Robert Easter marched on this past Friday night in front of a hometown crowd in Toledo, Ohio where he defended his IBF lightweight title.
Easter had previously won the strap back in September 2016 with a split decision victory over Richard Commey and followed that up with a unanimous points win in February just gone against Luis Cruz.
Last night taking on Russian Denis Shafikov, Robert Easter proved the victor in the end but was made to work very hard in the contest.
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Shafikov arguably got the better of the first half of the fight.
Despite a significant 7 inch height disadvantage, the southpaw Russian was relentless and was not phased by some of Easter’s work on the outside.
The judges seemed to give it to Easter handily in the end though, but the truth was a lot different.
Shafikov gave Easter plenty of trouble in the fight when fighting on the inside, but when Easter got into his groove on the outside he had the better of his opponent.
After a competitive first half of the bout Easter rallied back in the 7th, hurting his opponent visibly.
Both men looked like they were fatiguing down the stretch but overall Easter just about did enough to get the decision in my opinion – with some stellar work when he could get it going on the outside.
Massive credit to Shafikov however. He never stopped ploughing forward and proved a game world title challenger all night.
For those not familiar with champion Robert Easter here he is in action when he won his title in 2016 (hat tip PBC YouTube):