t be easy Saturday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“I’m not overlooking anything,” Garcia said. “I’ve gotta get through him to land any of the fights that I mention. But when anybody asks me a question, I’m replying, I’m answering. When they ask about future fights, I’ve gotta give them my honest answer.
“But I’m not overlooking him. We’re doing all the work in the gym. We’re sparring hard, we’re training hard, we’re running hard. We’re very focused on this upcoming fight against Robert, so I’m not overlooking him. But we do have to speak to the media and answer questions.”
Garcia recognizes that the criticism he has taken for discussing future fights goes with the territory.
“It doesn’t frustrate me,” Garcia said. “I know it’s part of media and just the business. So I’m fine with it. It doesn’t affect me. It doesn’t bother me at all.”
The 30-year-old Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs), of Oxnard, California, and the 27-year-old Easter (21-0, 14 KOs), of Toledo, Ohio, will fight for Garcia’s WBC lightweight title and Easter’s IBF 135-pound crown. They’ll headline a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader.
The action is set to start at 10 p.m. ET with a 10-round, 140-pound bout that’ll match San Antonio’s Mario Barrios (21-0, 13 KOs) against Jose Roman (24-2-1, 16 KOs), of Garden Grove, California. In the second televised bout, Cuban heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs, 2 NC) is set to face Romania’s Razvan Cojanu (16-3, 9 KOs) in a 10-rounder.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.