By Tom Donelson (BWAA)
Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America
Last weekend, Mikey Garica faced Robert Easter to unify portions of the lightweight title as two undefeated fighters faced off. Easter provided a unique challenge as his reach and heights provided obstacles to the smooth boxing Garcia. Garcia is a boxing technician with power but he needed to figure out how to get under the Easter’s reach.
Easter jab dominated the pace of the first two rounds as he used his height and reach to control the real estate between the two. Garcia had very few success in penetrating Easter defense and lost the first two rounds.
The third round saw the fight changed as Garcia managed to land his own jab to counter the taller Easter’s jabbing strategy. A right hand cross followed by left hook by Garcia sent Easter to the canvas and Garcia drew first blood.
Easter jabbing allowed him to take back the fourth round but by the fifth round, Garcia found the range he had the third round. From this point, Garcia dominated the action as he consistently used his jab to penetrate Easter defenses before landing combinations.
Garcia continued to land solid shots against Easter in the seventh round and when Easter used foot movement to find new angles to hit Garcia but all to no avail. The ninth round saw both fighters unload but it was Garcia who connected on the harder punches.
Garcia dominated the final three rounds and come up with a unanimous decision, 116-111, 117-110, and 118-109. I had it 117-110 with Easter winning the first two rounds and the fourth round but the rest was Garcia and the third round was a 10-8 round.
Garcia talked about fighting Spence, Jr. and I understand Spence, Jr. and Garcia both wanting this fight as it is a big fight with two undefeated fighters. Spence Jr. is waiting for the winner of Porter-Garcia which could be in early 2019. Thurman is still recovering and as Spence Jr. noted, Thurman will have a tune up. Note the one fighter that Spence Jr. is not talking about is Terrance Crawford, who is not only undefeated but holds a portion of the Welterweight title. This is one of those political/business decision intervening as Spence is a Premier Championship boxer along with most of the Welterweight contenders but Crawford is not. Plus Crawford is a threat to Spence, Jr. so Spence is aiming for Garcia.
Note that Garcia is not challenging Vasyl Lomachenko to unify the lightweight title. Both fighters are undefeated and it would be a more logical fight so why not? I don’t see Garcia beating Spence Jr. since he has to move up 12 pounds and skip a weight division. Garcia would be better fighting Lomachenko and Spence better fighting Crawford. Both would be competitive fights and right for the division they are in.
Dillian Whyte won a big heavyweight fight in England as he defeated former champion Joseph Parker. Whyte sent Parker down twice, first in the second round and in the ninth round. The first may have been a result of a clash of head but ruled a knockdown and the second was a nicely placed left counter. In the twelfth round, Parker nearly had his miracle as he was down on all cards going in final round. Parker sent Whyte down but not out and while Whyte was fighting on instinct at the end, he managed to survive to win his decision. He has won eight straight since losing to Joshua three years ago and now he wants another shot.
Eddie Hearn, manager of the key heavyweights, wants Deontay Wilder to fight against either Dillian Whyte or Dereck Chisora while Whyte wants a rematch with Joshua. So the dance toward Joshua-Wilder begins. Why we are talking next April for a possible Wilder-Joshua fight? I have no clue since this fight can be made before the end of this year!