Easter Jr. takes on Barthelemy for a vacant secondary lightweight title this weekend.
As former lightweight titleholder Robert Easter Jr. (21-1, 14 KOs) looks to bounce back from his first professional defeat to Mikey Garcia last year, Easter Jr. says he’s taking things back to the basics as he tries to rebuild.
Easter would follow Adrien Broner’s lead and move his training camp to Florida under the guidance of Kevin Cunningham for the Garcia fight, but has since taken things back home to Ohio with his father along with trainer Mike Stafford. Easter says his loss to Garcia has only made him a hungrier fight, and that he’s now looking to improve on his fundamentals as he tries to work his way back to a major world title.
“You have to get better, so I went back to the drawing board. I went back to strength and conditioning. I had to get stronger. I felt like I wasn’t that strong in that fight. But I’m not going to make no excuses. Garcia is a hell of a champion. He was the better man that night. He gave me my first defeat, but I went back to the drawing board and worked on perfecting the basics of boxing. I need to use my reach and my height better.”
Standing roughly 6 feet tall with a 76” reach, Easter is incredibly tall and rangy for a lightweight. That in and of itself should provide him with a major inherent advantage against other lightweights who are usually much smaller than him, but Easter has shown an inability to keep fights at his most beneficial range. This has allowed other fighters to get in and land more clean shots than they probably should against Easter, which probably represents the single biggest hole in his game.
Whether or not Easter has been able to sufficiently improve in that area is something that remains to be seen, but we’ll at least get a glimpse of that this weekend when he takes on Rances Barthelemy (27-1, 14 KOs) this Saturday on Showtime.