Broner vs. Escobedo: Suicide for Hire

By Richard V. Powell on July 24, 2012
Broner vs. Escobedo: Suicide for Hire
Escobedo wound up crushed in the 5th round and his trainer wisely threw in the towel.

Like a lamb led to slaughter, Vicente Escobedo found himself on the killing room floor Saturday night in the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati…

They say every man has a price but not every man gets it. Vicente Escobedo got his Saturday night against Adrien Broner, but might have lost a piece of his soul in the process.

A confidential source inside Golden Boy Promotions has informed that Escobedo earned a hefty check of $400,000 and a guaranteed title shot—win or lose—for the 130 lb. belt as a reward having agreed to step into the ring and take a beating from “the next big thing” Adrien Broner. With the event in jeopardy, Escobedo held all the cards which prompted HBO to do like Don Corleone and make him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“You know, it was a tough situation,” Escobedo told “At first, I was going to not take the fight, but we started the negotiating and we came up with a deal, and it was just a deal that I couldn’t refuse…I got a great deal. I got a really good deal. My manager got me a deal that I really couldn’t refuse. So, you know, I agreed to everything.”

Team Escobedo knew they were in for a long night even before Broner didn’t make weight. Since he doesn’t live in a bubble, Escobedo knew Broner was the Second Coming (the first being Floyd Mayweather) but said he felt that on a level playing field he would have a good shot to win. Escobedo has grown up breathing the same air as Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. in Culiacan so his heart will win some battles for him that he might otherwise lose. And he had master trainer Joel Diaz in his corner, the same trainer that had just engineered a Bradley victory on June 9th over Manny Pacquiao against similar odds, so he was confident he could give a good showing. 

Then the level playing field began to tilt in Broner’s direction as it always seem to do for these anointed young stars. Broner couldn’t make the 130 lb. weight limit, putting Escobedo at a serious disadvantage. Furious negotiations began with Escobedo agreeing to stick as long as Broner came in at 140 or less. But then it turned out that Broner couldn’t make that weight either, prompting Escobedo to book a flight out of town on the first plane available.

It’s a funny thing about zeros; when you add them to a freshly written check they can make a man do things his gut tells him not to do. When every fiber of a man’s being is screaming for self-preservation, a few more zeroes can cause him to put fear and logic aside. Add a few zeros after a dollar sign and suddenly defeat and pain become worth it.

Like a lamb led to slaughter, Vicente Escobedo found himself on the killing room floor Saturday night in the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. Surrounded by ravenous Broner fans all screaming for blood, he accepted a fate that everyone knew was coming, and dreading, but that everyone still wanted to see. 

Early in the fight, Broner mercifully seemed to let Escobedo linger, but then suddenly announced to his corner that he was going to walk him down. And walk him down he did, landing several power shots that tore into Escebedo, establishing Broner’s dominance in no uncertain terms and satisfying the hunger of his fans around the world. 

With broken nose and broken spirit, Escobedo wound up crushed in the 5th round and his trainer wisely threw in the towel. For a fighter from Culiacan the towel is a fate worse than death. Escebedo was probably thinking that somewhere Chavez Sr. was shaking his head in disgust as he had broken the code. You never throw in the towel. You die in there. And to make matters worse, he took money for it.

Vicente Escobedo openly cried during his post-fight interview. Maybe he was just disappointed that he’d lost but it seemed like something more troubling was going on. Max Kellerman repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to pull the reasons out of him, but Escobedo continued sobbing. It seemed as if Escebedo had lost a piece of his soul. Maybe he felt as though he was a willing participant in something less than honorable; a show, a piece of theater masquerading as a fight. Maybe he felt used and violated. Or worst of all, maybe he just felt like a piece of meat.

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  1. Rob 10:29am, 07/26/2012

    @Mr Powell - I have had some differences with you in the past (Chavez Jr. related) but i have to admit that this is a well written account of the farce that was on display last Saturday. The only thing missing in the article is that not only Golden Boy and Haymon and Broner are culpable; the networks (in this case HBO) have the power (they have the $) to change this current landscape in boxing by not allowing these kind of fights to take place. Broner is the second coming alright; the second coming of Brandon Rios. HA!!!

  2. procopy 08:04pm, 07/24/2012

    with that weight advantage, broner still wasnt able to really knock escobedo out. this fight is lame…

  3. Original Eight 12:15pm, 07/24/2012

    Broner is the latest in a long line of privileged fighters that are ruining the sport. And poor Escobedo was strong-armed into facing Boner, who obviously doesn’t give a damn.

  4. The Thresher 11:57am, 07/24/2012

    “ most things in boxing, short money and cronyism take precedence over the best interest of the sport. So, until someone cares enough to actually do something positive for boxing, welterweights fighting for super featherweight titles and cruiserweights disguised as middleweights will be the norm. And arrogant little monsters like Broner and Chavez Jr. will continue to rule the roost on boxing’s tree of woe.”

  5. mike schmidt 11:50am, 07/24/2012

    There seems to be a lot of this “dont make weight behaviour” lately—god forbid one of the fighters gets seriously injured and disabled. I read that the forfeit penalty on the weight was contracted at $60,000 half—don’t know if that is the case—as is the usual case, goes to the Commish. I never have understood why the Commish gets some of the forfeit dollars. So for the $400000, cut it in half for taxes—now $200,000, take away the usual 30% for manager—trainer etc now down to $80,000… you get my drift—hell of a way to have your value and soul destroyed—I am sure he was crying out of frustration amongst other things.

  6. The Thresher 11:44am, 07/24/2012

    “Ohio does not handle a lot of big-time boxing action and commission officials, even in the “strong” commissions, tend to be just slightly more competent than double-naught spy, Jethro Bodine. But, still, it doesn’t take a genius to see something wrong in one side of a prizefight tossing cash at the other side for the right to disregard a potentially fatal flaunting of the rules.” Paul Magno

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