It was a war from the opening bell. However, former world lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. controlled the action for the most part, winning a 10-round unanimous decision over Adrian Granados in his super lightweight debut.
Early in the first, it appeared Easter (22-1-1, 14 KOs) would cruise. Granados, for his part, worked in burrowing forward. The ploy was met with some punishing jabs and trying to establish distance. But in the last minute of the first, Easter reverted back to his old habits, allowing the shorter fighter to get inside.
With 2:00 left in the second, Granados (20-8-2, 13 KOs) was able to get inside and nail Easter with a right uppercut. It seemed to work—and the inside fighting fed right into the game plan of Granados.
With :50 left in the third, the two stood toe-to-toe in the center of the ring and literally whaled on each other. Easter appeared to get the better of the exchange, landing the heavier, head-snapping shots.
Granados stalked Easter again in the last minute of the fourth round. He landed several shots to the face and tagged Easter with a right to the body as the round ended.
After four, it was easy to see the fight as even.
Maybe it’s why Easter opened the fifth using his jab, keeping Granados at a distance. He applied a double left hook to the body, and Granados began swelling over his left eye. Granados also started going backward for the first time in the fight.
A hematoma began building above Granados’ left eye after the sixth. It wasn’t a great cause of concern as the seventh began, but Easter applied more punishment. It didn’t stop Granados, who again got inside and popped Easter with accurate shots.
In the eighth, Easter had blood leaking from his left ear. Granados got inside once more, landing right uppercuts and shots to Easter’s body. Easter seemed in control, though Granados was making a strong argument to win the round.
Granados’ corner felt Easter was tiring entering the ninth. In the last minute of the ninth, the two again stood in the center of the ring and slugged each other.
Granados, however, could not hurt Easter.
Easter’s father and trainer, Robert Easter Sr., implored his son going into the 10th to box and get away. So much for Easter listening to his father. He used his jab from range early, then eventually allowed Granados inside, before paying a price with a Granados right uppercut and a right to the body.
Easter was awarded on the scorecards of judges Julie Lederman (98-92), Kevin Morgan (97-93) and somehow John Poturaj saw it a shutout for Easter (100-90).
“We knew he was going to be a hell of a warrior in there,” Easter said. “That’s what we train for. This was no ordinary opponent and we knew he was going to bring it. I wasn’t surprised because that’s what he does. You’ve seen him fight with the best of the best and he threw down. I knew he was going to throw punches in bunches.
“I felt strong at 140-pounds. I held my own. It was something new for me and I felt comfortable. Granados came and brought it and I knew he would make me fight.”
“This was a hell of a test for me at 140 and I felt strong. I’m not calling out no body specifically, but you know there are champions in this weight class and I’m coming for all the bouts. Line ‘em up.”
Granados, who landed a total of 391/994 (39%) punches, 68/204 (33%) jabs and 323/790 (41%) power punches, exceeded what Easter did with 239/821 (29%) total shots, 31/232 (13%) jabs and 208/589 (35%) power shots.
“I’m speechless,” a despondent Granados said. “I felt like I won the fight. That 100 to 90? Come on now. I’m tired of the same old story. It was clear that I controlled the fight. He never had me hurt. That was embarrassing.”
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