Showtime Errol Spence Jr vs LaMont Peterson and Robert Easter Jr vs Javier Fortuna
BY KID HERSH
Showtime champion boxing from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Robert Easter Jr (20-0, 14KO's) vs Javier Fortuna (33-1-1, 23KO's). The referee was Ricky Gonzalez. Fortuna's shirt said "Que te pasa negro?" - pretty strange, if I may say so myself. In the first round Easter was pressing Fortuna backwards and being his usual aggressive self. Fortuna was looking to land his uppercut when Easter was in range, and did land a couple of them, but nothing that hurt or stunned Easter. In the second round Fortuna was docked a point from hitting behind the head - after being warned for holding and hitting, but not hitting behind the head just yet. To the referee's credit it was a pretty obvious and flagrant foul - with Fortuna hitting Easter numerous times when he was bent over and looked to me like Fortuna was holding him down to hit behind the head. In the third round Fortuna was very aggressive and landing some good punches; especially near the end of the round when he landed a left hook that stunned Easter and backed him up. This is the first time that I have seen Easter hurt before in a fight and it will be interesting to see how he reacts going forward. In the fourth round it looked to me like Fortuna was buying time, perhaps getting a breather, as he circled the ring and was not looking to engage Easter. The action was slow until the final minute of the sixth round when Fortuna landed a left hook counter that hurt Easter, backing him up for the remainder of the round on unsteady legs as Fortuna went wild as he usually does - far too wild to be effective. The rounds were fairly close - although I disagreed with the announcing team that thought Fortuna was winning, simply because I saw a guy stinking out the joint to a certain degree degree - circling the ring and being defensive while looking to land one big shot that he landed very infrequently while Easter was making the fight. In the ninth round Easter looked like his pressure was finally starting to get to Fortuna, as Fortuna looked tired and was more wild than in the previous rounds. I believe Fortunas output is low because he has to pace himself while also looking to land counters which are really his only way to win the fight. The tenth round was a brawl, with both men giving as good as they were taking while fighting in close quarters and unloading hellacious power shots. Going down the stretch the championship rounds were well fought and tough to pick a winner between the two. The cards came in 114-113 Easter, 114-113 Fortuna, and 115-112 for Easter. Fortuna was very angry at the outcome but I think the right man won.
Errol Spence Jr (22-0, 19KO's) vs LaMont Peterson (35-3-1, 17KO's). The referee was Harvey Dock. In the first round Peterson was a bit of a heavy bag as he moved around the ring slowly and simply let Spence unload to the body and the head. Spence was not hitting the mark upstairs but he was landing to the body very well. In the second round Peterson continued coming forward and was hurt by a right to the body followed by a left to the temple that put Peterson on slightly unsteady legs. Spence continued his steady aggression and was even laughing at Peterson before the round was over. The third round turned into a brawl and Peterson was landing more punches than in the previous two rounds but he was also taking many more and one had to wonder if he could continue to stay in the pocket and take everything the young gun was dishing out. In the fifth round the pressure and power combinations of Spence put Peterson on his rear when it culminated with a left hook that sent him backwards and down. Peterson had over half a round to last but he made it through the round with will and mental fortitude while firing off powerful counters at the right moments to keep Spence from running him over. Spence continued his aggression and combination/power punching, looking a little bit like Terry Norris and a little bit like Shane Mosley in his younger days powerboxing. As the eighth round commenced Barry Hunter stopped the fight, fearing for his fighter who was not mentally broken but was physically breaking down while Spence was still strong as can be and only going to pour it on for the remainder of the fight, while it lasted.