By Keith Idec
Showtime’s boxing offering for April is taking shape.
Multiple sources have informed BoxingScene.com that the “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader April 27 featuring lightweights Robert Easter Jr. and Rances Barthelemy in the main event also will include a WBC super lightweight elimination match that’ll pit former WBC champ Viktor Postol against Mohamed Mimoune. France’s Mimoune (21-2, 2 KOs) is ranked No. 3 by the WBC among its 140-pound contenders, one spot above Ukraine’s Postol (30-2, 12 KOs), and owns the IBO 140-pound title.
The Postol-Mimoune winner will move closer toward a shot at Jose Ramirez, the WBC’s super lightweight champ.
Postol-Mimoune and Easter-Barthelemy will be two of three bouts broadcast by Showtime on April 27 from The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The third component of that tripleheader hasn’t been solidified.
Gary Russell Jr. (29-1, 17 KOs) had been under consideration for the main event of this card.
A suitable opponent could not be found for the WBC featherweight champion, though, thus his return has been further delayed. The 30-year-old Russell hasn’t fought since he out-boxed Joseph Diaz Jr. on his way to a 12-round, unanimous-decision win last May 19 in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Easter (21-1, 14 KOs), a former IBF lightweight champion from Toledo, Ohio, will box for the first time since Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) beat him by unanimous decision in their 12-round, 135-pound title unification fight July 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Cuban-born, Las Vegas-based Barthelemy (27-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC) knocked out a journeyman in his one fight since Belarus’ Kiryl Relikh (23-2, 19 KOs) defeated him in their rematch for the then-vacant WBA world super lightweight title a year ago at Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio.
The Easter-Barthelemy bout will be contested for the WBA’s “world” lightweight title.
Barthelemy, 32, is the WBA’s No. 2-ranked contender for its true lightweight champion, Vasiliy Lomachenko. Easter, 28, is ranked No. 3 by the WBA among its 135-pound contenders.
Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) is scheduled to make a mandatory defense of the WBA’s “super” lightweight title against top-ranked challenger Anthony Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs) on April 12 at Staples Center. ESPN will air the Lomachenko-Crolla contest.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.