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19 FEBRUARY 2018

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Easter Edge Out Fortuna In Brooklyn


Undefeated 135-pound world champion Robert Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) earned a split decision victory over former world champion Javier Fortuna (33-2-1, 23 KOs) in the co-main event . The judges scored the bout 114-113, 113-114 and 115-112.

 

The back-and-forth bout saw two skilled fighters stay in the pocket and look to do damage from the inside. A second round point deduction from Fortuna proved costly when the Dominican was warned and then penalized for hitting Easter behind the head. Without the one point deduction, the fight would have been scored a draw. While Easter Jr. was slightly busier, Fortuna landed the more powerful punches. Easter Jr., who held a significant height advantage, out landed Fortuna, connecting on 120 of 383 (31 percent) power punches while Fortuna connected on 113 of 441 (26 percent).

 

“It was a tough fight, he’s a former world champion for a reason,” Easter told Gray. “We made it tough trying to counter punch. He wasn’t throwing much and it made it difficult for me to chase this guy around.

 

"I couldn’t get the knockout but we got the win and that’s all that matters. I knew he was going to run once he felt my power. He just wanted to grab and hold the whole fight.”

 

Looking ahead, Easter made his intentions clear as he seeks unification bouts in the near future, “I want to fight the champions and unify these belts. Fights like these aren’t in my game plan. I’m ready for Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares to sign the contract.”

 

A disgruntled Fortuna also spoke to Gray, “the public knows what happened here. They booed because they know that I won this fight.

 

“If he’s a man let’s fight again at 135-pounds,” said Fortuna, who failed to make weight on two attempts Friday, which meant that Easter’s belt would not be on the line. “I will definitely make the weight. I didn’t give myself enough time to train.”

 

Unbeaten light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne (21-0, 16 KOs) made quick work of Francy Ntetu (17-2, 4 KOs) in SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING PRELIMS action, as he dropped and battered his opponent early to force referee Arthur Mercante to stop the bout at just 2:15 of the first round. Fighting for his 12th time at the Barclays Center, the 27 year-old Staten Island native kept his unblemished record intact by utilizing his powerful left hand on the overmatched Ntetu.

 

Browne established his dominance from the start, landing a clean overhand left that dropped Ntetu halfway through the round. The Montreal, Québec native was never able to regain his feet and found himself cornered against the ropes just thirty seconds later. A barrage of powerful combinations landed on the defenseless Ntetu left the referee with little option but to stop the fight with 45 seconds remaining in round number one.

 

"We worked for this win. He walked into a sure shot and I made him pay,” said Browne. “The overhand left caught him and that was the beginning of the end for him. I knew he was hurt.

 

"I need a world title shot. I’m ready to take on any of the champions. I don’t have any preferences. I’m glad I put together another great performance here at Barclays Center. I’m going to keep improving until I really become Mr. Barclays Center.”

 

Ntetu, who moved up to the light heavyweight division for this fight, had a hard time dealing with Browne’s combination of speed and power on his way to the second loss of his pro career.

 

“[Browne] is very explosive, congrats to him," said Ntetu. "He’s fast, he’s smart and I did not expect him to be that explosive. He got me with his right hook and a straight left.

 

“I was in enough shape to fight for 10 rounds. This is not my weight class, but I don’t want to make excuses.”




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