By Ryan Maquiñana
The Undisputed Gym in San Carlos, Calif., was the scene for the weigh-in before Friday's card at the Fox Theater in nearby Redwood City.
With his mentor, reigning Fighter of the Year Nonito Donaire in attendance, headlining junior bantamweight prospect Bruno Escalante (6-1-1, 3 KOs) of San Carlos made weight. However, his opponent, Rigoberto Casillas (8-9-1, 6 KOs) of Tijuana, Mex., came in two pounds over the contracted limit of 116.
The eight-round main event will still proceed, except now, Casillas will forfeit 20 percent of his purse, with half of that amount going to the California commission, and the other half going to Escalante.
There were no other issues on the scale. In the co-main event, San Francisco's Jonathan Chicas (8-1, 4 KOs) will face Arturo Brambila (9-17-1, 4 KOs) of Phoenix, Ariz., in a six-round junior welterweight clash.
The rest of the undercard features a trio of four-rounders with several fighters from the Northern California region. Cruiserweight Joe Gumina (4-1, 2 KOs) of nearby San Bruno goes up against South Carolina's Lee Holloman (1-4-1), San Francisco middleweight Ricardo Pinell (1-0-1, 1 KO) meets pro debutant Nathaniel Richardson of Madera, Calif., and Sacramento junior lightweight Alberto Torres (2-0) faces off against Redwood City's Jesus Sandoval (2-1-1), who will be defending his hometurf.
Two bouts fell through for entirely different reasons. Lightweight Jhonnathan Zamudio (1-1-1, 1 KO) pulled out of a four-round scrap with Carlos Morales (1-1-3), while promising unbeaten welterweight Preston Freeman (3-0, 1 KO) was tragically shot and killed Wednesday night in his hometown of St. Louis.
The 20-year-old Freeman had been training in Salinas, Calif., and was originally scheduled to meet Miguel Islas (1-1) in a four-rounder. A boxer-puncher with dazzling handspeed, Freeman was on the verge of making a name for himself in the local boxing circles.
Bruno Escalante 115 (right) vs. Rigoberto Casillas 118
Jonathan Chicas 142 (left) vs. Arturo Brambila 144
REST OF UNDERCARD:
Joe Gumina 186 (left) vs. Lee Holloman 180
Ricardo Pinell 157 (left) vs. Nathaniel Richardson 153
Alberto Torres 127 (right) vs. Jesus Sandoval 129
FIGHT DATE: Friday, March 8
VENUE: Fox Theater (Redwood City, Calif.)
FIRST BOUT: 7:00 p.m. PT
PROMOTER: Don Chargin/Paco Presents/Jorge Marron
PHOTOS: Stephanie Trapp
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at email@example.com, check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.