Former middleweight world champ Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin is ready to make some moves at super middleweight, starting with J'Leon Love on August 4th.

This week on PBC Jabs, we take a look at the lineup for our July 28th Showtime show, including our streamed undercard fights, and former middleweight champ Peter Quillin checks in ahead of his August 4th matchup!

This Saturday, July 28th, PBC on Showtime delivers a night packed with action beginning with two live fights and analysis of Garcia-Easter on the Showtime Sports YouTube channel and Showtime Boxing Facebook page beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern / 5 p.m. Pacific. The live stream will feature undefeated super lightweight prospect Fabian Maidana, the brother of former champion Marcos Maidana, facing his toughest opponent yet in former world title challenger Andrey Klimov. Also on the live stream, 2016 U.S. Olympian and undefeated prospect Karlos Balderas will return to action in a six-round super featherweight bout. Then, at 10 p.m. Eastern / 7 p.m. Pacific switch over to Showtime Championship Boxing for our live triple-header featuring lightweight world champs Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter Jr. meeting in a 135-pound title unification. Plus, Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz will face Razvan Cojanu in a 10-round bout and unbeaten super lightweight contender Mario Barrios battles Jose Roman in a 10-round showdown.

On August 4th former welterweight world champs Andre Berto and Devon Alexander face off in a 12-round main event. And in the co-feature former middleweight champ Peter Quillin meets contender J’Leon Love in a super middleweight bout. Quillin joins us this week on PBC Jabs to share his thoughts on the upcoming fight and his future in boxing.

That’s all for this week’s PBC Jabs. Thank you for watching and we’ll see you next time as we continue to bring you the best in boxing!
 

Unbeaten 140-pound contender plans on making a big statement as he steps up in competition on the Mikey Garcia-Robert Easter Jr. undercard this Saturday night on Showtime.

Mario “El Azteca” Barrios has long yearned to be a world champion. Since moving up to the 140-pound division in December 2016, the 23-year-old contender has been working with world-class coach Virgil Hunter and has delivered five consecutive knockouts and looked impressive doing it.

“From the beginning, our styles meshed very well,” Mario said of Hunter. “He’s a very technical coach. I was always more of a technical boxer than a brawler. Once I came out here, he helped me take boxing and being technical in the ring to the next level. I feel I’ve grown as a fighter, especially defensively.”

On Saturday, July 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Barrios of San Antonio will face Jose Roman (24-2-1, 16 KOs) on the undercard of Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter. The Barrios vs. Roman match 10-round contest will open the three-fight Showtime broadcast starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

“I know it’s definitely a step up for me. He has power, he places his shots very well, and he has boxing skills,’’ Barrios said. “I’m looking forward to a really explosive fight. Both of us have that Mexican background, so I know it’s only gonna be a matter of time before we trade punches for a bit.”

Barrios and his team, however, never enter the ring looking for a stoppage. Instead, Virgil Hunter has helped Mario learn to use his technical skills to achieve stellar results in the ring.

“I don’t think any of my knockouts have been from me just pressuring or going all out,” Barrios said. “Most of them have been from shots that have been well-placed. That’s from certain drills we do in the gym, the different caliber of sparring we get out here…I’m getting tremendous work all around.”

As any fighter will tell you, the jab is more than just another punch. As Mario says, the jab is key.

“That’s Boxing 101. It was something I should have been using a lot a long time ago, but now I think I use it very effectively for different reasons: to apply pressure, to get distance, to get out of the way of trouble. That’s something Virgil really helped me with learning—different ways to use it.”

Standing at 5-foot-10 ½-inches tall, Barrios towers over most other junior welterweights. As he’s grown as a fighter, he and his team have worked on using his height advantage to good effect.

“Before, I think I was falling into that Mexican style where I would sit there more than I should have been for my height. That’s one thing, coming out here with Virgil, we really started to drill on. Not just using my height, but using my legs more effectively. With that alone, I set up better shots, with leads to me having five consecutive stoppages. I’m picking my shots better. I’m finding better openings.”

The card is packed with amazing talent, but I’m going out there to try stealing the show, to represent San Antonio. Unbeaten 140-pound contender Mario “El Azteca” Barrios

On top of the exceptional coaching from Hunter, Barrios is surrounded by top talent in Virgil’s gym every day. He absorbs the experience and wisdom around him in an effort to improve as much as possible.

“It’s awesome. I’ve been over here training at times when [Andre] Ward was getting ready for fights, or [Amir] Khan. [Andre] Berto is here getting ready for August 4th [versus Devon Alexander]," he said. “So we’ve been training alongside. It’s an amazing atmosphere overall, having all this talent but there’s no egos. So everyone wants to help you, push you, because they know it helps them.

“All kinds of talent is always rolling in here. Just the other day I got some sparring with Shakur Stevenson. He’s a fighter who made it to where he is for a reason. It was great working with him, getting that high caliber of talent from a younger fighter. Most younger fighters carry that speed with them, that velocity with their punches.”

