UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – Robert Easter Jr. boxed well against Adrian Granados during the first three rounds of their 10-round fight 15 months ago.
The former IBF lightweight champion then frustrated his handlers when he completely committed to fighting Granados on the inside. What they didn’t know at that time was that Easter hyperextended his right elbow in the third round, which caused “excruciating pain” and necessitated that change in strategy.
“I just had to adjust,” Easter told BoxingScene.com. “I’m a really good fighter on the inside. The only thing was I had to keep punching because Granados was throwing a lot of punches as well. So, I had to keep throwing punches in bunches.”
Easter (22-1-1, 14 KOs) defeated Granados (21-8-2, 15 KOs, 1 NC) by unanimous decision in his last fight, which took place in October 2019 at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania. The Toledo, Ohio, native will return to the ring after a long layoff Saturday night, when he’ll encounter Ryan Martin in a 12-round junior welterweight bout that’ll open Showtime’s tripleheader from Mohegan Sun Arena.
The 27-year-old Martin (24-1, 14 KOs), of Chattanooga, Tennessee, has stopped a pair of overmatched opponents in his two fights since Scotland’s Josh Taylor beat him by seventh-round technical knockout in November 2018 at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
“He’s a tough opponent,” Easter said regarding Martin. “I know he’s a hard worker. You know, he’s gonna bring his ‘A’ game. But I don’t pretty much see no difficulty in handling him and adjusting to anything he bring.”
Easter, 30, senses Martin might have a little extra motivation in this bout because Easter beat him in a USA Boxing Olympic qualifying event in 2011.
“I know ‘Blue Chip’ probably got a little chip on his shoulder,” Easter said in reference to Martin’s nickname. “I beat him. It was [by] a wide margin. I gave him probably one or two eight counts.”
Showtime’s telecast is scheduled to start Saturday at 9 p.m. EST.
Following Easter-Martin, Dominic Breazeale (20-2, 18 KOs), of Eastvale, California, and Otto Wallin (21-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC), of Sundsvall, Sweden, are scheduled to square off in a 12-round heavyweight fight. Cincinnati’s Adrien Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) is set to oppose Puerto Rico’s Jovanie Santiago (14-0-1, 10 KOs) in the main event, a 12-round junior welterweight bout.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.