By Keith Idec
LOS ANGELES – Robert Easter Jr. towered over Mikey Garcia as they faced off after they weighed in Friday afternoon.
The unbeaten IBF lightweight champion will have a huge challenge in front of him, though, in their 12-round lightweight title unification fight Saturday night. The 5-feet-6 Garcia is listed as a 10-1 favorite over the 5-11 Easter.
Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) owns a five-inch height advantage and an eight-inch edge in reach. The lightweight champions got on the California State Athletic Commission’s scale at almost the same weight Friday at Staples Center.
The 30-year-old Garcia, of Oxnard, California, officially weighed in exactly at the lightweight limit of 135 pounds. The 27-year-old Easter, of Toledo, Ohio, stepped on the scale at 134½ pounds.
Garcia and Easter will fight for Garcia’s WBC lightweight title and Easter’s IBF championship.
Easter will make the fourth defense of the IBF 135-pound title he won by defeating Ghana’s Richard Commey by split decision in September 2016 in Reading, Pennsylvania. Garcia will make the first defense of the WBC lightweight crown he won by knocking out Montenegro’s Dejan Zlaticanin in the third round of their January 2017 fight in Las Vegas.
Garcia’s last two fights have been contested at the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds. He won the IBF junior welterweight title in his last bout, but Garcia gave up the championship he won by beating Kazakhstan’s Sergey Lipinets by unanimous decision March 10 in San Antonio without defending it.
The Garcia-Easter fight will headline Showtime’s three-bout broadcast Saturday night from Staples Center (10 p.m. ET).
The four other fighters scheduled to be part of that telecast also weighed in Friday.
Cuban heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs, 2 NC) officially weighed 241 pounds for his 10-round fight against Romania’s Razvan Cojanu (16-3, 9 KOs). Cojanu got on the CSAC’s scale at 269 pounds.
San Antonio’s Mario Barrios (21-0, 13 KOs) and Jose Roman (24-2-1, 16 KOs), of Garden Grove, California, also made weight for their 10-round bout. Barrios weighed in at 141½ pounds, slightly less than Roman (142).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.