Prior to moving up to the 140-pound limit, Barrios campaigned at 130 pounds. He was ranked #2 by the IBF and had just won a title eliminator before making the change.

“I knew staying at that weight, I would have just ended up getting hurt because I couldn’t make the weight.

“Right now, our focus is on staying in the junior welterweight division. We want to get our first title in this weight class, but we’re not gonna force my body to make a weight that I can no longer do. We’re gonna stay here as long as we can, as healthy as we can. Once it starts becoming too much, then we’ll start looking at moving up. I’ve been filling out more in the junior welterweight division, and I feel like my power continues to grow as my weight did.”

Barrios has no doubt that his fight with Roman on Saturday will be one that the fans will remember.

“It’s gonna be an explosive night,’’ he said. “The card is packed with amazing talent, but I’m going out there to try stealing the show, to represent San Antonio.”

For a closer look at Mario Barrios, check out his fighter page.

Cuban heavyweight contender talks about what went wrong in his loss to Deontay Wilder, why he says he deserves an immediate rematch and how he plans to bounce back this Saturday when he faces Razvan Cojanu on Showtime.

Luis Ortiz respects WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder as a father, who’s daughter also is living with a health difficulty. However, the Cuban southpaw seeks a rematch following his three-knockdown, 10th-round TKO loss to “The Bronze Bomber” in March.

Where 10-year-old Lis Ortiz endures epidermolysis bullosa, a condition that causes the skin to be very fragile and to blister easily, Naieya Wilder thrives despite being born in 2005 with spina bifida, a congenital spine defect.

“The Real King Kong” (28-1, 24 KOs) is motivated to rebound against Razvan Cojanu (16-3, 9 KOs) in a July 28 10-rounder on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Ortiz staggered and nearly finished Wilder in the seventh, but was floored in the fifth and twice in the final round of Wilder’s seventh straight stoppage.

The 39-year-old Ortiz looks to defeat Cojanu, who lost his last fight in May 2017 by unanimous decision to New Zealand’s then-unbeaten world champion Joseph Parker.

How does this fight break down with Cojanu, who has gone the distance with Parker?

Cojanu is 100 percent going to pay for the anguish I’ve been feeling over the loss to Wilder, so the plan is to seek and destroy, doing damage behind intelligent boxing and taking as little punishment as possible.

He’s 6-foot-7, which seems like the standard among many heavyweights right now, but I will definitely end the fight with another knockout.

You respect Wilder given your daughters’ stories, right?

Regardless of wanting to do damage to each other in the ring, we’re both loving fathers at the end of the day and there is no ill will toward Wilder, whatsoever.

I told Wilder, “God bless our children,” who have nothing to do with what we do for a living. Our mutual respect should always be based on that.

How many times have you replayed your fight with Wilder?

I’ve seen the fight more than a dozen times and can tell you minute-by-minute, second-by-second what all of my mistakes were and where I went wrong.

That fight is still a knife in my heart. I’m so disgusted with it and I want a rematch to show everyone what I would do differently.

What would you do differently?

First of all, I believe that a rematch is merited, especially if Wilder doesn’t get the Anthony Joshua fight. I’m the only fighter who has hurt Wilder and nearly had him out.

There are a combination of things I would do differently, among them is to completely isolate myself, train harder and focus more.

Can you discuss the momentum-swinging fifth round, where, you’re on your toes, boxing and moving and backing up Wilder? Then a pair of right hands staggered and dropped you in the final 25 seconds.

The strategy was to attack Wilder, taking it to him, which is the only way to beat a world champion, and I was doing exactly what we had planned to do to that point.

Wilder won the fifth round, of course, but up until that point, he wasn’t doing much and we believe that we were winning the fight [The official judges cards had the bout even at 38-all entering the fifth.]

That fight is still a knife in my heart. I’m so disgusted with it and I want a rematch to show everyone what I would do differently. Heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz, on a rematch with Deontay Wilder

How close were you to finishing Wilder in the seventh after that straight left to the chin and several follow-up blows had him hanging on?

Round 7 was definitely an emotional round. My biggest mistake was that, once I hurt him with the shot, I was already visualizing myself as the WBC heavyweight champion of the world, and as the undisputed champion after knocking out Anthony Joshua. Rookie mistakes.

All of that flashed before my eyes, and then I obviously punched myself out. But even as I was punching, there are some things that I would have done differently with my shot selection.

Slowing down my punches, shortening them up, being more precise and not so much throwing the flurry of punches I was using.

Do you believe Wilder was inadvertently given extra recovery time while ringside doctors examined him in his corner before the eighth round?

That was absolutely an advantage for Wilder, but also for me as well, because that allowed me time to recover and to rejuvenate after having expended so much energy going for the knockout in the seventh.

