LEM'S CORNER NOTEBOOK
BY LEM SATTERFIELD
ALGENIS MENDEZ: “THE BEST ROBERT EASTER HAS FACED’’
Algenis Mendez believes he poses the most difficult challenge that Robert Easter, Jr. has ever faced. And as a former lightweight champion, Mendez believes he has faced better competition than Easter.
Mendez (23-3-1, 12 KOs) will find out if his beliefs are accurate when he meets the undefeated Easter (16-0, 13 KOs) on the undercard of the Adrien Broner-Ashley Theophane main event on the PBC on Spike (9 p.m. ET/PT) at the DC Armory in Washington D.C. on April 1.
Easter, a 25-year-old from Toledo, Ohio, has been preparing for the match at the Headbangers Gym in Washington D.C., working with Lamont and Anthony Peterson and Broner. He has gained confidence sparring with them. Mendez said it’s not going to help him.
“It doesn’t matter who he’s sparred with – the Petersons or Adrien Broner. They’re not Algenis Mendez,’’ he said. “Robert Easter will see speed, power and a lot of other things that he’s never seen in the ring. He’s going to be in a real fight. I’m ready to go to war for 10 rounds, but I know that if I land a good shot on Easter, he’s going to sleep.”
Mendez has put together two victories since he lost a rematch Rances Barthelemy in 2014. Their first match ended in controversial when Barthelemy knocked out Mendez in the second round with a punch that was ruled to have landed after the bell.
“A lot of guys who get knocked out, they never recover, mentally,” said Mendez’s trainer, Marc Farrait. “It’s like every time they get hit after that, they get shaken and can’t go on. That’s not happening with Algenis Mendez, who is a totally different fighter, mentally and physically.”
Mendez said the boxing skills of Barthelemy have more than prepared him for the height, skills and athleticism of Easter, who is going for his fifth consecutive KO victory.
“Robert Easter is entitled to say that he’s going to get the knockout, but on April 1, we’ll show that he’s all talk. I’m going to surprise a lot of people in the way that I beat him, but it’s not going to surprise my team.”
ERROL SPENCE LOOKING TO MOVE TO THE TOP WELTERWEIGHT LEVEL
Errol Spence Jr. wants to give Chris Algieri a similar experience as the one he had against Manny Pacquiao. Algieri made six trips to the canvas in a lopsided 12-round decision loss to Pacquiao in 2014.
Spence (19-0, 16 KOs) will get the chance to put that plan into practice against Algieri (21-2, 8 KOs) when the two meet in a welterweight showdown on the PBC on NBC at the Barclays Center on April 16.
Considered by many to be the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather, the 26-year-old Spence will be looking for his seventh consecutive knockout against Algieri, who has yet to be stopped in a fight.
“Pacquiao didn’t stop him. Amir Khan didn’t stop him and Ruslan Provodnikov didn’t stop him,” Spence said. “If the knockout presents itself, I’m going to take it. Otherwise, I’ll make it a one-sided fight. I want to give him a Manny Pacquiao-like beating.
If that happens, it will be an eye-opener to those who have been keenly observing the talent-laden welterweight division where the top spots are guarded by boxers like Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. Thurman and Porter will meet on CBS on June 25.
“I believe I’m one of the top talents in the sport, but I have something to prove and I have to prove myself in this fight,” said Spence. “Going from prospect to contender is a leap, but you have to go through it. There’s a lot expected from me. There are a lot of questions that need answering. This is what I have to do to get into that top five level.”
KRYSZTOF GLOWACKI OVERCAME INJURY TO UPSET MARCO HUCK
Polish contender Krysztof Glowacki was already an underdog heading into his fight against long-time reigning cruiserweight champion Marco Huck last August. Then the unbeaten 29-year-old southpaw suffered an injury that gave him something else to worry about.
“It was a left wrist injury and it happened during the last week of sparring for Marco Huck,” said Glowacki. “Doctors said it was a seven millimeter break on my hand and there was a part of the bone that was displaced.’’
Glowacki wants to avoid all the drama as he prepares for his first title defense against Steve Cunningham (28-7-1, 13 KOs) on the undercard of Spence-Algieri on the PBC on NBC at the Barclays Center on April 16. After surgery to repair the injury on Sept. 3, Glowacki is fully recovered and healthy. But the memory is still fresh with him.
“Fighting through the injury was a horrifying experience,’’ he said. “There was pain and numbness after every punch, but the adrenaline helped.”