In the co-feature bout of the Adrien Broner vs. Ashley Theophane fight card, unbeaten Robert Easter Jr. (17-0, 14 KO) showed why he’s a rising star with a devastating KO at 2:43 in the 5th round over former world champion Algenis Mendez (23-4-1, 12 KOs) in a lightweight fight that finished with the crowd on their feet.
Easter, who took a big step up in competition facing Mendez, showed the patience of a season veteran in the early rounds against Mendez who represented the Dominican Republic in the 2004 Olympics and now fights out of Brooklyn.
It didn’t take Easter long to get comfortable and pick up his pace in the third and fourth rounds, with an array of body shots and uppercuts, that found their mark against the game Mendez. Easter closed the show when he knocked down Mendez with a devastating one punch knock-out via a stiff right hand. Mendez got up from the knocked down but was unable to continue, forcing the referee to stop the contest.
“My performance was okay. I could have done better, but I’m happy. I got touched more than I expected. Once I settled down, I knew I was going to catch him. I had to stay patient.
“Two boxers makes for a boring fight. I wanted to go in there and brawl, but be smart. I knew when I stepped on the gas I would put him to bed and that’s what I did. He was definitely the toughest opponent I have faced in a shorter fight. He is a former champ and he came in ready.
“This was a huge opportunity for me and I’m just happy I got the knockout. For what it’s worth, I feel good…at least physically I do. I’m pretty disappointed because of the way things turned out, but boxing is a difficult sport.
“I don’t have any excuses. I’m glad that I feel fine physically, that’s the most important thing right now. Robert Easter is a good fighter, he did really well and I wish him the best in his career.”
All photos by Stephanie Trapp/Mayweather Promotions