Mikey Garcia defeats Robert Easter Jr. – Results
By Dan Ambrose: WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) had a much harder time than expected in defeating previously unbeaten IBF lightweight belt holder Robert Easter Jr. (21-1, 14 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night in their unification fight on Showtime Boxing at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Garcia was trying too hard to land the perfect shot all night long rather than letting his hands go to throw combinations like he should have been doing. Being economical with his punches isn’t going to work when Garcia steps it up against IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs) or WBA lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko.
The judges’ scores were 116-111, 117-110 and 118-109. Boxing News 24 scored it for Garcia by the score 116-111. This was Garcia’s second consecutive less than impressive performance following a close win over former light welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets last March.
In that fight too, Garcia won by scores that were wider than the fight that took place inside the ring. Garcia beat Lipinets, but not by the wide scores turned in by the three judges. Tonight, Garcia looked slow on his feet, easy to hit and unable to dominate a fighter that he needed to for him to be considered as an opponent for IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. or WBA lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko.
Garcia, 30, knocked Easter Jr. down with a left hook to the head in the 3rd round. Other than that, there wasn’t much fireworks in the fight. Mikey was too economical with his punches during the fight to make it really interesting. Part of the problem for Mikey is he had such a hard time getting to Easter Jr. to land his economical shots. The former four division world champion Garcia would have to wade through Easter’s jabs before he could get close enough to land his shots.
The 5’11” Easter’s jab gave Mikey headaches all night long, as he was forced to try and walk through the shot each time he wanted to land a punch, and it was hard for him to do.
Now that Mikey is stepping it up a level, he’s no longer dominating like he used to when he was fighting limited guys like Dejan Zlaticanin, Adrien Broner, Elio Rojas, Juan Carlos Burgos, Roman Martinez and a shot Juan Manuel Lopez. Lomachenko looked a lot better recently in stopping former WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares in the 10th round compared to how Mikey looked in losing 4 to 5 rounds to Easter and looking less than remarkable.
This performance by Mikey doesn’t give one confidence that he can beat IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. when the time comes for them to face other. If Mikey doesn’t take the fight with Spence after all the comments he made about wanting to fight him, it’s going to make him look really bad in the eyes of the boxing fans. But if Mikey does take the fight with Spence, he’s likely going to get knocked out.
Losing four or five rounds to Easter Jr. is a sign that Mikey doesn’t belong inside the ring with Spence, who fights two divisions above the lightweight division and has much more punching power and size. With all the talking Garcia did about wanting to fight Spence, if he doesn’t take the fight now, then the boxing fans are going to think he’s chickening out now that his fight against Easter is done with. I don’t think for a second that Mikey can beat Spence after the way he looked against Easter Jr.
Mikey Garcia looks too small for the lightweight division. In looking at how soft Mikey’s physique was tonight, he could lose weight and perform at a higher level at super featherweight or featherweight.
For Mikey’s sake, he needs to not take the fight with Spence because he could get badly hurt by him. Spence, 5’9 ½” has too much size for Mikey to deal with.
The best victory on Mikey’s resume at lightweight is Easter Jr., and it’s likely that Jorge Linares and Lomachenko would do a better job of defeating Easter tonight than Garcia did.