INDIO-After a fast start which a knockdown Vicente Escobedo hung on against a late charging Rocky Juarez to win by unanimous decision in a rugged junior lightweight showdown on Friday.
“I told Rocky after the fight I didn’t take him lightly at all,” said Escobedo.
Fighting for relevance as contenders Juarez (28-9-1, 20 KOs) of Houston and Escobedo (24-3-1, 14 KOs) of Indio battled back and forth at Fantasy Springs Casino before a crowd of more than 1,200. Both fighters needed a win to get a world title shot.
After a slow start Escobedo began sharp-shooting with three-punch combinations in round two and three. A short stiff left jab dropped Juarez in the third round. Escobedo had landed that same punch earlier to great effect.
Juarez turned things around in round four by attacking from the inside. The Texan crowded California’s Escobedo and both exchanged blows in close where the shorter arms proved more effective.
Escobedo’s right uppercuts proved effective in round five but Juarez’s body blows are landing. A counter right from Juarez scored big in the beginning of round five. A three punch-combination from Escobedo was his best moment.
In round six Escobedo was cruising in the round with combination punching when Juarez landed a left hook after the bell that wobbled the Californian. The referee warned Juarez for the late hit.
“I hit him with a three-punch combination and was open for a split second and he caught me,” said Escobedo.
Escobedo was still feeling the effects of the late hit in round seven. Juarez continued to land the left hook up and down as Escobedo fired rapid combinations. Escobedo resorted to a stiff left double jab that snapped Juarez’s head repeatedly.
“I should have used it more,” said Escobedo, who controlled the later rounds with that snapping jab.
The scores were 98-91, 97-92 and 96-93 for Escobedo.
Rolando Arellano, manager for Escobedo, said they’re looking for the top contenders in the junior lightweight division.
“This will happen rapidly,” Arellano said.
After a three year absence Coachella’s Adam Carrera (20-4, 8 KOs) returned to the ring, winning a six round decision over Mexico City’s Adolfo Landeros (20-22-2) in a junior lightweight contest. All three judges scored it for Carrera 58-53 twice and 57-54.
Despite two knockdowns and a severe body attack Carrera couldn’t put the finishing touches on the ultra tough Landeros a veteran of numerous encounters with rising prospects. A short left hook floored Landeros in round two but Carrera was nearly floored too by a left hook counter as he attempted to knock out the Mexican fighter.
Carrera focused more on the body in round three and that opened up the firing lanes and led to another knockdown from a right hand. Landeros recovered and remained a struggle for the local fighter. But Carrera was too accurate for Landeros who couldn’t land enough solid blows to keep the Coachella fighter at bay.
Palm Springs junior welterweight Kenny Williams (2-0) had a difficult time with Pomona’s Ronald Rodriguez (0-1) who was making his pro debut. Williams tried to hard for the big blow against the tricky head movement of Rodriguez. All three judges scored it for Williams 40-36 twice and 39-37.
Coachella’s Angel Osuna (6-3-1, 4 KOs) floored Santa Ana’s usually resilient Juan Carlos Diaz (7-15) three times before referee Raul Caiz stopped the fight at 1:17 of round one in a junior middleweight clash.
Montebello’s David Reyes (2-0) won by decision over L.A.’s Raymundo Chacon (3-1) after four rounds of a bantamweight fight.
Riverside’s Saul Rodriguez won his pro debut by first round knockout of William Fisher (0-3). The Riverside Poly High School graduated this past June and had anxiously waited for his first pro fight. A Rodriguez left hook caught Fisher backing up at 58 seconds of round one at the Commerce Casino as referee John McCarthy stopped the fight.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV