SAN DIEGO, July 22, 2012 – Adrien “The Problem” Broner created serious problems in and out of the ring for Californian Vicente (Chente) Escobedo, enough for Escobedo’s trainer Joel Diaz to finally throw in the towel and end a lopsided beatdown in Cincinnati at 2:42 of round 5.
The fight came after a day of drama in which Broner failed to make weight on Friday, then failed to make a second weight agreement on Saturday, creating several hours of negotiations before Escobedo’s camp finally agreed to the fight in exchange for an increased purse.
Broner ended up weighing 145 at the time of the fight; Escobedo weighed 140. A lightweight fight, this was not. These were light welterweights masquerading as lightweights. It’s time to end debacles like this one by returning to the day of the fight weigh-ins.
Broner was bigger, stronger, and faster. He manhandled Escobedo, who put up a game defense but was beaten down in short order. His trainer Diaz did the right thing in protecting him and ending it early.
After the fight, Escobedo said he did his job, he made weight like a professional does. Then he became emotional while talking to HBO’s Max Kellerman. “I’ll go back home, spend time with my daughter and wife, see what’s next… I was away from my family, my wife. To come here and not get a fair fight, I got really emotional as you can see. I’m here to fight.”
There seems little doubt Escobedo was pressured to take this fight to keep the promoters, HBO, the venue, and the people who bought tickets happy. It’s a shame and I can only hope the money made it worth his while and starts a nice college fund for his newborn daughter.
For his part, Broner engaged in his usual antics from start to finish. He and his posse entered the ring wearing t-shirts reading “Free Money May,” referring to the currently incarcerated Floyd Mayweather. Never mind that he’s getting out in about two weeks anyway.
After the fight, Broner made a show of asking his girlfriend into the ring, professing his love, dropping to one knee and asking her to… wait for it… brush his hair. She is apparently far more patient than I would ever be.
HBO’s Kellerman pressed him to discuss the fight, discuss his failure to make weight, and questioned the wisdom of him tweeting out photos of junk food like Twinkies. Broner deflected the questions just like he deflects punches. He claimed the tweets were in response to an HBO questionnaire. I call BS on that, but it’s a moot point now.
Broner says he just grew out of the weight class, “and that’s that.” Fine, but don’t mess around with another fighter’s health and career because of it. I object to this cavalier attitude.
Broner remains undefeated at 24-0. Escobedo’s record is 26-4, and he has the right to a title shot opportunity following this fight. Broner’s belt was stripped for his failure to make weight despite the win.
Broner has talent, but he needs to stop letting the antics overshadow athletics. He needs to knock off the sideshow and fight someone in his true weight class. This is why fans end up abandoning boxing for UFC and MMA. My recommendation: cleanse your boxing palate by watching the Olympic competitors starting next weekend.
In the undercard fight, Keith “One Time” Thurman fought a smart fight, stopping journeyman Mexican fighter Orlando Lora in the sixth round with a well-placed left hook. Thurman (23-0) mixed up hooks and body shots. Lora (29-3-2) showed the classic toughness of a Mexican boxer, but eventually he had taken too much punishment and a well-placed hook put him on the canvas.
Thurman was brimming over with confidence after his win, telling HBO’s Max Kellerman “I’m young, I’m hungry, I’m the new thing in the welterweight division. Paulie Malignaggi, I want your belt. Timothy Bradley, I want your belt. Floyd Mayweather, I think I can defeat you. We want everyone in the welterweight division.” Hey, down boy.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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