In a fight that was much closer than two of the official scorecards would lead you to believe, Robert Easter Jr successfully retained the IBF lightweight title with a win over contender Denis Shafikov tonight on Bounce TV.
Easter (20-0, 14 KO) kept his belt on scores of 116-112, 120-108, and 120-108. Two of the judges — Jamie Garayua and Eugene Grant — managing to score every round for Easter, 26, is a little questionable, as there were plenty of close rounds in this fight, and finding nothing to give Shafikov (38-3-1, 20 KO) is a little curious.
BLH saw it with judge Carlos Ortiz Jr, scoring the fight 116-112 for Easter. It was anything but an easy night for Easter, but his height and more dynamic game ultimately gave him the advantages over the shorter, more basic Shafikov, who is now 0-3 in world title fights, having previously lost to Miguel Vazquez and Rances Barthelemy.
Junior middleweight Julian Williams (23-1-1, 15 KO) got back in the groove with a TKO-7 win over Joshua Conley (14-2-1, 9 KO) on the undercard.