Boxing Snippets

Champion v champion – live on SuperSport

Unification fights in boxing are rare occurrences. Rarer still is when both boxers are undefeated and near their peak.

This weekend, rival champions Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter jnr will clash in Los Angeles for the IBF and WBC lightweight titles with the action to be broadcast live on SuperSport 6 from 4am on Sunday.

Garcia is boxing royalty: along with Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, he’s one of only three modern era fighters to win titles at featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight and junior-welterweight. Garcia is a boxer-puncher who is smart and adapts easily. He’s a first-rate technician who has drawn comparisons with Alexis Arguello.

Easter, in turn, will have significant advantages in height and reach. He likes to attack the body and mixes up heavy punching – he has a deadly right hand – with smooth boxing. He will need every bit of ring smarts to outbox Garcia, who sets traps better than most.

“I’m not overlooking Robert Easter at all,” says Garcia. “I’m expecting the best Easter ever against me. He’s a terrific fighter. I’m glad to hear he’s training extra hard. It shows me that he’s motivated and hungry to show off his very best, just like I am.”

Already one of the most accomplished active fighters in the business, Garcia has a chance to burnish his reputation as one of the pound-for-pound best. Not that he cares.

“I don’t really pay attention to pound-for-pound rankings. What matters to me most is what the fans think of me and whether they give me that admiration and respect.

“I’m in the best shape physically and mentally that I’ve ever been in. I need to take advantage of the moment and take on the biggest challenges. I want to make the kind of fights everyone remembers.”

Easter predicts that he and Garcia could produce the best fight of the year.

“Garcia is a fundamentally sound guy, a skilful guy. Myself, I bring excitement to the game. People know I fight, I come to fight. Those styles clashing is going to bring a lot of excitement ahead. This is going to be one of those fights people will watch and vote for Fight of the Year,” said Easter.

“I’m definitely going to use the size advantage. In the last few fights I’ve been focusing a lot on my height and so we’re going to just work on boxing in this camp. None of his opponents has my style and the level of competition isn’t the same as well.”

Closer to home, IBO super-flyweight champion Gideon Buthelezi will make the fourth defence of his belt against Lucas Emanuel Fernandez Leone of Argentina in East London on Friday.

The action will be broadcast live on SS9 from 8pm.


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