Saturday, December 2, 2023

Robert Easter Jr. Is Toledo’s Own Boxing Hero

Hopping onto E. Bunny’s hype train

Would it surprise you that one of the toughest men on the planet came from a city with a reputation based on glass? Or that his nickname outside the ring— E. Bunny— is synonymous with candy, painted eggs and magic rabbits? Turns out, it’s no surprise Robert Easter Jr. is the International Boxing Federation’s freshly-minted lightweight champion. And with a professional record of 18-0, you begin to realize why they call him “Trouble” inside the ring.

Going the distance

The Toledo native’s been putting T-Town on the boxing map. Easter Jr. just broke another fighter’s undefeated streak to stand alone atop the 135-pound division, outlasting and out-boxing Ghanaian fighter Richard Commey in a 12-round decision September 9, Easter Jr. proved he’s got the skill set to be a legend in a crowded field. The fact that he did it in front of a national audience on Spike TV, makes it as sweet as, well, a Cadbury Creme Egg.

Co-headlining the night’s card from Santander Arena in Reading, PA, the split-decision victory is just the latest win in an escalating career. Like something out of a movie, Easter Jr. and his fists have climbed up from a hungry amateur at age nine to an Olympic alternate at the London games in 2012 and now to a bona fide champion of his sport. 


Hometown pride

A second-generation fighter, Easter Jr. is trained by his father right here in Toledo, at Glass City Boxing.

“It’s cool because he’s been in the ring, he actually was a professional boxer as well, so I get the inside scoop,” the champ says of his father, Robert Easter Sr. “Since he’s been in there, I know he’s got the knowledge. He actually did it, so that’s kinda cool.”

Easter Jr. has, impressively, amassed 13 of his wins by knock out. Earlier this year, he was recognized by the Toledo City Council for his perfect record in kicking ass, taking names and being a great Toledoan.

Lest you think that staying undefeated might become some sort of all-consuming Achilles Heel, rest assured that the 25-year-old fighter isn’t sweating the prospect of a loss:

“A loss doesn’t define a fighter. Muhammad Ali had several losses and went down as one of the world’s greatest and a legend, so it doesn’t put any pressure on me,” he says. “Boxing is boxing. As long as I’m doing what I’m supposed to do and perfecting my craft, and working hard every day then yeah, I should stay undefeated.”

In that case, the only trouble Robert Easter Jr. should have going forward is deciding who to beat next.     

Roll with the champ during a parade

Celebrate Easter’s success during a parade on Sunday, October 2 at 2pm in downtown Toledo. The parade route will start along St. Clair to Jackson Street, finishing at One Government Center, where Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson will honor the IBF Lightweight Champion of the World with a glass key to the City.

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