Robert Easter Jr and Rances Barthelemy meet in a crossroads bout!
On April 27, we’ll see two former champions Robert Easter Jr and Rances Barthlemy collide in a fight that has the potential to be a Fight Of The Year candidate.
Robert Easter Jr
Standing at 5”11, the former IBF lightweight champion heads into this match-up with a height and reach advantage. Although, it won’t be nearly as much as the one he had when he fought Mikey Garcia back in July.
A tremendously physically gifted fighter, Easter Jr’s problems seem to stem more from the mental aspect rather than the physical. With a 76 inch reach advantage, you’d think he would elect to fight tall and box.
However, that’s not in his DNA! He’s fighter at heart, which has been shown throughout his career. He must, however, learn to be disciplined and balance his physical gifts with the ring smarts he’ll need in order to get back to championship status and become a dominant fighter.
The former two-division champion is a gifted boxer-puncher who, like Easter Jr, has enjoyed the physical advantages over smaller stature opponents. Though, on April 27, Barthelemy will be the one at a disadvantage, albeit a slight one. He’ll be giving up an inch in height and 3 1/2 reach to Easter Jr.
Barthelemy is 2-1 in his last three ring outings, which included two fights with WBA Junior Welterweight champion Kiryl Relikh. Although, most people feel that he should be 1-2, with many feeling he lost the first match-up with Relikh. Be as it may, he finds himself in a position to win the regular WBA Lightweight title. However, to do so, he’ll have to get by the the lanky, skilled Easter Jr.
Now its prediction time!
This fight will come down to who’s the smarter fighter. We all know both guys possess quality physical abilities. What we don’t know, at least in the case of Easter Jr, is how well can he make adjustments and make his opponents fight his fight. He needs to use his jab early and often; setting up combinations from the outside, while keeping the fight in the middle of the ring. Barthelemy will need to start strong using his boxing ability to lure Easter Jr into abandoning his game plan and making him pay with hard counter-shots to the head and body.
With all that being said, I’ll pick the more youthful, athletic Easter Jr to win a split decision. It’ll be a tough fight where both men have their moments. I think in the end, Easter Jr has more big moments.
By: Jerrell Fletcher