So if it’s good for the goose, then it’s good for the gander, and I’ve never mentioned, nor will I, that the referee gave Wilder a break at that point.

How hurt were you in the 10th when Wilder twice dropped you with a pair of right hands — including an uppercut — and do you have any issues with the stoppage?

Wilder did not knock me out, even though he hit me with his best shots. I wasn’t unconscious and they didn’t take me out on a stretcher. It’s not my mentality to be rescued or saved in that way. It was purely a fatigue stoppage. I couldn’t continue because I was dead tired, so I’m not satisfied.

The more conditioned, and not the better man, won, because Wilder had no answer for me other than the one right hand in the fifth and capitalizing on my fatigue in the 10th. I would have preferred a more conclusive finish, me being knocked out with birdies fluttering around my head.

I would rather have Wilder knock my block off and have me knocked out cold. The better man did not win that night in the sense that I got tired. With a rematch opportunity, I can improve conditioning and tweak certain things, here and there, and Wilder will not stand a chance.

You have mentioned pre-fight distractions?

Leading up to the fight, I felt the commission’s medical team completely dropped the ball on my blood pressure testing. We were being monitored every hour by the doctors for a blood pressure issue from the weigh-in and beyond.

They initially took our blood pressure with an electronic wrist monitor, which was not as accurate as a manual cuff on the biceps. Even though we asked them to do it that way, they didn’t. I was in street clothes in the locker room until 9:30 that night without clarification or clearance whether or not we were fighting.

Wilder and his camp may have known that we were going to fight, but, on our part, we were not made aware of the intent to let us fight from around 3 p.m. in the afternoon until they signed off on the fight very late into the evening, which is obscene and absurd.

Being 39, and with Joshua and Wilder planning to fight, do you think age could be a factor given you could turn 40 before receiving a title shot?

I could be 50 and still beat these guys. They ain’t [better than me]. If my age is such a big deal, why isn’t Joshua calling me out?

Why isn’t Wilder giving me an immediate rematch? Why are all of these punks running from me? Obviously, they don’t want to fight and they’re all scared of me.

How does a fight go between you and Joshua?

I haven’t thought about Joshua since he avoided me a while back, but it’s a fight where you would see me enjoy beating the piss out of him for several rounds.

I see myself breaking down Joshua to the body and ripping his head off with right hooks and straight left hands over the course of eight rounds.

But at least Wilder put his money where his mouth is, stepped up and fought me. I’ve got zero respect for Joshua, who, at this point, is a complete punk hiding behind his puppeteer promoter [Eddie Hearn].

For a closer look at Luis Ortiz, check out his fighter page.

Undefeated four-division world champion has his sights set on fan-friendly superfights—but first he must get past fellow 135-pound titleholder Robert Easter Jr. when they meet this Saturday on Showtime.

After writing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” Paul Anka would complain years later that, “Everyone thinks it’s their song. But how many people really do it their own way?”

Not many. But Mikey Garcia is one of them. It didn’t come without a fight, yet he remains undefeated in and out of the ring.

Garcia, 38-0 (30 KOs), is following the path of Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya, who established Hall of Fame credentials by age 30. Unlike the current WBC world lightweight champion, they were already box office draws who had been involved in several memorable matchups by then.

That might explain the urgency Garcia, 30, demonstrates these days. Since ending a 30-month hiatus in July 2016, all four of his opponents have been past or present world champions; two were undefeated. On July 28 he’ll seek to blemish a third record when he squares off against unbeaten IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. on a Showtime-televised card (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Unifying lightweight titles would be another feather in Garcia’s signature black cowboy hat. Garcia’s already in rarified air: Along with Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, he’s one of only three modern era fighters to win titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140 pounds.

That hasn’t translated to stardom beyond the boxing world just yet—partly because of those battles he’s engaged in outside the ring.

Much has changed since he last fought in his native California seven years ago, also at Staples. Garcia was then a rising featherweight, the golden child of a fighting family that included a former world champion in older brother Robert, and ex-boxer and father Eduardo, both of whom train him.

The squeaky-clean Mikey had strong support from his family and fellow Mexican-Americans. He seemed destined to become boxing’s next TV star—and the least likely to end up in court. Nevertheless, after winning world titles at 126 and 130 pounds, he and his promoter Top Rank Promotions squabbled over what Garcia says were purses lower than what his contract called for.

The disagreement came to a head during negotiations for a fight against 135-pound champion Yuriorkis Gamboa. Top Rank informed Garcia they had the right to extend their contractual agreement, with terms unchanged from what he signed before becoming world champion.

In April 2014, a frustrated Garcia filed a lawsuit against them, claiming the arrangement “improperly provided them the ability to extend the agreement indefinitely, essentially rendering him an indentured servant of Top Rank.”

Garcia expected the matter to be resolved quickly. What ensued was War of the Roses. In April 2016, the two-year conflict ended in settlement.

