Indio, California- One thing can always be said about lightweight Vicente “Chente” Escobedo- he always finds himself in a good scrap, never getting into an easy fight.
Such was the case once again on Friday night, on the Telefutura/HBO Plus-televised main event at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino, as the former Olympic silver medalist Escobedo, 23-3 (14), looked to be actually getting one as his first fight of 2011 turned out to be anything but.
Colombian veteran Walter Estrada, 38-14-1 (25), made things difficult, using his legs and snapping a busy jab from the onset before getting caught with an Escobedo body shot early in the first slowed him down briefly.
After getting an early lead, busting up the bridge of Estrada’s nose in the third round and working good head and body shots for the next three rounds, things got complicated for the Woodland, California fighter, as Escobedo was on the receiving end of a cut high atop the hairline on the left side of his head.
Escobedo backpedaled a bit too much in getting away from his incoming opponent, who missed quite a bit. Escobedo played matador, though not much in the way of throwing punches back.
Escobedo scored big in the seventh, sending his foe to the canvas with a jarring shot to the head. Jumping on his hurt opponent after beating the count, Escobedo tried to close the show, with the resilient Colombian surviving the onslaught and making it out of the round.
Escobedo lost focus and was put on the defensive once more for the next two rounds, as a accidental headbutt left a bloody cut above his right eye in the eighth, clearly bothering the fighter who kept wiping at the blood throughout the rounds.
Wanting to not leave things strictly in the judges’ hands, the Mexican-American fighter closed strong in the tenth and final round, securing a unanimous 97-92 (twice) and 96-93 decision.
Caballero Scores Clean Sweep in Six…
On the co-featured bout, Coachella-based Nicaraguan Randy Caballero, 8-0 (4), battled Palm Springs' tough Hugo Ramos, 3-8-2 (1), in a six-round super bantamweight outing.
Caballero used angles well, picked his spots, turning in short hooks and body shot combinations against a very game, wide-punching Ramos en route to a unanimously scored 60-54 win.
Ramos suffered a bloody nose in the second round but was never in any serious trouble. Caballero has now scored his third consecutive decision win and would be well-advised to use his jab more often, something which was lacking in this fight.
In other results, featherweight Juan Sandoval, 2-6-1 (2), drew with Diego Madrigal, 1-0-1, in a four-rounder in the opening bout of the night.
Madrigal was sent left dangling outside of the ring in his own corner in the third frame with referee Tony Crebs calling his collapse a push. Madrigal won the first two rounds on well-placed quick combinations but lost the second half of the fight as a pressuring Sandoval stayed on top of him, with Madrigal either holding or getting on his bicycle to the bell.
Ghana's streaking super lightweight Sharif Bogere saw his record remain undefeated at 19-0 (12) by bull-rushing Shamir Reyes, 18-9-2 (7), in the first round, sending the latter down twice with left hands to the head. Reyes again went down on a called push before getting beaten from post-to-post until referee Jerry Cantu had seen enough, calling the massacre off at 2:37 into the round.
Welterweight Michael Finney won his seventh fight by stoppage in as many fights, putting on a fierce body punching clinic on Joshua Beeman, 4-9-3 (2), going on to finally put him away with right hand body shot at 1:12 of the fifth frame.
I haven't seen a white fighter work the body so well since Micky Ward.
Canadian super welterweight Mikael Zewski, 8-0 (5), forced a one-day notice replacement in Mexico's Gerardo Prieto, 6-11-1 to not come out for the fourth round of a scheduled six round bout, citing an injured left shoulder.