In an electrifying fight in front of 12,560 fans at the Staples Center on Saturday , Mikey Garcia became the tenth lightweight champion to unify the division with a unanimous decision against Robert Easter Jr.
Driven- Mikey Garcia
Immediately afterward, he publicly revealed that his sights are set on fighting another emerging great, Errol Spence Jr.
“I’m here for the biggest challenges,” said the 30 year old Garcia, who unified a title for the first time in his career. “I don’t know if there is anyone that is a bigger challenge than Errol Spence. I know he’s up to fight everyone so let’s make it happen. I think it can be made. I think that’s the next big fight coming up.”
Recap of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’s July 28th card headlined by Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr.
The judges scored the fight 118-109, 117-110, 116-111, allowing the four-division world champion Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) – who was fighting in his native Southern California for the first time in seven years – to keep his 135-pound WBC title and also claim Easter’s IBF Lightweight belt
“I feel I have the power and the skill set to compete in any division up to welterweight. [Spence is] the toughest guy at welterweight, so I want to face him,” Garcia said.
He scored a knockdown in the third round against Easter (21-1, 14 KOs), who was sent to the canvas for just the second time in his career. A strong right jab put Easter out of position, immediately followed by a devastating left hook that sent him down with 24 seconds remaining in the round.
As the fight progressed, like a true elite fighter, Garcia got better. In the final four rounds, he out-landed Easter 95-34 in total punches and ended the bout being the more active fighter, throwing 555 punches to Easter’s 507. He connected on nearly 40 percent of his power shots while Easter landed at a 24 percent clip.
“It’s a great accomplishment being here in L.A.,” Garcia said. “I was in control most of the fight, and I did what I had to do. I knew he was a tough opponent. He’s a tough warrior. He gave a great fight but I was a better fighter. I was in control of the fight and I did what I had to do to win.”
Easter, who entered the fight as the longest reigning champion at 135 pounds, went into Garcia’s locker room after the fight to congratulate him and was more than gracious in defeat.
Errol Spence Jr. talks potential welterweight title defense against challenger Mikey Garcia.
“Whenever we step in the ring, we are both putting our lives on the line and tonight Mikey was victorious,” said Easter. “I just couldn’t find the timing and I just couldn’t let my right hand go. He caught me with a clean shot and I went down, but I got up like a true champion.”
Fellow top-five pound-for-pound great Spence said that he would welcome a fight with Garcia.
“I feel like that’s the best fight available for me right now with Shawn [Porter] and Danny [Garcia] fighting in September,” said Spence. “Keith Thurman is still recovering and needs a tune-up.”
Garcia is quietly becoming one of the best boxers ever and the challenges still awaiting him are limitless.