“That experience made me re-think signing anything with anybody,” Garcia says. “Being independent helps me avoid that. It gives me flexibility and if things aren’t good, I can always go somewhere else. Thankfully, things are going very well for me right now. I’m happy with where my career is headed.”

I’m just not going to defend the title a bunch of times. Those fights don’t excite me. I want big challenges and to make sure that I give the fans great fights to remember. Four-time World Champion Mikey Garcia

Free agent Garcia is making up for lost time.

“I’m just not going to defend the title a bunch of times. Those fights don’t excite me. I want big challenges and to make sure that I give the fans great fights to remember.”

Thus, the talk of moving up to welterweight and challenging Errol Spence Jr. It’s the kind of super fight that gets Garcia’s juices flowing—and makes others question his sanity.

“I don’t know why people keep doubting it. I’m very serious about moving up and fighting Spence. That’s one of the biggest fights that I can make and that can be made in boxing. If it’s available and we can work something out before the end of the year, I’m willing to do it.”

First, Garcia must get past the long arms of Easter. The Ohioan is brimming with confidence after relocating to Florida to work with trainer Kevin Cunningham, who counts Devon Alexander, Adrien Broner and Gervonta Davis among his clients.

“I’m not overlooking Robert Easter at all,” Garcia claims. “I’m expecting the best Easter ever against me. I think 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.”

Garcia admits he hasn’t watched much tape on Easter—Robert and Eduardo handle that—but is aware of the unique physical challenges he presents. The 5’11” Easter has a five-inch height, an eight-inch reach advantage, and a big right hand.

“We’re not going to get someone exactly like Easter to spar with,” Garcia says. “We do have good sparring; Juan Carlos Burgos, who is one of my former opponents, and young guys like Evan Sanchez and Vergil Ortiz. These are guys taller than me, having a longer reach and giving me different angles. And I have plenty of experience to make the adjustments.”

That experience is expected to carry him through. Already the most accomplished active fighter outside of Manny Pacquiao, he makes a case as the world’s best fighter, should he defeat Easter impressively. Owning the top pound for pound slot in media publications is noteworthy, but Garcia prefers his name etched in the hearts of the masses.

“I don’t really pay attention to pound for pound rankings,” he says. “Some are based on achievement, some skill, some favoritism and politics. What matters to me most is what the fans think of me and whether they give me that admiration and respect.”

“I think I'm in my prime,” he continued. “I'm in the best shape physically and mentally that I’ve ever been in. I need to take advantage of the moment right now and take on the biggest challenges. I want to make the kind of fights everyone remembers. It won’t be easy but it will get done.”

His way, of course.

For a closer look at Garcia vs Easter, check out our fight page. 

Elite welterweights who both lost title fights to Keith Thurman now fight for the belt Thurman vacated as he rehabs from elbow surgery on the Showtime-televised card from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Garcia vs Porter

BROOKLYN — Welterweight stars and former 147-pound titleholders Danny "Swift" Garcia and "Showtime" Shawn Porter will square off for the vacant WBC Welterweight World Championship live on SHOWTIME Saturday, September 8 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
 
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® main event (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) will pit two of the division's biggest names against each other, as the former unified 140-pound champion and former WBC welterweight titleholder Garcia meets the hard-charging fan favorite and former welterweight champion Porter. The consensus top-5 ranked welterweights face off for the WBC belt vacated by Keith Thurman as he rehabs from an elbow surgery.
 
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, in association with DSG Promotions, start at $50 and go on sale Thursday, July 26 at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center starting Friday, July 27 at noon. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
 
"I'm excited and motivated to go in there and recapture what's mine," said Garcia. "The WBC title belongs to me. Come September 8, I'm going to prove that I'm the best fighter in the world. My loss is behind me and it's given me a chip on my shoulder to run that extra mile and train even harder. I know that Shawn Porter is not on my level. I'm coming to fight him in the middle of the ring and I'm going to beat him at his game."
 
"I'm going to force Danny Garcia to fight me, to be uncomfortable and to do things he's not used to doing in a fight," said Porter. "If Danny comes in being defensive and trying to hold, it may last a while. But if he comes and tries to trade with me and prove something to himself, then it will end fast. I think my style will give him problems and not allow him to pace himself. This is going to be an instant classic and I'm going to win and become champion once again."

Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) has fought and defeated many of the most formidable opponents at 140 and 147-pounds spanning two generations-Erik Morales, Zab Judah, Kendall Holt, Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse, Paulie Malignaggi and Lamont Peterson among them. Five of his six opponents in the welterweight division were world champions and 11 of his last 15 opponents were world champions or former world champions.
 
Representing the fighting city of Philadelphia, Garcia has made Brooklyn another home base, drawing big crowds in six fights since the arena opened in 2012 including his triumphs over Morales, Judah, Peterson and Malignaggi and a narrow decision loss to Keith Thurman in a blockbuster world title unification that aired on CBS. The 30-year-old put himself into position to earn back his WBC belt with a highlight-reel knockout of Brandon Rios in a title eliminator February on SHOWTIME.

