Where has Robert Easter Jr gone?
Where in the world has Robert “E-Bunny” Easter Jr (22-1-1, 14 KO’s) gotten off too? At one point, the high-volume Ohioan was one of the more exciting fighters in the game. Almost in defiance of his long, lanky frame, Easter had a penchant for in-fighting. This inclination to slug it out in the trenches is precisely why his bouts were so frequently as thrilling as they were.
Armed with his rough and tumble style, Easter remained undefeated through the first twenty-two of his professional fights. Prior to his first loss, Easter claimed the notable scalps of Algenis Mendez, Richard Commey, Denis Shafikov and Javier Fortuna. Then he ran into a brick wall named Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KO’s). In against the skillful Californian, Easter put his talent on display and certainly claimed his fair share of rounds.
In the end however, Garcia was able to dictate a pace that was problematic for E-Bunny. As he clearly began gassing in the second half of the bout, Garcia was able to take advantage and snag the win. Along with his flawless record, Easter also lost his IBF world lightweight title to Mikey Garcia. Following the loss, Easter’s career became a bit inconsistent.
HOT AND COLD
Technically, E-Bunny had the chance to immediately bounce back from the Garcia mishap. In his next fight, he took on Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (27-1, 14 KO’s) with the vacant WBA and IBO lightweight titles on the line. Sadly, both men put on dreadfully abysmal performances. Together, the two fighters engineered twelve rounds of boring, uninspired tedium that no one wanted. Unable to issue two losses, the judges ruled the contest a draw, thereby squandering his chance to grab the belts.
Looking to put the loss and forgettable outing behind him, Easter appeared more in form for his next assignment. Six months after the lackluster prizefight with Barthelemy, on October 26, 2019, Easter tested his might against Adrian “Tigre” Granados (20-8-2, 14 KO’s). Luckily for the fans, the Granados dust-up was the polar opposite of his fight with Barthelemy. This time, Easter fought with fury from the first to final round. By doing so, he collected a solid unanimous decision win, then promptly dissolved into obscurity.
THE ROAD BACK
It really is a head-scratcher wondering why Easter has been so dead quiet for over a year. Sure, there was the global pandemic that put the brakes on the careers of countless fighters. Yet, beyond merely not fighting, E-Bunny has not been woofing at, calling out or building toward any particular fight. He has remained active on his social media accounts, but was more apt to talk about fashion than fisticuffs.
His absence is made all the more puzzling because of how red hot the 135 pound division is right now. The current rivalries between lightweight champions Teofimo Lopez (WBA, WBO and IBF), Devin Haney (WBC), Ryan Garcia (interim WBC) and Gervonta Davis (regular WBA) has all eyes on the division. Furthermore, even with his long hiatus away, Easter still enjoys a #4 standing in the WBA rankings. This puts him right in striking range of Vasiliy Lomachenko, Tank Davis and Ryan Garcia.
Provided that he wins his January 23 bout, Easter could even target the #1 ranked Rolando “Rolly” Romero (12-0, 10 KO’s). Not only is that a fight that he should win, it puts him in a formidable power position within the WBA. Yet, before he can advance in the rankings, he must first return to the ring!
By: Bakari Simpson