Former Lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. returned from a year-plus break to decisively defeat Ryan Martin on Showtime Championship Boxing in his second fight at 140-pounds
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (February 20, 2021) — About Billions Promotions was basically shuttered throughout 2020 – largely as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. Two of the imprint’s top fighters returned the ring tonight at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn. on a card that aired live on Showtime Boxing. Former Lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr., of Toledo, Ohio, opened the triple-header card in a Super Lightweight bout against one-loss Ryan Martin.
Easter (23-1-1, 14 KOs), pitched a shutout through the first third of the bout. He popped his jab up and down, set up left hooks to Martin’s body and moved around before resetting. Martin – a fellow Buckeye born in Akron – followed Easter around the ring, but often stayed at the end of the former champion’s punches.
Easter’s confidence grew rapidly. In Round 5 he landed triple jabs, as well as a punishing double jab-straight right combination center-ring. In the subsequent round Martin (24-2, 14 KOs) started responding to his corner’s stern instruction to engage.
Martin’s effort increased over the next few rounds. He started to find his jab and threw punches to make contact. However, Easter’s jab, and the follow-up work behind it, continued to represent the better scoring. The success with the jab and short combinations further encouraged Easter, and and he fought back the urge to force the issue even more, for possibly a stoppage.
Easter responded to some successful work inside from Martin by shooting a thudding double left hook head-body combination in the final minute of Round 8.
Easter moved around the ring, using his legs through much of Round 9. Martin failed to cut off the ring. Over the final minute Easter went back to work with his up jab.
The action mostly stayed in the center of the ring in the 10th round. Easter landed a flush check left hook while turning away from Martin. Moments later Martin capitalized on a second where Easter got out of position, by landing a sweeping left hook the Toledo native took without a problem.
Down a ton going into the championship rounds, of this non-title fight, Martin never managed to close the distance to realize a chance to do anything to alter the fight. Easter continued landing with his long jab. Easter turned Martin, center-ring, and lacing his opponent with a variety of shots.
With time running out, Easter set back and picked off any attempts from Martin to close the distance. Very little changed as the final seconds ran down before the final bell. Easter’s performance, his first at Showtime’s “Fight-Sphere”, was exceptional for a fighter who’d been inactive since his October 2019 bout versus fellow Midwesterner Adrian Granados. This bout was was his second at Super Lightweight max limit of 140 pounds.
Martin’s performance left the cards with minimal suspense, but the official decision was 117-111, 118-110 and 118-110 for a unanimous decision for Easter. After the bout Easter was beaming with satisfaction in his one-sided performance that was only marred by the first cut of his career.
“I was just comfortable. Once I stay boxing, I get comfortable. I get a little bored but everybody says when I box, when I use my jab, keep my distance, I make the fight that much easier. So that’s what I was working on the whole camp. Me and my dad have been stressing on use the jab, keep your distance and that’s what we did. I wanted to fight but as you see, when I wanted to fight, I got headbutted. So it was best to keep our distance.
“Everybody knows when I get in the ring, I want to fight. That’s just where I feel a lot of adrenaline, a lot of action, but like I said, when I box I make it look easy. I can count on how many fingers on when I actually just stayed boxing instead brawling.
“I realized he wasn’t going to deal with my jab in the first round. We’ve been working on that this whole camp, keeping the distance. I got really comfortable with the jab in the first round. The second round was what set the tone and I knew he wasn’t going to get past that, it was going to be all night with the jab.
“Whoever has those straps, whoever is in the way is going to feel this wrath. Me and AB, we’re coming to stir up the 140-pound division and that’s that. There ain’t no particular fighter, I want them all. We’re coming for all those straps.”
Martin was admonished over the final rounds of the by his chief second for failing to execute much of the game plan. While he out threw Easter 629-539, he only managed to land 18.8 percent of his punches according to CompuBox.
“It was a great fight. I thought I was competitive but obviously I could have done a lot of things better. I followed him too much and he was able to take away our game plan. He did a great job of keeping me on the outside. There’s not too much to say, he was the better man tonight. His jab didn’t bother me too much but it did keep me from getting on the inside. He never stunned me or affected me with it, but I should have sped up on him a little more.”
All photos by Amanda Westcott/Showtime