IBF lightweight title challenger Javier Fortuna will have a tough fight ahead of him, but he's more than happy getting to compete and be the underdog.
Fortuna spoke about his upcoming fight against IBF champion Robert Easter Jr. in a conference call Fightful took part in and said he loves being the underdog because he thrives more with pressure. Fortuna said was the underdog in a 2016 fight against Omar Douglas and pulled out the win so the pressure that comes with fighting Easter is not uncharted territory.
"That does motivate me much more. It gives me the opportunity to concentrate that much more. I've been the underdog a few times. Like the Omar Douglas fight, I surprised everybody in his hometown. I would have liked for this fight to be in Ohio. That would have been much better for me because I perform better under pressure," Fortuna said.
The former two-division world champion gave some minor critiques of Easter's last two performances, both title defenses, and said Easter should fare better against Fortuna. Otherwise, Fortuna believes he'll win the fight within five rounds.
"I figure he'll be a little better now because if he comes the way he fought his last fight, he won't reach the fifth round. He's got to reinvent himself because if he doesn't, he won't go far," Fortuna said.
Fortuna will be fighting Easter in Easter's third title defense on the Showtime Championship Boxing card taking place at the Barclays Center on January 20. The fight will be the co-main event to the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Lamont Peterson IBF welterweight title fight.