Derek Bonnett is unimpressed as Robert Easter Jr vs Rances Barthelemy proves a tedious spectacle for those watching
The battle of rangy former lightweight titlists at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas promised intrigue from the start. Robert Easter Jr. and Rances Barthelemy sought to re-establish themselves among the elite class of lightweight fighters in search of big-money bouts with the division’s best. The fighters, similarly built, tall and lanky with ample reach, have reached expected heights in terms of divisional titles, but neither could assert himself as a champion by separating himself from the competition. As champions, both benefited from controversy before being dethroned by wide margins.
Barthelemy, who had not fought in the division since 2016, opened as the underdog. Easter stepped into the ring for the first time since losing his perfect record to Mikey Garcia last summer. The path to Second Chance Avenue brought them together for an intriguing match-up with no obvious outcome, but the action ended up a proverbial “Safety Dance”.
Through twelve rounds, neither fighter was ever able to land ten punches on his opponent. That is a staggering account for two former world champions. The bout remained friendly throughout. All the aggression was ineffective and the punches never quite turned into bunches. The most salient work appeared to be Barthelemy’s to the body which was most consistent if “consistent” can even be used to describe the affair between these two elite competitors.
The most distinct round came in the second when Easter, 28, prevailed 8-4 in punch connects. Easter landed a few good right hands over the distance. Virtually every round was subject to debate. Fans deserved more with each boxer receiving $250k for their non-effort.
SecondsOut favored Barthelemy, 32, by a score of 116-113. The official judges saw the action 114-114 and 115-113 for each boxer, rendering a majority draw. Barthelemy’s record now stands at 27-1-1 (14) while Easter’s is 21-1-1 (14).
Also, former world champion, Viktor Postol, 35, won a wide unanimous decision over Mohammed Mimoune at junior welterweight. Postol pitched a shut-out on SecondsOut’s card. The paid judges saw it a tad closer, 99-91, 98-92, and 97-93. Postol improved to 31-2-0 (12). Mimoune dipped to 21-3-0 (2).