[Written by Terrence Hinds Jr.]
SETTING THE SCENE
This Saturday Mikey Garcia will fight Robert Easter Jr. in a fight that will unify the IBF & WBC Lightweight titles. This fight has been a long time in the making and fight fans can finally rejoice that we will not have to wait any longer to see the match up. The fight is definitely an interesting one! It pits Mikey's pure boxing fundamental 1-2-3 style against Robert's length, reach and athleticism. The style clash should provide us an extremely entertaining fight.
Mikey Garcia is coming off a Unanimous Decision victory over the previously undefeated Sergey Lipinets to earn his fourth belt in his fourth different weight class. Mikey displayed excellent punching power and positioning, dropping Lipinets for the first time in his career in the 7th round with a perfect counter left hook. It was simply a textbook performance from a textbook fighter.
Check out the Mikey Garcia vs. Sergey Lipinets highlights below.
Robert Easter Jr. on the other hand is coming off of a controversial split decision victory over Javier Fortuna. A fight that really could have went either way. Much to the surprise of the general boxing public Easter elected to battle Fortuna inside instead of using his supreme height and reach advantages. It was a risky move as Fortuna was able to hit him with some pretty solid shots during the fight. I personally believe that Fortuna did just enough to edge the victory myself, but at the end of the day that no longer matters. Easter was able to escape with the victory which has now set up this spectacular match up in the lightweight division.
BREAKDOWN & PREDICTION
There is just no way that this fight will not be entertaining. These two fighters have very similar styles in my opinion. They both like to be first in their attack, and they both like to come forward for the most part. The only outlier of course is the fact that Easter is five inches taller, and will have an eight inch reach advantage.
If you had to draw up a game plan on paper for Easter to prevail you would obviously tell him to try to fight on the outside, and utilize that reach and height advantage to keep Mikey at bay. I just don't believe that Easter has the focus, and attention to detail to fight like that for a full 12 rounds. This is where I give the advantage to Mikey Garcia. I believe that his excellent footwork, fundamentals, and ring IQ is far superior to that of Robert Easter's.
I believe Mikey will be able to find a way inside of Easter's reach and should be able to deal some serious damage. As previously stated Javier Fortuna was able to land some pretty solid shots on Easter, Yea yea I know Fortuna was a way more awkward fighter than Mikey but I still think there were aspects of that fight that Mikey will take advantage of.
I predict that Mikey Garcia takes care of business Saturday night. He'll win by decision 116-111. I also predict that he will knock Easter down at least once during the bout. The win will make Mikey Garcia a unified champion and should set up some more HUGE fights as a result.