LOS ANGELES – Mikey Garcia said he would not look past Robert Easter Jr., but he also made it clear that the fight he really wanted was with Errol Spence Jr. He could get his wish soon.
The WBC lightweight champion defended his title while earning Easter's IBF title with a dominant achievement en route to a unanimous Saturday's main event victory ahead of 12.560 at the Staples Center.
It was a homecoming for Oxnard, California. Grown-up Garcia, who had not fought since June 4, 201
The victory comes just over a year after Garcia sorts out friend and mentor Adrien Broner. If Broner had any tips on how to fight Garcia, they certainly did not come to fruition that night.
After a poor start, with Easter (21-1) using his 6-0 frame and 8-inch Reach advantage to keep his opponent in check, Garcia quickly got his bearings and methodically went his bigger Enemies down. As each minute passed Garcia moved closer and closer until he was in range.
In the third round, Garcia cut off a left hook that dropped Easter and seriously injured him. Although it was not Easter, it was clear that he underestimated Garcia's power and spent the middle rounds surviving rather than fighting.
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Garcia brilliantly managed to cut off the escape routes of Easter and hold him to the ropes while he made power shots on the Head landed and body.
On the scorecards, Easter changed its approach and fought fire with fire. A wildly entertaining ninth round saw both fighters share their moments. Easter landed a left hand, which seemed to numb Garcia and followed with a burst of punches. Garcia survived the storm and fired right back, wrapping a left hook around Easter's gloves and tearing shots at the body.
Garcia controlled what was left of the fight and went to 116-111, 117-110 and 118-109. During his post-fight interview, Garcia immediately turned to welterweight champion Spence, an opponent he has been focusing on for some time.
"I'm here for the biggest challenges," said Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs). "I do not know if there is anyone more challenging than Errol Spence, I know he will fight anyone, so let it happen."
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Spence is literally the biggest challenge for Garcia, considering he's a 147-pounder, easily at 154 Pound could compete. Garcia began his career as a featherweight and has fought up to 140 pounds. He would clearly be the lesser fighter in a matchup and there are questions as to whether he can handle Spence's power, not to mention that Spence is recognized as the future of boxing with a unique combination of size, speed, power and technical ability.
None of this is important to Garcia, who has played most of his career as a favorite and is interested in what it looks like as an underdog.
"I feel like I have the strength and the skills to compete in every division up to welterweight," Garcia said, "He's the toughest welterweight guy so I want to face him"
Spence However, with Danny Garcia facing Shawn Porter in September for the WBC title, which Keith Thurman vacated because of an injury, Terence Crawford, who is fighting on a rival network and a promotion, and the fact that nobody knows When Thurman will be ready to fight, Spence is in a no man's land of sorts.
For that reason, Spence is certainly interested in the prospect of facing a pound-for-pound fighter.
"I want this fight," Spence said during the Showtime broadcast. "I feel like the best fight for me now is with Shawn and Danny fighting in September and Keith Thurman is still recovering and in need of improvement."
Spence does not mind the size difference.
"He dares to be big," Spence continued, "He wants to be great, he wants to come forward and dethrone me and it will not happen."
Spence also said Garcia was a "lighter Fight, but praised Garcia's ability. Ultimately, Spence says, its size would be too much if and when the two enter the ring.
"I really do not see anything that concerns me," he said. "He's technically good, but I do not see him hurting me with 147."
With both fighters aiming for a date in December, it seems as though the boxing world will get a huge showdown between two of the best in the sport.