Purses: Easter $150K, Cruz $40K, Warren $150K, Zhakiyanov $30k
By Jim Dower: IBF World lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. (18-0, 14 KOs) will be receiving a purse of $150,000 for his title defense tonight against Luis Cruz (22-4-1, 16 KOs) on Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce TV from the Huntington Center, in Toledo, Ohio.
Cruz will be getting $40,000 for his title challenge against Easter. It’s considerably less, but it’s not all that unexpected given that Cruz was picked as a voluntary challenger from the bottom of the International Boxing Federation’s rankings.
Easter Jr. has the perfect opponent for him to show off his power and skills. Cruz likes to trade power shots, and Easter Jr. is going to have a field day tonight in being able to land his big punches. This fight will be lucky if it makes it to the 6th round, because Easter is going to be loading up on his shots.
WBA Super World bantamweight champion Rau’shee Warren (14-1, 4 KOs) will be getting a purse of $150,000 in his defense against #1 WBA Zhanat Zhakiyanov (26-1, 18 KOs) in the co-feature bout. Zhakiyanov will be getting $30,000 for the fight. What’s interesting is that Warren is making the same amount as Easter Jr. in the main event. That’s the interesting part.
Warren did not look good in his last two fights against Juan Carlos Payano. He was beaten by him by a 12 round split decision in August 2015, and then he avenged the loss last year in June in winning a 12 round majority decision.
Payano didn’t look like anything special in terms of boxing skills and power. He was just able to out-punch the light hitting Warren to get the decision in their first fight in 2015. In their rematch last year, Payano looked tired and lethargic, and he lost the fight more for his lack of punches thrown than anything.
Zhakiyanov is going to make Warren earn his money tonight, because he’s going to be hitting him with massive shots. Zhakiyanov is from Kazakhstan like middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, and he punches above his weight. Zhakiyanov is very powerful.
Gerald Washingon plans on making Deontay Wilder pay if he showboats on February 25
Challenger Gerald Washington (18-0-1, 12 KOs) says he’s going to hit WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) in the face if he tries to showboat in their fight in two weeks from now on February 25 at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. Washington has noticed from watching Wilder’s past fights that he likes to showboat at times when he gets confident inside the ring. The 34-year-old Washington doesn’t play that. He’s not going to let Wilder showboat and taunt him during their fight. He’s going to nail him the first time Wilder starts acting cocky inside the ring.
“If Deontay showboats in the ring with me, I’m going to hit him in his mouth,” said Washington. “Deontay better take me seriously. Because I am real and I’m coming…Deontay has his opinion on if I’m ready, but everyone has certain tests in life they have to pass. I’m ready to test myself against the best…I’m not worried about Deontay’s knockouts. I’m going to take care of my business. I know what my job is and what my goal is. I’m putting my head down and getting to work.”
Washington, 6’7”, has the size to land his shots against the equally tall Wilder. The two fighters could make for a competitive match on February 25. Wilder is viewed by the boxing public as the better fighter of the two, but the jury is still out on him whether he’s got the talent to even beat someone like Washington. There hasn’t been a fight yet where Washington hasn’t dominated his opponent. He could get the better of Wilder.