Robert Easter Jr vs Rances Barthelemy Preview April 27th
Former IBF Lightweight Champions Robert Easter Jr. of Toledo, Ohio and Rances Barthelemy of Cuba meet for the vacant IBO and WBA Lightweight Belts this Saturday, April 27th. The 12-round bout takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada and can be seen live in the USA on Showtime while Canadian fans should be able to catch it on TSN 3. Easter last fought in July when he dropped a 12-round unanimous decision to Mikey Garcia in a Lightweight Championship unification bout. Barthelemy was last in the ring in December when he stopped Robert Frankel in the third round.
Easter Jr vs Barthelemy Betting Odds
- Rances Barthelemy +405
- Robert Easter Jr -500
The 28-year-old Easter was an alternate of the 2012 American Olympic Team and will enter the ring with a record of 21-1 with 14 Kos. He’s a tall lightweight at 5-feet-11-inches tall with a reach of 76 inches, but doesn’t always take advantage of his size. He’s boxed 118 rounds since turning pro back in 2012 and likes to stay active. Easter has pretty good power in his fists with a current knockout ratio of 67 per cent, but has been taken the distance in his last five fights. He has good hand speed and doesn’t mind going toe-to-toe when needed.
His biggest wins have been against Javier Fortuna, Denis Shafikov and Richard Commey and he’s also beaten the likes of Argenis Mendez, Juan Roman Solis, Miguel Mendoza, Daniel Attah, Roberto Acevedo, Hardy Paredes and Carlos Cardenas. He’s a good combination puncher and a fast starter as all 14 of his Kos have come before the sixth round. If Easter has a weakness it’s his defence since he’s not the hardest guy to hit. He won the vacant IBF title over Commey in 2016 and defended it against Luis Cruz, Shafikov and Fortuna.
The 32-year-old Barthelemy is a former IBF World Lightweight Champion who won the vacant title with a win over Denis Shafikov in December 2015 and defended it once against Mickey Bey eight months later. He then beat Kiryl Relikh by unanimous decision with both fighters hitting the deck. He had a rematch with Relikh last year but lost a unanimous decision in a shot at the vacant WBA Super Lightweight Title. Barthelemy is also a former IBF Super Featherweight Champion and he’ll climb through the ring ropes with a mark of 27-1 with 14 Kos.
Barthelemy, who now resides in Las Vegas, is also a tall lightweight as he stands 5-feet-10-inches tall with a wingspan of 72.5 inches, meaning he’s an inch shorter than Easter with a 3.5-inch shorter reach. The Cuban won the Super Featherweight title with a unanimous decision over Argenis Mendez in July of 2014 and then defended it with a wide unanimous decision over Fernando David Saucedo before moving up in weight. He’s also beaten Angino Perez, Antonio DeMarco and Arash Usmanee.
As far as experience goes, Barthelemy has fought 162 rounds since turning pro in 2009 after enjoying a fine amateur career. He’s scored his share of knockdowns and knockouts over the years, but isn’t really known as a heavy hitter as his current knockout ratio stands at 48 per cent. It would appear that Barthelemy will try to establish his jab right from the start and that will make it difficult for Easter to get close to him. He’s got a relatively strong chin, but has been on the canvas before.
Easter and Barthelemy are both big lightweights and have a few other similarities. They also both have their flaws and the winner will be the one who can exploit them the most in his opponent. This should be a close contest, but I’ll give the edge to Easter.
Another close call with the edge going to Easter.
Play: Easter Jr -500 @ BetOnline.ag
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