by Dennis 'dSource' Guillermo
Undefeated 22-year-old Filipino-Hawaiian prospect Bruno Escalante (3-0-1) has been tapped as Nonito Donaire, Jr.'s chief sparring partner for his upcoming October 22 title defense against Omar Narvaez of Argentina.
"I'm excited and honored to be able to spar with one of the best boxers in the world," said the Cebu City native, who moved to Waimanalo, Hawaii when he was 8-years-old and currently resides in San Carlos, California.
Escalante trains at the Undisputed Gym under the guidance of trainers Brian Schwartz and Michael Bazzel. "I'm looking forward to helping him out for his fight and learn as much as I can as well," added Escalante.
Escalante debuted as a pro back in February of 2010, in the undercard of Pinoy Power 3. Donaire was impressed with his talents and took him from Hawaii and brought him to the Bay Area to help him out with his career. But with Donaire's own boxing career taking off, and with the many commitments and responsibilities that come with it, it became more difficult for him directly help Escalante. That's where owner and former kickboxing phenom Schwartz came in, and took Escalante under his wing.
It's been somewhat difficult for Escalante, who has only four pro fights in more than two years as pro, to find opponents his size in the the Bay Area, and has been forced to fight opponents at higher weights. At one point, Escalante who campaigned at 112 as an amateur and intends to stay around that weight, had to fight at the 126 weight limit just to secure a fight. It didn't matter much however, as he knocked out his opponent in the second round.
Escalante's next fight will be on Friday, September 2, at the Salinas Sports Complex, against Frank Gutierrez in a four-round bantamweight bout. Escalante also told me that he would love to come back to his hometown in Cebu, and dreams to fight there one day.