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Robert Easter-Javier Fortuna set for Jan. 20

Easter will be making the third defense of his IBF title.

Robert Easter Jr. v Richard Commey Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. (20-0, 14 KOs) has officially been scheduled to make his third title defense at the top of the year when he’ll take on Javier Fortuna (33-1-1, 23 KOs), Michael Woods reports at The fight will take place on January 20 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, serving as an undercard bout for Showtime’s Errol Spence vs. Lamont Peterson telecast.

Easter, 26, will be coming into this fight after a six month layoff since successfully defending his title against Denis Shafikov in his hometown of Toledo, OH over the summer. And while he says he’s concentrating on the fight ahead of him, he’s also looking to target some of the division’s other top dogs.

“They ain’t gonna be able to run for long,” Easter wrote, “but for now we gotta focus on January 20th at the Barclays (Center), someone was brave enough to get this ass whooping!”

Javier Fortuna, 28, will be moving up from junior lightweight in this fight for his first shot at a full world title. That said, the 5’6” Fortuna will be in deep, as he’s not only moving up in weight but he’s also taking on an abnormally tall and rangy lightweight in Easter, who stands 5’11”. Fortuna also only has a 68 12 -inch reach compared to Easter’s 76-inch reach.

Fortuna was a promising Dominican prospect on rise until he ran into Jason Sosa last year, who knocked him out in 11 rounds. Since then Fortuna has taken a big step down in competition and rattled off four straight wins. He’ll now be taking a big step back up but there’s no doubt this will be a tough assignment for him.

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