By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Bruno Escalante faces a tough battle when he defends his IBA super flyweight title against hard-hitting Victor Ruiz at the Cache Creek Casino in Brooks, California on Sunday, Manila Time.
Ruiz has an impressive record of 9 knockouts in 12 wins with just 2 losses, one of them at the hands of newly crowned WBO minimumweight champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr of Mexico who won the title from the Philippines Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo in an inexplicably one-sided bout last March 22.
The 23 year old Ruiz lost to Rodriguez Jr by a 5th round TKO in a scheduled eight round bout on July 13, 2013.
However, the southpaw Ruiz bounced back quickly with a 4th round TKO over Jaime Diaz on September 28 last year.
The 25 year old Escalante who has a record of 12—1-1 with 6 knockouts won the vacant IBA title with a majority ten round decision over Michael Ruiz Jr on December 7 last year and defended it impressively with a 4th round knockout of veteran Mexican journeyman Lorenzo Trejo who had a total of 62 fights, on February 28 this year.
In a report by publicist Mario Serrano, Escalante believes that he’ll be victorious and that a win will lead him to bigger fights in the near future.
Escalante who at one time worked out with good friend Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire said “this is a very important fight for me. Ruiz is a power puncher who is going to be putting a lot of pressure on me.”
Escalante who is originally from Cebu moved to Hawaii when he was eight years old giving rise to his nickname "The Aloha Kid" , said he has been training real hard for the Ruiz clash and believes that he has “the better boxing skills” adding “my energy is focused on beating Ruiz” even as he indicated he is looking forward to getting “one step closer to fighting bigger names in my division.”
Escalante’s manager Herb Stone said “Bruno is having a nice run right now. I want to keep the momentum going and hopefully get him in there with some other champions but first we have to succeed in defeating Ruiz.”
The fight card headed by the Escalante-Ruiz title fight is presented by Don Chargin Productions, Paco Presents Boxing and Cache Creek Casino Resort.