LOS ANGELES – Mikey Garcia had won world titles in four weight classes, topping the box-pound-by-pound list and positioning himself for a series of major bouts. But one thing had escaped him – a unification fight.
Until Saturday night, that is, when he put on a dominant feat to drop Robert Easter Jr. and easily challenge him to consolidate two 135-pound world titles before a vengeful crowd of 12,560 at the Staples Center.
Garcia won on the scorecards 118-109, 117-110 and 116-111 in a fight in which he knocked down Easter in the third round. ESPN also scored the fight for Garcia 118-109 in the 10th lightweight title-winning fight in history and first since Juan Manuel Marquez defeated Juan Diaz in the fight of 2009.
The last time Luis "King Kong" Ortiz fought, he was the one who was knocked out. This time the heavyweight title contender made quick work of Razvan Cojanu.
Garcia has won world titles in featherweight, junior, lightweight and in February outout Sergey Lipinets for a junior welterweight belt, to join only the legends Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez winning titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140 lbs.
But Garcia quickly cleared the 140-pound belt of it to return to lightweight for the possibility of uniting against Easter, who made his fourth title defense. Garcia defended his title defense 18 months ago by strengthening Dejan Zlaticanin in the third round in January 2017 with a highlight reel knockout.
Some wondered if he could make the weight more comfortable after the defeat Two junior welterweight bouts in a row, but he showed strong and fast against Easter.
Easter, in his first fight with new head coach Kevin Cunningham, showed exactly what his game plan would be from the opening bell, which was to use his 8-inch lead to keep Garcia at the bottom of his jab and also to the Body to go what he did effectively earlier.
Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs), 30, of Moreno Valley, California, picked up the pace in the second round when he tried to populate the larger Easter and work it from the inside, but Easter (21- 1, 14 KOs), 27, of Toledo, Ohio, could keep him largely in check with his jab.
But he could not continue this for the duration of the fight. Garcia had a very good third round and it got even better when he got in touch with a three-stroke combination – Jab, right hand, left hook – that left Easter with a few seconds. He defeated the count, but made a few more shots when the round ended.
Garcia continued in the fourth round, forcing Easter back and revising him with a selection of combinations. As the fight continued, the steam at Easter's Jab weakened and he became a more stationary target for Garcia to work on it.
Garcia continued nonstop and bounced off with Jabs and right hands against Easter, who went into full retreat mode in the eighth mode. The ninth round brought the crowd to their feet as they sustained hard blows during a lengthy and fierce exchange in which Garcia landed some painful left hooks on Easter's body as Easter forced his left hand in the middle as the crowd "Mikey! Mikey! Mikey "chanted!
Garcia struck easter on the tenth round, hurling his head back with flush jabs and forcing him to the ropes, before hauling up the combinations that were unlikely to get any punches at Easter, in the eleventh round Similarly, as Easter stayed on the ropes for a long time and was punished.
After the eleventh round, Robert Garcia, Mikey & # 39; s trainer and brother, said he should not do anything stupid in the last round and while he was not doing anything stupid, took he did it at Easter and landed cleaner punches, while Easter showed no urgency.