Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter Jr. have agreed to square off on July 28 to unify the lightweight boxing titles.
Garcia and Easter will meet from the Staples Center in Los Angeles with the WBC and IBF belts up for grabs live on Showtime.
“Showtime Sports continues to lead the industry with the biggest events, the most important matchups, week after week, month after month,” said Stephen Espinoza, President Sports & Events Programming, Showtime Network Inc. “Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr. is the third world championship unification match on Showtime this year. A consensus top-10 pound-for-pound champion facing an undefeated young champion while both are in the prime of their careers. July 28 has all the makings of an instant classic.”
Easter will have an eight-inch reach advantage in the bout, as Garcia attempts to become the unified champion for the first time in his career that has already seen him win titles in four different weight classes.
Garcia (38-0) has scored 30 career knockouts, including winning belts at 126, 130, 135 and 140 pounds, joining Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao as the only fighters to do so. He claimed the IBF 140-pound belt in March with a win over Sergey Lipinets, vacating that title to defend his unified WBC lightweight belt.
“This is the toughest fight of my career to date,” said the four-division champion Garcia. “Robert Easter Jr. is an undefeated world champion who presents serious challenges that I’m going to have to work hard to overcome. Unifying titles is something I’ve dreamed of doing for many years, and to do it at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles will make it even more special. This is the kind of fight that will help my legacy. To be the best you have to beat the best, and Easter is certainly one of the best out there. I’m very thankful to have this opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it on July 28.”
Easter (21-0) has finished 14 of his 21 career opponents. He has defended his title three times, including a win over Richard Commey two years ago. The 27-year-old has moved to train with Kevin Cunningham for this fight.
“This is a fight I’ve been waiting for and I’m really excited that the time is now,” said Easter. “This is the best fighting the best. These are the fights that boxing is all about. I made the move to train with Kevin Cunningham down in Florida and I think it’s going to help me reach another level. It’s just eat, sleep and train down there. We’re going to be ready on July 28 to put on a show and deliver fireworks.”