Easter Jr. vs. Cruz brings in huge ratings on Bounce TV
By Jim Dower: Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce TV brought in over 1.5 million viewers to see IBF World lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. (19-0, 14 KOs) successfully defend his IBF title in beating Luis Cruz (22-5-1, 16 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision from the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.
The ratings for the fight were through the roof, and quite unexpected to some, as Easter Jr. is not a huge star as of yet with the casual boxing fans in the U.S. Easter Jr. fought like a star with him knocking down Cruz three times in fight in winning an easy 12 round decision.
PBC is smart to have their top fighters like the 26-year-old Easter Jr. have his fights televised on free television like Bounce TV.
It gives the casual boxing fans an opportunity to see some rare boxing without having to pay to see the fights on the premium channels like HBO and Showtime.
Easter Jr. is a very talented fighter with a bright future ahead of him. He wants to unify the lightweight division by beating Mikey Garcia, Jorge Linares and Terry Flanagan.
The most exciting fight on the card was the bantamweight clash between WBA World champion Rau’shee Warren (14-2, 4 KOs) and the Ricky Hatton trained fighter Zhanat Zhakiyanov (27-1, 18 KOs). Warren lost the fight by a 12 round split decision, although most boxing fans felt that Zhakiyanov did more than enough to win a 12 round unanimous decision. Zhakiyanov showed off a lot of punching power in landing some big shots during the fight. Zhakiyanov was knocked down twice in round 1, and barely escaped the round without getting knocked out. If Warren had kept throwing flurries when round 2 started, he would have had a great chance of knocking. Warren slowed down after the 1st round. He started to hold and lost his chance to knock Zhakiyanov out.
Warren didn’t have the punching power to stay in the pocket to fight the hard hitting Kazakhstan fighter Zhakiyanov. Warren did try his best to win the fight but a bloody nose seemed to hamper his efforts. Warren wasn’t able to fight as har as he otherwise would due to the constant flow of blood from his right nostril. The blood seemed to cause the 29-year-old Warren problems with his breathing.
Also on the card, unbeaten middleweight contender Terrell Gausha (20-0, 9 KOs) put in a good effort in defeating Luis Hernandez 15-4, 8 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision.