Easter eases to points win, Zhakiyanov dethrones Warren
IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr (19-0, 14 KOs) outpointed challenger Luis Cruz (22-5-1, 16 KOs) on Friday night at the Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio.
The American retained his title by a unanimous decision with scores of 119-106, 118-107 and 117-108.
Easter was always in control and scored three late knockdowns, dropping Puerto Rico's Cruz in the 10th, 11th and 12th rounds, en route to a one-sided victory.
Also on the card, Kazakhstan's Zhanat Zhakiyanov (27-1, 18 KOs) rallied from two knockdowns and defeated defending champion Rau'shee Warren (14-2, 4 KOs) to win the WBA bantamweight title by a split decision.
Warren knocked the challenger down twice in the first round with hard shots but Zhakiyanov, who is trained by former two-division world champion Ricky Hatton, battled back in the following rounds and attacked the American with head and body blows.
The judges scores were 115-111, 116-110 for Zhakiyanov and 115-111 for Warren.