By Jake Donovan
The HBO cameras begin rolling with a televised doubleheader. Up first is the televised co-feature, with Keith Thurman (17-0, 16KO) making his network debut against journeyman Orlando Lora in a 10-round welterweight bout.
STILL TO COME
A long and exhausting day of drama finally came to a close where terms were reached for Adrien Broner and Vicente Escobedo to proceed with their scheduled main event. The bout airs live on HBO from the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Hometown favorite Broner (23-0, 19KO) made headlines for all of the wrong reasons. Yesterday's weigh-in saw the unbeaten hometown fighter miss weight by 3.5 lb, losing his alphabet title on the scales and forfeiting 20% of his $300,000 purse. More of the same ensued this morning, when Broner weighed 143 lb, three pounds over the renegotiated same-day limit of 140 lb.
This morning's antics initially prompted Escobedo (26-3, 15KO) and his handlers to walk, but hours of negotiating and a near doubling of his purse convinced the Californian to proceed with tonight's HBO-televised main event.
The 130 lb. belt is still at stake for Escobedo, who made weight at Friday's weigh-in. A win by Broner - who announced earlier in the week his intentions to move up in weight - would render the title vacant.
Omar Figueroa survived a rocky moment late in the opening round to take a wide unanimous decison over Dominic Salcido.
Scores were 97-93 (twice) and 98-92 for Figueroa (19-0-1, 15KO), who has already fought and win six times in 2012. The red hot prospect was rocked late in the first round, but brought the pain in subsequent frames to permanently swing the fight in his favor.
The only downside to Figueroa's night is that a six-fight knockout streak comes to an end. His breakout moment came earlier this year, stopping then-unbeaten and heavily-favored Michael Perez.
Salcido's career heads in the exact opposite direction. This bout was his first since Oct. '10 as he falls to 18-4-2 (9KO). All four losses have come in his last six bouts, with the first coming against the B-side of tonight's headliner, Escobedo.
The fight will air via tape-delayed clips on the Boxing After Dark telecast.
Undefeated middleweight Chris Pearson (7-0, 4 KOs) stopped Angel Hernandez (14-11-1, 11 KOs) after mutliple knockdowns and a barrage of punches.
Junior lightweight contender Brandon Bennett (14-0, 7 KOs) was dropped in the first round, but fought his way to an eight round majority decision over John Nater (9-2, 8 KOs).
Heavyweight prospect Danny Calhoun (1-0, 1 KO) made his pro debut, stopping Quincey Palmer (3-2, 3 KOs) in the first round.
Junior lightweight prospect Ra’eese Aleem (5-0, 2 KOs) won a four round unanimous decision over DeVonte Allen (4-2-1, 3 KOs). All three judges had it 40-36.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox