Former world champions Devon Alexander and Andre Berto will fight on the Mikey Garcia-Robert Easter Jr. lightweight unification card at Staples Center in Los Angeles on July 28, FightNights.com has learned.
This means world-class trainer Kevin Cunningham is going to have a very tight schedule. Not only is he training Alexander, but he is also preparing Easter for the toughest fight of his career against the undefeated, four-division world champion in Garcia.
Alexander (27-4-1, 14 KO's), 31, of St. Louis, who has held world titles at super lightweight and welterweight, returned to the ring last November after a two-year layoff to overcome an addiction to painkillers, and easily defeated Walter Castillo by unanimous decision. In February of this year, Alexander fought Victor Ortiz to a controversial majority draw, with one judge scoring the bout for Ortiz, although a majority of ringside observers thought Alexander had won comfortably.
Berto (31-5, 24 KO's), 34, of Winter Haven, Florida, has not fought since April 2017 when he was stopped by former 147-pound titlist Shawn Porter in the ninth round of a very rough fight.
In the main event, Garcia will defend his WBC lightweight title for the first time since his electrifying one-punch knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin in January 2017 to win the belt. He has fought twice since then.
Garcia moved up to 140-pounds last July and handed Adrien Broner a one-sided unanimous decision defeat. After debating moving back down to 135-pounds, Garcia opted to challenge IBF world titleholder Sergey Lipinets, and won his fourth world title in as many divisions with another unanimous decision in a far more challenging affair.
The 27-year-old Easter (21-0, 14 KO's), who holds the IBF lightweight title, has made three consecutive defenses since winning the title against Richard Commey in 2016. However, his last two fights, a unanimous decision and a split decision win over the likes of Denis Shafikov and Javier Fortuna, have been controversial outcomes, with some ringside observers arguing that Easter lost both fights.