Danny Garcia against Shawn Porter in a welterweight title fight is a throwback to the era when you had Thomas Hearns battling Roberto Duran. Their styles are tailor-made to create action in the ring. TGB Promotions President Tom Brown

Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) owns victories over four-division champion Adrien Broner and two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi over a career that has seen him develop a reputation as one of the sport's most reliable all-action attractions. He lost a narrow decision to unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman in a 2016 Fight of the Year candidate in Brooklyn but rebounded with two victories last year at Barclays Center. He scored a TKO victory against former welterweight champion Andre Berto in a welterweight title eliminator and followed it up with a 12-round decision over Adrian Granados.
 
The 30-year-old Porter, who was born in Akron, Ohio and now lives in Las Vegas, will fight at Barclays Center for the fifth time on September 8, including his title-winning performance against Devon Alexander that earned him the IBF title in 2013.
 
"Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter will be an action-packed, can't-miss brawl," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "This hugely important matchup is between two of the best welterweights in the world and pressure fighters with pleasing styles. Both Garcia and Porter have shined in memorable battles at Barclays Center and September 8 will be a tremendous night for boxing."
 
"Danny Garcia against Shawn Porter in a welterweight title fight is a throwback to the era when you had Thomas Hearns battling Roberto Duran,'' said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. "Their styles are tailor-made to create action in the ring. Porter comes forward and throws punches in bunches and Garcia doesn't back up for anyone. This one will be decided in the center of the ring like all the great welterweight championship matches.''

"In 2018 SHOWTIME has delivered the biggest and most meaningful matchups in boxing, and Garcia vs. Porter is no exception," said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. "This will be our sixth fight this year featuring consensus top-10 welterweights, an unrivaled offering of elite fighters in boxing's glamour division.  Danny and Shawn have fought a combined 20 times on SHOWTIME and, along the way, have earned reputations as fighters who never back down from a challenge.  I know they are both eager to earn another world title and send a statement to the other champions in the welterweight division."
 
"I am pleased to welcome both Danny and Shawn back to Barclays Center," said Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global. "Both fighters have established a great following in Brooklyn, and September will be their biggest moment yet at Barclays Center. We are the number one venue for boxing, and are proud to host another world-class fight."

For a closer look at Garcia vs Porter, check out our fight page.

IBF lightweight titleholder reflects on he and his father's journey to become a world champion and how even bigger goals lie ahead for the Easter team once he defeats Mikey Garcia July 28 on Showtime.

Robert Easter Jr. still gets excited when he reflects on his father’s brief professional boxing career in the 1990s.

The sights and sounds of the gym where his dad trained, the thrill of fight night, the people and energy that surrounded the elder Easter seemingly all the time. It left a lasting impression on Robert.

“I knew that would be me one day. I wanted to be a world champion,” he said.

So he would be. Easter fulfilled his stated destiny by outpointing then-unbeaten Richard Commey to win the vacant IBF 135-pound title in September 2016 and has successfully defended three times.

Now, at 27, he’s considered one of the best lightweights in the world and a rising star. And he has a defining challenge in front of him: He faces WBC titleholder and pound-for-pounder Mikey Garcia in a unification showdown on July 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles and live on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT), which is an opportunity for Easter to reach rarified air.

“Everything I dreamed of, everything I envisioned has happened,” he said. “I knew I’d get big fights. I knew I’d fight in front of big crowds. That’s what I’ve worked so hard for since I was a kid.

Easter has worked hard and long.

He spent his early childhood in a rough part of Toledo, Ohio. And even when the family moved to a better neighborhood, young Robert had a rude awakening. “The first week,” he said with a laugh, “my bike was stolen.”

Robert Easter Sr. wouldn’t leave the fate of his children to chance, though. He didn’t allow them time to find trouble. Robert Jr. was required to maintain good grades in school and he took part in a variety of sports and activities, which filled is days.

The elder Easter’s plan evidently worked.

“My dad stayed on top of me,” Junior said. “He taught me responsibility and the consequences of certain actions. No matter what, I had to stay busy. I was a bike racer, I played football, I boxed. I did a lot of things.

“I pretty much always stayed busy to stay out of trouble. And no matter what I did, my dad was always my coach.”

Robert Sr. coached his son into one of the best amateurs in the United States going into the 2012 Olympics, although he fell just short of qualifying for the London Games. Robert traveled to England as an alternate.

He didn’t have time to dwell on the disappointment, though. He turned pro in November 2012—with dad as his trainer—and set about realizing his dreams.

He had the tools to do so. Easter is unusually tall for his weight, 5 feet, 11 inches, which allows him to pound his opponents from a distance. He’s also quick and athletic, as well as a powerful puncher.

