In what was an open secret in boxing's lightweight division, WBC titleholder Mikey Garcia will seek to unify titles when he faces IBF champion Robert Easter Jr.
Garcia announced on Showtime that he would face Easter Jr. in a unification bout on July 28 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The fight is expected to headline a Showtime Championship Boxing broadcast from the venue. Below is Garcia's tweet announcing the fight as well.
News of the fight was expected for weeks, especially when Garcia vacated the IBF junior welterweight title after initially winning it back in March. When Garcia vacated the IBF 140-pound title to keep his WBC 135-pound title, the WBC said the two were negotiating a unification bout. Garcia was initially ordered to fight then-WBA champion Jorge Linares, who owned the WBC Diamond belt, but the fight was no longer viable at the moment after Linares lost his title to Vasiliy Lomachenko back in May.
Easter Jr. has held the IBF title since 2016, defeating Richard Commey by split decision to win the then-vacant title. Easter Jr. has made three successful title defenses, most recently fighting on the January 20 Showtime Championship Boxing card in Brooklyn, New York. On that card, Easter Jr. defeated Javier Fortuna by split decision to retain his title in a fight that saw Fortuna miss weight the day before the fight.