By Jeff Aronow: Former IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr and Ryan ‘Blue Chip’ Martin have reportedly agreed to a fight at light welterweight on the undercard of Adrien Broner’s next fight on Showtime on February 13th. Mike Coppinger first on the news of the Easter Jr vs. Martin bout being agreed on.
It’s a good match-up for the 29-year-old Easter (22-1-1, 14 KOs), who will be fighting for the second time at 140 since moving up in weight in October 2019.
That was a fight against Adrian Granados that Easter Easter Jr easily won by a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision. Easter Jr will be fighting for the first time in 16 months, as he was inactive in 2020.
Like a lot of fighters, the pandemic got in the way of Easter staying busy last year. Taking on the 27-year-old Martin will give Easter a good start to 2021, provided he wins.
Easter lost his IBF lightweight title to Mikey Garcia in losing a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in July 2018. He had held that belt since 2016, when he beat Richard Commey.
After Easter’s loss to Mikey, he fought to a 12 round draw against Rances Barthelemy in April 2019. That was the last time Easter fought at 135.
It will be difficult for Easter Jr to become a major player at 140, as he lacks punching power for the weight class. He’ll be fine as long as he doesn’t go up against the power-hitters in the division in Regis Prograis, Josh Taylor, and Jose Ramirez. Even someone like Jose Zepeda and Ivan Baranchyk might be too much for Easter Jr to handle.
Ryan ‘Blue Chip’ Martin (24-1, 14 KOs) will be chasing his third consecutive victory since being stopped in the seventh round by Josh Taylor in the World Boxing Super Series 140-pound tournament in November 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.
“Sources: Robert Easter Jr. and Ryan Martin have agreed to a 140-pound bout on Feb. 13 on the Showtime undercard of his friend Adrien Broner’s return. Easter, a former titleholder at 135 pounds, is coming off a victory over Adrian Granados,” said @MikeCoppinger.
Going into that fight, many boxing fans thought Martin would give the 2012 Olympian Taylor problems, but it was soon made clear that he wasn’t in the same league as him.
Martin froze in the spotlight, failing to let his hands go and letting Taylor work him over with shots to the head and body.
When the fight was finally stopped in the seventh round, it was a relief to some boxing fans, as it wasn’t even sporting. Martin didn’t belong in there with a fighter of Taylor’s class, and you got to second guess his management’s decision for putting him in the WBSS tourney.
In Ryan’s two fights since the Taylor fight, he’s beaten Carlos Winston Velasquez and Levinson Herrera. Those were similar low-level fighters that Ryan had fought before he met up with Josh Taylor.
In the main event on Showtime on February 13th, former four-division world champion Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs) will be fighting a still to be determined opponent. Broner, 31, was supposed to be fighting Pedro Campa, but he had to pull out of the fight.
One possibility for Broner is 33-year-old Juan Jose Velasco (22-2, 14 KOs), who has been in there with Regis Prograis and Mario Barrios.
Both fighters knocked out the Argentinian Velasco, but he would be an excellent warm-up fight for Broner, as he hasn’t fought in two years and hasn’t won a fight in four years.
Broner has let his career sink since moving up to 147 in 2013, and he can’t afford to take on a decent opponent right now.
In two years out of the ring, Broner put on a lot of weight, and he’s still trimming down. He says lost almost 40 pounds but still needs to lose even more.
Broner posted a video on social media of one of his typical meals this week, and it was shocking at little food he’s eating. That’s another reason why it’s important that Broner not take on someone a little too good right away because he’s not ready for a world-class fighter at 140.