As 2018 kicks off, there are a variety of appealing fights lined up already for the first quarter of the year.
If you are looking for action in the welterweight class, fights like Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios and Errol Spence vs. Lamont Peterson are sure to entertain. And while we may not be seeing the heavyweight title duel between champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder right away, it’s good to know that each man has a quality opponent lined up; Wilder faces former WBA heavyweight champion Luis Ortiz on March 3 while it looks like Joshua will be meeting WBO champion Joseph Parker in late March.
In addition to those aforementioned bouts, we very well could be seeing Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin again on May 5, and there are other stars and champions such as Jorge Linares, Mikey Garcia, Oleksandr Usyk, Gilberto Ramirez, Miguel Berchelt, Kell Brook, Sergey Kovalev, and many more fighting in the coming months.
One man with any important assignment is IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr., who faces off with former champion Javier Fortuna on the Spence vs. Peterson undercard. The match is set to take place on Jan. 20th from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The Easter vs. Fortuna matchup is an interesting one, but the Ohio-born champion should be favored to win, based on his improvement as a champion, as well as his advantages in size and reach.
But if Easter is to be successful, what could be on tap for him the rest of the year? One of the sport’s rising champions, Easter is a colorful character and deserves to be in some big fights.
But at 135 pounds, despite all of the great talent, it seems that Easter may be without a high-profile opponent for the moment. The division’s WBC champion, Mikey Garcia, is scheduled for a Feb. 10 fight vs. IBF junior weltterweight champion Sergey Lipinets, and after that he has expressed interest in an unification vs. WBA champion Jorge Linares.
Former WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan was an interesting option, but he recently moved up in weight, and will now be facing off with undefeated Maurice Hooker for the vacant WBO junior welterweight title.
So who may Easter face this year in a big match? How about former IBF junior lightweight champion Gervonta Davis? It’s not a fight that is always discussed, but one that could be interesting for several reasons.
For one, Easter’s promoter, Adrien Broner of About Billions Promotions, got into a little bit of an online scuffle with Davis last year, as the Baltimore-born Davis called for a future showdown at 140 pounds with Broner, from Cincinnati.
At the time, as the two men were taking to Instagram to address one another, Broner suggested Davis face off with his fighter, Robert Easter Jr., instead. Time went by, Broner and Davis reconciled, and talk of such a fight died down.
But it could possibly be a great matchup. For one, we saw Davis lose his title this past August when he came in overweight for a defense vs. Francisco Fonseca on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor undercard. Davis, who won via TKO via Fonseca, claims he is still going to compete at 130 pounds, but a move up north seems inevitable.
And if Davis were to move up to the lightweight division later this year, Easter stands as a great opponent. It would be a matchup between two fighters on the rise. Easter is a boxer-puncher who controls distance and knows how to mix it up as well.
Davis is one of the most explosive fighters in the sport, and his unorthodox style is hard to figure out. Would he be able to chop Easter down or would he have too much trouble on his hands trying to figure out how to handle a champion in a new weight class?
Don’t be surprised if talk of this fight again comes up later this year.