In other words, he’s a complete fighter. Thus, no one was shocked when he knocked out his first eight opponents and won a major title in only his 18th pro fight.

When I beat Mikey Garcia, people will quit sleeping on me. They’ll realize that I’m the best in the 135-pound division. IBF Lightweight World Champion Robert Easter Jr.

“Any time you have a kid who is 6-feet tall, with long arms, lots of raw, natural boxing ability and is fighting in the lightweight division, there’s a good chance he’s going to be successful,” said Kevin Cunningham, his new trainer.

“And he’s an extremely hard worker. He’s totally dedicated.”

Of course, no run to the top comes without bumps in the road.

Easter legitimately won his three title defenses but had to work harder than some people—including Easter himself—had anticipated in his last two, against capable opponents Denis Shafikov and Javier Fortuna.

Easter (21-0, 14 knockouts) was pleased to have his hand raised in both cases but knew he could do better. And he took corrective action, hiring the highly respected Cunningham to work with him, moving his training camp from his hometown to Cunningham’s gym in West Palm Beach, Florida, and refocusing on the task at hand.

“I didn’t stick to the game plan,” said Easter, referring to the difficult fights. “I fought the other fighters’ fights, which made it a lot harder than it should’ve been. I got too busy thinking I can knock everybody out instead of setting it up.

“That’s why I moved my camp. Toledo is a small city. I have a lot of family and friends there. Everybody knows where my gym is. I had to leave town to stay focused. Now I’m focused on me and boxing instead of being focused on everybody else. I pretty much got out of my comfort zone.”

Cunningham said Easter’s problem in those fights wasn’t complicated: He didn’t use his height and reach advantage. The titleholder fought down to the level of his opponents, putting him in precarious positions, instead of keeping them at long arm’s length.

That’s what trainer and fighter have been working on in camp. And if Cunningham is right, the fans will see a somewhat different Easter on July 28.

“There’s a proper way to do things,” Cunningham said. “Like I said, when you have a height and reach advantage and you don’t use it, that’s something you need to work on until the fighter executes it properly.

“… I’ve worked on him controlling range, distance and balance. And he’s really picked it up. If he follows the game plan, I think he has the height and reach to make it really difficult for Mikey.”

Cunningham said a victory over Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs) would be “life changing” for Easter but the fighter said he’s approaching the showdown as if it were any other bout. At the same time, he understands that success would raise his profile just as big wins have done for a close friend from his amateur days — welterweight star Errol Spence.

“Every fight is big, every fight you put your life on the line,” he said. “Spence is doing his thing. He’s one of the most talked about boxers right now. When I beat Mikey Garcia, people will quit sleeping on me.

“They’ll realize that I’m the best in the 135-pound division.”

For a closer look at Garcia vs Easter, check out our fight page.

Unbeaten IBF champion discusses his inaugural training camp under new trainer Kevin Cunningham and why he will emerge victorious in his July 28 showdown with Mikey Garcia on Showtime.

WEST PALM BEACH, FL. — IBF Lightweight World Champion Robert Easter Jr. has made the most of his inaugural training camp with Kevin Cunningham and will look to bring that same level of focus to the ring when he challenges WBC Lightweight World Champion Mikey Garcia Saturday, July 28 live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
 
"I decided to go to Florida for a different environment than I usually trained in," said Easter, a Toledo-native who had trained in his hometown for much of his pro career. "I needed to be taken out of my comfort zone. At home, I was focused on too many other things. Coming to West Palm Beach has allowed me to focus on nothing but myself and boxing."
 
Easter saw what Cunningham had done for his close friends Adrien Broner and Gervonta Davis, who both trained with Cunningham leading into April 21 fights on SHOWTIME that saw Broner battle to an entertaining draw against Jessie Vargas and Davis capture a second world title with a spectacular knockout of Jesus Cuellar.
 
"I was with Adrien Broner and Gervonta Davis every step of the way during training camp with Kevin Cunningham earlier this year," said Easter. "I saw for myself that it was something I needed to do. I talked with my dad about getting away from the distractions and we agreed this was the right move."
 
Easter burst onto the scene in 2016 with a dominant knockout of former champion Argenis Mendez before beating Richard Commey later that year in an entertaining battle to capture the lightweight belt. Easter's last two defenses however have seen him narrowly escape with decision victories, something the unbeaten champion believes won't be a factor on July 28.
 
"People are paying attention to my last couple of fights when I wasn't using my height and reach," said Easter. "I can improve on that by taking it back to what I had been doing before. I was knocking people out fight after fight.
 
"If you're looking at just my last two fights, you aren't giving me credit for everything I bring to the table. I faced two tough southpaws recently but on July 28 I'm going to show everyone what they've been sleeping on and why I'm a world champion."
 
The 27-year-old Easter will now step up to take on one of boxing's pound-for-pound best in four-division world champion Mikey Garcia. For Easter, this is a fight that he's had on his mind and one that can put him into the top echelon of the sport.
 
