Escobedo Meets The Problem Head On

By Teron Briggs on July 20, 2012
Escobedo Meets The Problem Head On
Ponce De Leon wasn’t impressed with the prodigal star-in-the-making. (Hogan Photos)

If all goes according to plan, Escobedo will just be another steppingstone on the road to superstardom for the Cincinnati Kid…

“July 21st is just another day in the ring for me,” a supremely confident Adrien Broner (23-0, 19 KOs) told the assembled media at the final press conference for Saturday’s fight on HBO Boxing After Dark. “I’ll come in laughing and dancing.” His opponent, one-time breakdancer Vicente Escobedo (26-3, 15 KOs), intends to do his celebrating after the fight. “Maybe after I win the belts and the fight,” he said, “then I’ll do some breakdancing in the ring afterwards.”

The last time Broner, aka The Problem, was on HBO he annihilated Eloy Perez in four rounds on the undercard of Devon Alexander vs. Marcus Maidana. Following the victory, Broner’s father brushed his son’s hair during his interview with Max Kellerman, which has become a trademark of sorts for the hotshot boxer-puncher. The Perez blowout was the 13th knockout in the last 14 fights for the cocky kid from Cincinnati. Broner’s exceptional hand-speed and devastating power have proven to be a big problem for everyone he’s fought, with the exception of Daniel Ponce De Leon.

The heavily hyped WBO champion Broner escaped by the skin of teeth with a close decision victory when he fought De Leon last April. In fact, ESPN scored the fight even, 95-95, after 10 rounds. The Problem, a natural counterpuncher, used sharp right hands and left hooks to stay out of harm’s way, as his opponent applied constant pressure. De Leon, who moved up in weight to face Broner, wasn’t impressed with the prodigal star-in-the-making. He said after the fight, “I fought him in his own weight division and he still couldn’t do anything to me.”

Escobedo will also be moving to Broner’s division to challenge for his title, but unlike De Leon he will be moving down in weight. Escobedo recently told MaxBoxing’s Steve Kim, “Ponce did a great, great job against him but he didn’t have the speed and boxing ability the way I do.” Escobedo has shown flashes of that “ability,” but he’s come up short the two previous times he’s fought at the world-class level. Against Robert Guerrero in 2010 he was knocked down twice in route to a non-competitive decision loss. A year before that, Michael Katsidis outworked him and roughed him up over 10 rounds to win a decision.

“This will be my last fight at 130 pounds,” Broner said recently, “and I’m going to go out with a bang.” The former US Olympian Escobedo should provide Broner with the toughest test of his career. But his lack of power—he only has a 51 percent career knockout ratio—will make it difficult for him to keep the young champion at bay. Escobedo recently admitted that Broner is “the best all-around fighter that I will have ever faced.”  If all goes according to plan, and Golden Boy and Al Haymon have BIG PLANS for Broner, Escobedo will just be another steppingstone on the road to superstardom for the Cincinnati Kid.

In a weak supporting bout, undefeated but untested welterweight knockout artist Keith Thurman (17-0, 16 KOs) will face Orlando Lora (29-2-2, 19 KOs). Thurman was supposed to face Maidana but the latter’s advisors balked at the fight, saying their man needed a “tune-up” bout. Even though Thurman has knocked out all but one of his opponents, he’s yet to fight anyone with a pulse. All that needs to be said about Lora is that of his 29 opponents, more than half didn’t have a record above .500 and six of them had never won a single fight. A less than definitive victory for Thurman would be a crushing indictment against his prospects for the future.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

HBO Boxing: Portrait Of A Fighter - Adrien Broner

Daniel Ponce de Leon vs Adrien Broner

Adrien Broner vs Eloy Perez [2012-02-25]

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  1. the thresher 07:43pm, 07/21/2012

    bk don, your expectations were met. this kid is the next big thing

  2. bk don 08:19am, 07/20/2012

    I love that Golden Boy is making this kid a hometown attraction. We need more fighters w/strong support from home. I’m expecting Broner to put a hurting on this Escobedo and stop him late, or win a comfortable decision.

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