Escalante wins IBA junior bantamweight title
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Escalante wins IBA junior bantamweight title
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (Dec 12, 2013)

Bruno Escalante
-Photo © Cliff Jeans, Undisputed Boxing Gym-
Bruno Escalante (11-1-1, 5 KOs) captured the IBA junior bantamweight championship by winning a close majority decision over a determined Michael Ruiz Jr. (9-4-1, 3 KOs) at the Sports House in Redwood City, California last Saturday night.

The bout was action-filled and hotly contested from the opening stanza. Escalante, a native of the Philippines, who fights out of San Carlos, CA. used his quickness to tag Ruiz Jr. with counter punches in the opening rounds. Ruiz Jr. from Fresno, CA., took on the role of the aggressor, attacking Escalante with various blows. In round five, Escalante, 25, connected with two wicked bodyshots that made Ruiz Jr. wince. Ruiz Jr. came back in the next round to hurt Escalante.

In round eight, the quicker Escalante found his second wind and wobbled Ruiz Jr. with a lightening quick left hand. Ruiz Jr., who split two amateur bouts with Escalante, battled back with a hard left of his own. The last round had the sellout crowd roaring as the fighters traded salvos.

One judge scored the bout 95-95 while the other two had Escalante a comfortable winner by margins of 98-92 and 97-93.

Escalante felt good about his performance.

“I showed my power, speed and boxing ability,” Escalante said after the fight. “I’ve fought him three times now and Ruiz is always game to fight. He took so many hard shots and managed to stay on his feet.”

Ruiz Jr. saw things differently.

“I was the aggressor,” said Ruiz Jr. “I outboxed him. I threw and connected more than him. He did nothing the last two rounds. I controlled the pace.”

Welterweight Jonathan Chicas (12-1, 5 KOs) stopped Rodolfo Armenta (13-12-1, 10 KOs) at 1:22 of the opening round. Chicas, from San Francisco, CA. landed a perfect left hook that deposited Armenta on his back. The veteran from Los Mochis, Mexico, pulled himself up, but was soon on the floor again - prompting referee Michael Margardo to wave off the contest.

“It was something me and my assistant trainer had been working on,” said Chicas of the left hook that flattened Armenta.” It worked to a t.”

San Francisco middleweight southpaw Ricardo Pinell (6-1-1, 5 KOs) bounced back from his first professional loss by stopping Arturo Brambillo (9-21-1, 4 KOs) at 2:55 of the second round. Pinell found a home for his straight left early and often. Brambilla, from Guadalajara, Mexico was unable to continue after being floored twice.

Popular Andy Vences (6-0, 2 KOs) overwhelmed Victor Capaceta to win a four-round unanimous decision. The scores were 39-37 and 40-36 twice. Vences, from San Jose, CA. landed sharp combinations to the head of the Tijuana, Mexico fighter. His body work also had Capaceta in trouble.

"I wasn't too pleased," Vences said. "I can always be better."

Tony Johnson (7-0, 2 KOs) also of San Jose, outpunched Alfredo Contreras (13-17-2, 5 KOs) in a six-round light heavyweight bout. All three judges scored the fight 58-56 for Johnson.

Johnson established his jab in the first two rounds. Contreras stalked and smiled. His overhand right connected on a few occasions. Johnson countered with a right of his own.

Prospect Darwin Price (4-0, 2 KOs) dominated Victor Guzman (0-3) to win a four-round unanimous decision. Price, a rangy junior welterweight, used his quickness to keep Guzman, from Tijuana, Mexico, at bay. The Salinas, CA. fighter pounded the durable Guzman with stinging headshots.

Scores were 40-36 on all three of the judges’ cards.

Lightweight Chris Batista won ever round against Benito Salzar. Batista, Medera, CA., was the quicker fighter throughout the four round affair. Salzar, who hails from Paramount, CA., kept trying, but was unable to land anything substantial against Batista. Both fighters were making their pro debuts.

The three judges saw the same thing, scoring the bout 40-36.


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