"I've always wanted to fight the best in my weight class and now I have my chance to unify," said Easter. "I know that Mikey is going to fight his fight and look to counter. He wants to wait for you to make a mistake so he can take advantage.
 
"What I have to do is go in there and impose my attributes on him. My height and reach are my advantages, but also my speed and power. I just have to combine all that and focus on my footwork."
 
Although Easter will be fighting in Garcia's hometown of Los Angeles, he has no plans to let the partisan crowd effect his focus as he looks for his biggest pro win in the same building where he made his professional debut.
 
"It doesn't matter to me where we fight," said Easter. "None of the fans can help him fight. It's only about me and him in that ring together.
 
"My first pro fight was at STAPLES Center and even though it was early on an undercard, I still felt like there were 10,000 fans watching me. I just fought my fight. It's all about staying focused. There will be no excuses on July 28."

For a closer look at Garcia vs Easter, check out our fight page.

Four-division world champion Mikey Garcia knows he has a tough test ahead in Robert Easter Jr. on July 28th, but that’s not the only name on his radar.

This week on PBC Jabs, four-division champion Mikey Garcia checks in ahead of his lightweight title unification bout against Robert Easter Jr. and we preview our August 3rd PBC on Bounce show.

On July 28th, PBC on Showtime returns with a three-fight telecast from the Staples Center in Los Angeles starting off with Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz returning to action to face former title challenger Razvan Cojanu. Plus, undefeated super lightweight contender Mario Barrios takes on hard-hitting Jose Roman. Finally, in the main event, lightweight world champs Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter Jr. meet to unify the 135-pound division. Garcia joins us this week to discuss the upcoming fight as well as what could be next should he get past Easter.

On Friday, August 3rd PBC returns to Bounce from Sam’s Town and Casino in Las Vegas. In the main event, rising contender Ladarius Miller looks to add an 8th consecutive victory to his record when he meets Dennis Galarza in a lightweight showdown. Plus, Cesar Barrionuevo makes his U.S. debut against rugged Abel Ramos, and unbeaten junior welterweight Juan Heraldez faces Kevin Watts.

Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time as we continue to bring you the best in boxing!

Unbeaten super lightweight contender looks for his sixth-consecutive KO when he faces Jose Roman July 28 on PBC on Showtime.

OAKLAND, CA. — Unbeaten super lightweight contender Mario Barrios will look to deliver a sixth-consecutive knockout when he faces Jose Roman on Saturday, July 28 live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) is headlined by a lightweight title unification showdown between Mikey Garciaand Robert Easter Jr. and also features Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis "The Real King Kong" Ortiz returning to action to face former title challenger Razvan Cojanu in a 10-round bout.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, begin at $50, plus applicable fees, and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit AXS.com.

Barrios (21-0, 13 KOs) made the leap from campaigning at 130-pounds to the super lightweight division in December 2016 and has stayed busy while knocking out increasingly difficult opposition as he nears world title contention.

Here is what the 23-year-old Barrios had to say about his July 28 matchup and more from training camp in Northern California with Virgil Hunter:

On his fight against Jose Roman:

"Roman is a very dangerous fighter with a good record. He's a tall fighter like myself, so that will be a different challenge for me to overcome.

"There is no doubt he will be my toughest opponent to date. These are the kind of difficult fights I need to win and win convincingly to get to the championship level. I'm going in there on mission July 28 and I'm going to prove I'm ready for a title shot.

"I know he's motivated going into this fight since he'll be fighting near his hometown. I'm just going to stick to my game plan and focus on what I must do, and that's throw hard punches with precise accuracy."

On his current knockout streak:

"Since I've move up to super-lightweight, my body has adjusted to the weight gain, and I'm feeling stronger than I ever have. I'm still growing into my man strength and my power is growing as well. I never go into a fight looking for the knockout, but if I get my opponent hurt, I promise I'll be looking to take him out."

On his training camp for this bout:

"I've had a tremendous training camp. For the first few weeks I was training in San Antonio at the South Park Boxing Gym with my dad and Rick Nunez laying the groundwork for what we wanted to accomplish.

"Then I finished it off in up in Northern California with Virgil Hunter, who will be guiding my corner. Together we all make a fantastic team. I've had tremendous sparring for this fight, my health is good and I'm ready to go."

On making his SHOWTIME debut:

"I'm really excited to be making my debut on SHOWTIME debut on this card. I always knew I would be fighting on the big stage at some point in my career. Now it's time to show the world what I'm made of. I'm very grateful to my team for giving me this opportunity."

For a closer look at Mario Barrios, check out his fighter page.

Had the pleasure of getting a few rounds with the rising sensation. Iron sharpens iron, We working!

A post shared by Mario Barrios (@boxer_barrios) on

Former welterweight champion talks about his 18-month ring absence, fighting Bryant Perrella Aug. 4 on PBC on FOX and what future opponents he would like to face.

