The former world lightweight champion begins his run at junior welterweight versus the dangerous Adrian Granados Saturday night on SHOWTIME.
As a lightweight, Robert Easter Jr. (21-1-1, 14 KOs), was a freakishly tall fighter who walked his opponents down with two-fisted power. In 2016, he annexed the IBF 135-pound title with a victory over current champion Richard Commey in one of the year’s best fights.
Easter now aims to become a two-division champion as he enters the 140-pound division. Only this time, he plans to do so with his boxing skills instead of getting drawn into wars.
This Saturday, Easter faces Adrian Granados (20-7-2, 14 KOs), a man who like himself, has fought some of the best fighters in the world and isn’t afraid to throw hands and make it a brawl. The bout serves as the co-feature on a PBC on SHOWTIME card (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT), live from Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Easter, 28, has spent the past few months fine-tuning his game. On Saturday night, he aims to show the world a new and improved fighter.
How do you plan to fight Adrian Granados?
Pretty much just boxing, you know, I’ve had a career of banging. I’m trying to get away from that. So yeah, pretty much just boxing. I’m used to just sitting down and going for the kill. But you’ve got to learn to adjust to different styles, so I’m trying more boxing.
Is it hard to return to that aggressive style following your tough fight with Mikey Garcia?
Not really, it’s natural. It’s not like I always trained to go in banging, it just happened in my fights. But I’ve got to learn to keep my composure and keep fighting my fight. Keep boxing.
What’s it like training with Adrien Broner and Gervonta Davis? Did Broner give you any pointers for this fight?
Yeah, he gave me a few pointers, told me a few things about him from when he fought [Granados]. A.B. pretty much just told me to keep boxing and use my reach. In the gym, we’re real competitive. We learn from and feed off of each other. All of us are world champions or former world champions, so we grind together and keep each other motivated. Me and AB even used to spar when we were coming up
You and Rances Barthelemy fought to a draw last April.
It was two counter punchers, not much action. I felt I edged that fight out, along with a lot of other people. But it was left in the judge’s hands, and that’s not what I want to do anymore. I really don’t have too much to say about that fight, it is what it is. Stylistically I’m a boxer, a counter puncher and he’s a counter puncher. That’s why it didn’t have much action.
Being that he’s fought as high as welterweight, do you feel like Granados is the bigger man in this fight?
No, not really. I’m pretty sure he walks around at a certain weight and has to come down just like myself. I get pretty big sometimes too. I wouldn’t think just because he fought at welterweight that he’s bigger. I don’t believe so.
“ This fight I’ll get to show more of those skills. ” Former World Lightweight Champion - Robert Easter Jr.
What will be the difference for you at a 140 pounds?
I wasn’t killing myself to make 135, but it was just that making the weight and having to take muscle off—I felt it did take something out of me. It wasn’t hard making the weight, it was just cutting the muscle off to make the weight, that was one of the reasons why I moved up. So, it’ll just be about feeling a lot more comfortable and stronger in the ring. I believe I’ll be more comfortable at this weight than at 135.
Who does Robert Easter want to fight the most at 140?
It’s not any particular fighter I want to fight the most, I’m just aiming for all the champions. All the champions who have all the belts, in no particular order. After I take care of business on October 26th, we can talk about that after.
Which KO of yours would you tell fans to look up on YouTube if they wanted to see you at your best?
My signature fight was the (Argenis) Mendez fight. I’d tell them to look that one up (laughs). Actually, the Mendez fight was the best performance in my career. A lot of people say it’s the (Richard) Commey fight, but I think it was the Mendez fight, right before the title fight with Commey.
You’ve been a champion before, so what are your goals now in boxing?
Stay healthy, there’s been a lot of deaths. Rest in Peace to Patrick Day. I just want to stay focused and stay healthy, so I’ll be able to get out of the ring, see my family and have a good future.
Who are some of your favorite fighters, past or present?
I have quite a few. Pernell Whitaker, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, James Toney and of course Muhammad Ali. I study all type of fighters, I can’t even name them all. I study a lot of old school fighters as well, and a lot of current favorite fighters as well like Adrien Broner, Gervonta Davis, Errol Spence and Marcus Browne. I like fighters like that. Riddick Bowe, that’s another one.
How do you see your fight with Adrian Granados playing out this Saturday?
I’ve been working a lot on my craft so either way it goes, it’s going to go my way. That’s what I train for, I train to adjust. I’ll make adjustments to whatever fight style he has and I’ll bring the action. This is a guy who is not going to sit back, he’s going to bring the fight. But either way, I train for it all. It’s going to go my way.
Do you feel you’ve been slept on, despite having been a world champion and facing top competition?
Of course I have, but I just got to keep working hard and stay focused. There have been fights where I couldn’t really show my skill. I’ve had rough fights. This fight I’ll get to show more of those skills.
For a closer look at Robert Easter Jr, check out his fighter page.