Blue-chip lightweight prospect Robert Easter Jr. will take on former junior lightweight world titleholder Argenis Mendez, the best opponent of his career, on April 1 at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C., Premier Boxing Champions announced on Monday.
Easter-Mendez, which will be either a 10- or 12-round fight, will serve as the co-feature for the previously announced main event: junior welterweight titleholder Adrien Broner (31-2, 23 KOs) in his first defense against Ashley Theophane (39-6-1, 11 KOs).
"I want a world title and this is another big step on my way towards that goal," Easter said at a Monday news conference in downtown Washington, D.C., that was run by Mayweather Promotions boss Floyd Mayweather. "To be able to do it on Adrien Broner's card just guarantees it's going to be a big night. I'm just ready to show off my skills and make a name for myself so that I can continue to grow in this sport."
Easter (16-0, 13 KOs), 25, of Toledo, Ohio, was a 2012 U.S. Olympic alternate and trains with Broner, his good friend.
Mendez (23-3-1, 12 KOs), 29, who is from the Dominican Republic and fights out of Brooklyn, New York, has won two fights in a row, including a decision against former lightweight titleholder Miguel Vazquez in October, since losing his 130-pound belt by unanimous decision to Rances Barthelemy in July 2014.
"I really like this matchup and I can't wait to get into the ring," Mendez said. "I'm a different fighter than two years ago when I lost to Rances Barthelemy. Easter is long and tall. He's a good fighter, but he hasn't fought anyone near my caliber and I think his style sets up well for me.
"It will be a good fight between two talented fighters. When the fans see Easter get counted out by the ref, don't think it's an April Fools joke. It will be the real thing."
The card will also include 21-year-old Baltimore lightweight prospect Gervonta Davis (14-0, 13 KOs), whom Mayweather regularly raves about, taking on Guillermo Avila (16-5, 13 KOs), 23, of Mexico, in a scheduled 10-round fight.
"I'm definitely excited to fight in D.C. This is where my first professional fight was," Davis said of a February 2013 fight at the Armory. "I have a great team, especially Floyd Mayweather, who has taken me in and taught me so much about boxing but also about everything outside of the ring. I'm blessed to have his support in my career.
"April 1, it's going to be an action-packed fight. I will be a world champion one day. You don't want to miss this one."
Said Mayweather: "Gervonta Davis is someone I look at like a son. I met him in 2014 and they said this is the next big thing. Broner brought him to my gym to let me see him work. He's a very explosive kid. He's exciting and he will be fighting for a world title soon after a couple more bouts."
Lightweight Anthony Peterson (36-1, 24 KOs), the younger brother of former junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson, will also appear on the card in a scheduled 10-round fight against an opponent to be announced.
"This is my 38th fight, going for my 37th victory and fourth knockout in a row," Peterson, 30, of Washington, D.C., said. "Boxing isn't something you talk about, you just do it. That's what I'm going to do April 1. It's going down. I made my pro debut on a Roy Jones card, which was another big stage. So I'm very ready and blessed.
"I'm coming to give my hometown fans the knockout. Boxing is like jazz -- the better it is, the less it's appreciated. A knockout will get you praise. I'm targeting everybody in the division. I want a belt. The first one to step up, I'm going to take care of him."