Former 147-pound champion Luis Collazo turned 37 in April, had surgery to repair a torn left biceps tendon in August 2017, and ends an 18-month ring absence when he faces Bryant Perrella on Aug. 4.

But none of that matters today. Collazo (37-7-0, 20 KOs) says he is completely healed, has become a better fighter as he matures and his time away from the ring has been used perfectly. The 5-foot-9 Collazo expects two things when he meets the 6-foot-1 Perrella: a tough fight and a victory.

The fight will be on the undercard of the PBC on FOX event (7:30 pm ET/4:30 mp PT) held at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, and represents the first appearance in the NYC area for Collazo—a Brooklyn, native—since January 2014. During that bout at Barclays Center, Collazo knocked out Victor Ortiz in the second round.

Should he get beyond Perrella (15-1, 13 KOs), Collazo wants to get back into the championship mix.

What’s your perspective on the shoulder, the ring absence given your age, and fighting in your home state?

Aug. 4 couldn’t come any sooner. My bicep’s healed up well, and I’m back in New York for the first time since the (Victor) Ortiz fight, which I’m truly excited about.

I’m mentally and physically prepared, and to be able to do it in New York makes it even better, so we’ll see if the 18 months is a factor or not.

Some people can say my age might play a part, but I’m passionate about boxing, which, for me, is a full-time job, so I’m always in the gym.

Do you feel like you’re a dangerous fighter?

Everybody says I’m high risk, low reward, but I don’t understand that. People say I’m dangerous probably because of my fights against Ortiz and Sammy Vasquez.

But when you’re an A-class fighter in boxing, you’re supposed to fight the best in your division or you should fight someone who is gonna give you a run for your money.

Do you feel that you’ve done that?

Yes, I’ve done that if you look at my career, with Ricky Hatton, Andre Berto, Shane Mosley, Amir Khan and Keith Thurman. I believe that I beat Ricky Hatton.

The Shane Mosley fight, I should have done better but I broke my thumb in the second round. Berto was the undefeated champion, and I feel like I truly handed him his first loss.

I wish I could have had a rematch with Berto before now. I’ve always been that type of guy, and that’s not gonna change until I hang up the gloves.

How do you feel about being on the same card as Berto and the possibility of a rematch with him or of fighting Devon Alexander?

I would absolutely fight either one of them. Andre Berto and Devon Alexander are fighters I would have liked to have already fought. I was offered Alexander before Vasquez, but Devon didn’t take the fight.

Before Perrella, their names were mentioned and those fights didn’t come to fruition, but they’re fights I hope to make happen before I hang up the gloves.

I’m just ready to get back in there. I’m like a wounded lion trying to survive, so I’m real hungry. I’m starving for another victory. Former Welterweight World Champ Luis Collazo

How would you like to be the first defense for the winner of the Danny Garcia-Shawn Porter fight?

I want Danny Garcia. Garcia is Puerto Rican and I’m Puerto Rican. Man it will be a hell of a fight to happen at Barclays Center in New York, being that I’m from Brooklyn and he’s from Philadelphia.

I always say styles make fights. That's one that will go down in the books as a battle of hooks and an all-out brawl. Another great fighter is Shawn Porter. I’ve called out Shawn Porter, who is a top guy.

That would be an awesome battle of staying to the game plan and a brutal fight from the beginning to the end because of our aggressive styles. Either fight is a fan favorite for sure, win or lose.

What about Spence, also a left-hander?

The last two times I fought southpaws, I was supposed to get stopped or to lose and I ended up knocking out Ortiz and Vasquez. So I’ve been performing better and getting stronger against lefties.

So if that fight with Spence presents itself, I would absolutely be ready to take it because I’m a fighter who loves competition.

How intriguing is Perrella, balancing his height against your seven knockouts in your past 10 with five coming against southpaws?

Every fight is tough, but I like fighting southpaws, and I’ve been exposing them. Perrella’s a tough kid who had 11 straight knockouts before he lost, so he’s not a walkover.

He’s tall and rangy, and hungry, and I believe that, yet again, I’m not the favorite. But I’ve been the underdog for my entire career.

How does Perrella stack up against the best fighters on your resume, and vice versa, keeping in mind that he’s been stopped by Ugas?

Ugas is a great counter-puncher with some pop, and his Cuban pedigree speaks for itself. I’m going to be the best Luis Collazo that night and probably the best fighter he’s going to face. I just hope that he’s ready.

How does this fight break down?

Like most of the battles throughout my career, whether it’s a straight-up fight or a chess match, it usually comes down to grit and determination.

I’m an experienced fighter who can punch a little bit, so I’m just ready to get back in there. I’m like a wounded lion trying to survive, so I’m real hungry. I’m starving for another victory.

For a closer look at Luis Collazo, check out his fighter page.

Pages

Subscribe to Premier Boxing Champions RSS