Are Robert Easter Jr and Rances Barthelemy rusty or regressing?
Before the clang the opening bell, most boxing enthusiast believed that Robert “E-Bunny” Easter Jr. (21-1-1, 14 KO’s) and Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (27-1-1, 14 KO’s) would put on quite a show.
The bright-haired, Cuban schooled Barthelemy was as much known for his colorful personality as for his boxing skill. Likewise, the more reserved Easter has a well-earned reputation for engaging in thrilling, all-action battles. Combining them together sounded like a surefire hit. Guess that’s why they fight the fights!
After 12 rounds of boxing, Easter and Barthelemy nearly put the crowd to sleep.
Robert Easter Jr.
Despite there being not one, but two belts up for grabs, neither man was willing to commit themselves to a grueling bout. The match opened with both feeling the other out, while trying to establish their jabs. Unfortunately, the action never progressed past this tentative phase. The bout was Easter’s first since his premiere professional loss to Mikey Garcia.
Barthelemy was once removed from his first pro loss. Given their performances, those losses are still haunting them and greatly influencing their in-ring action.
Easter has always been a divisional anomaly due this unusual height and length. Yet, even with these rare and valuable assets, “E-Bunny” has traditionally preferred to duke it out in the phone booth. Against Barthelemy, it appeared that Easter had worked on, and was committed to, fighting at range. Had the tactic proved fruitful, there would not be an issue.
The trouble was that Easter was not finding any amount of consistent success battling at a distance. On the outside looking in, this was the perfect time for Easter to return to his traditional comfort zone and scrap in close. Yet, for reasons only known to him, he never did commit to an inside fight.
Different Corner, Same Story
Across the ring, Barthelemy was no more willing to put himself in harm’s way to secure the world titles.
At least Easter was attempting to get something going behind his jab. Barthelemy was content to use theatrics for the greater portion of the night. In order to get Easter out of position, he utilized a herky-jerky method of combat that was heavy on feints, head-jerks, stutter steps and waiving his hands about.
Between Easter’s reluctant offense and Barthelemy’s pantomiming of a boxer, the punch stat numbers were abysmal. The unusually dull affair resulted in a three-way draw. Given the overall dreariness of the match, the notion of a rematch sounded more like a threat to the fans than a benefit.
In Easter’s case, there is a chance that ring rust had a great deal to do with his performance. It was the Toledo, OH born boxer’s first match in almost a year.
However, the fact that he refused to change tactics was highly distressful. Especially when it appeared that returning to his bread and butter style of in-fighting would have perfectly suited the situation.
We can only hope that this tepid performance was a one-time deal. Neither fighter can afford to repeat this dreadful night of non-action.
However, if this is a forecast of things to come, it seems we have already gotten the best out of these two. Time answers all questions.
By: Bakari Simpson