Moments ago at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California, multi-division world champion Mikey Garcia dropped former champion Robert Easter Jr. on his way to a unanimous decision victory. With the victory, Garcia unified the WBC and the IBF lightweight titles. To his credit, for the majority of the fight, Easter stuck to the game plan of using his height and reach to his advantage, jabbing from the outside while using movement to keep his distance. Garcia, however, was able to use his timing to catch Easter with the more powerful shots, one of which dropped the previously undefeated champion in round 3.
Despite the knockdown, Easter was able to shake it off and get back to his plan of firing the jab. Although the fight was close in the middle rounds, you got the sense that Garcia was starting to take over as he pressed forward and continued to find a home for his heavy shots. In the 9th round, Easter made the mistake of standing his ground, which allowed Garcia to land a volume of punches that were beginning to take their toll. It was becoming clear that Easter would need more than a jab if he hoped to pull of the victory. In the championship rounds, Garcia asserted his dominance, blasting through the guard with 1-2's as Easter could do little but survive the distance behind his jab. In the end, the judges scored the bout 116-111, 117-110, 118-109 all in favor of Mikey Garcia.
[ Follow Ben Thompson on Twitter @fighthype ]