Perennial pound-for-pound star Mikey Garcia already made history back in March by becoming just the 17th man in boxing history to win a world title in four different weight classes, but now he's chasing a different kind of history when he faces Robert Easter Jr. on Saturday.
The fight, scheduled to headline Saturday's Showtime Championship Boxing telecast, will unify Garcia's WBC lightweight title and Easter's IBF lightweight title in the first 135-pound unification on Showtime since Jose Luis Castillo and Diego Corrales had their modern classic in 2005.
Since returning to the ring in two years back in 2016, Garcia had been on the path to return to the top of the boxing and has done it by winning a lightweight and junior welterweight world title in the span of 14 months. Needless to say, Garcia has re-emerged as one of boxing's biggest stars.
When Garcia defeated Sergey Lipinets to win the IBF junior welterweight title back in March, it was initially believed he would remain at 140-pounds, but decided to move back down to lightweight to fight Easter.
Garcia is arguably the sport's most well-rounded boxer, possessing an exceptional blend of speed, technique, power, footwork and fundamentals. Garcia has also never been one to say no to different challenges, a mentality that has gotten him to fight for a world title in four different weight classes, and even thinking of a move to welterweight at the end of the year to win a fifth world title. But first, he has to get by Easter.
Easter is the biggest opponent in Garcia's career, literally. Standing at 5'11", far taller than the average lightweight boxer, Easter won the IBF title back in 2016 with a very close split decision win over Richard Commey. Since then, he's defended his title three time, including a battle against former super featherweight world champion Javier Fortuna back in January.
The event will also mark the first time Garcia has fought in Los Angeles since 2011, making this fight a homecoming of sorts for Garcia as he will headline a boxing card at the Staples Center for the first time in his career.
The fight, as well as the return of heavyweight star Luis Ortiz, will be televised on Showtime. While the main broadcast will start at 10 p.m. ET, Showtime will stream select undercard fights on both the Showtime Boxing Facebook and Showtime Sports YouTube pages, including super featherweight prospect Fabian Maidana taking on Andrey Kilmov, and a six-round fight featuring super featherweight U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas.
Main Card (10 p.m. ET/Showtime):
- Mikey Garcia (WBC Champion) vs. Robert Easter Jr. (IBF Champion): WBC/IBF Lightweight Unification
- Luis Ortiz vs. Razvan Cojanu: Heavyweight bout
- Mario Barrios vs. Jose Roman: Junior Welterweight bout
Tale of the Tape:
- Record: 38-0 (30 KO)
- Age: 30 years old
- Height: 5'7"
- Reach: 68"
- World Titles Won: WBC lightweight, IBF junior welterweight, WBO super featherweight, WBO featherweight, Ring Magazine featherweight
- Notable Opponents: Sergey Lipinets, Adrien Broner, Dejan Zlaticanin, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Salido, Jonathan Victor Barros, Robinson Castellanos
Robert Easter Jr.:
- Record: 21-0 (17 KO)
- Age: 27 years old
- Height: 5'11"
- Reach: 76"
- World Titles Won: IBF lightweight title
- Notable Opponents: Richard Commey, Denis Shafikov, Javier Fortuna
Betting Odds: (Provided by Paddy Power)
- Mikey Garcia Win: 1/14
- Robert Easter Jr. Win: 7/1
- Fight Ends In A Draw: 25/1
- Mikey Garcia Win By Decision: 11/10
- Mikey Garcia Win By KO/TKO: 11/10
- Robert Easter Jr. Win By Decision: 16/1
- Robert Easter Jr. Win By KO/TKO: 11/1
Fightful will have live coverage of the entire card live from the Staples Center. Fightful previously spoke to both Garcia and Easter as well as promoter Richard Schaefer and you can read articles on those interviews at these links: Garcia, Easter, Schaefer.