By Ryan Maquiñana
Vicente Escobedo will meet with Dr. Pearlman Hicks of Long Beach, Calif., Monday afternoon for consultation regarding surgery on a broken nose he sustained Saturday night during his WBO junior lightweight title loss to Adrien Broner.
“They did a few X-Rays in the hospital in Cincinnati, and it was broken, so I’m going to Long Beach today to see exactly what needs to be done,” Escobedo told BoxingScene.com/CSNBayArea.com.
“We’re going to meet Dr. Hicks in Long Beach at 3 o’clock,” said Escobedo’s manager, Rolando Arellano. “He’s one of the best, and I trust his expertise with fighters’ situations, especially because he’s worked closely with the California commission.”
Broner (24-0, 20 KOs), from Cincinnati, Ohio, failed to make the 130-pound weight limit the day before the bout and was both fined and stripped of the title. He also did not meet a weight limit of 140 pounds the following morning that was demanded by Escobedo’s team.
Escobedo (26-4, 15 KOs), from Woodland, Calif., subsequently called the fight off before Broner’s team made some last-minute overtures to keep the fight alive, namely an increase from Escobedo’s original $150,000 purse to a figure more than double that amount.
Escobedo was also reportedly guaranteed a second chance at the title. However, both fighter and manager stopped short on confirming that stipulation.
“At the end of the day, Vicente got the highest payday of his career, he tried his best, and he will still get his title shot when he comes back as far I know,” Arellano said. “We negotiated a very good minimum for his next fight, and hopefully the WBO will be flexible with how they handle the situation. Based on what happened, it’s clear he deserves to fight for the title at 130 pounds when he comes back from surgery.”
“I don’t know if it’s guaranteed,” Escobedo said. “I’m sure Rolando knows and is looking into that. I think I deserve a fair shot at the title, and I hope I get to fight for it.”
Escobedo then reflected on the loss, one where Broner put his mesmerizing skills on display, but also noticeably dwarfed Escobedo in the ring by a full weight class.
“Although it didn’t go as planned, I did my part as far as making the weight,” Escobedo said. “He didn’t, and to me, I felt like he had this planned the whole time, and it was a disadvantage heading into the fight.”
Escobedo, whose wife just had the couple’s first child in June, also talked about his mindset during Saturday’s tense negotiations.
“If it was just me personally, I would have walked away,” he said. “What made me change my mind was thinking about my wife and my daughter. And also, while it wasn’t just about the money—if I stepped away I wouldn’t have any money, period, so yeah, that was a concern, too—it was about the principle as well. In the end, we went ahead with the decision.
“I think I made a good decision, and I fought as hard as I could, but it was just that Adrien Broner was the stronger, faster, better fighter that night.”
Escobedo was then asked how he thought the fight would have transpired had Broner actually made the contracted weight.
“It’s hard to say, but he was very difficult to hit,” Escobedo said. “He’s very skillful and a good counterpuncher. I went to the body, and he countered me well. He had power, but again, that was also partially because of the size difference.
“But I think if he had to make 130, he would have struggled to make the weight, and after surviving the first couple rounds, I would have taken him to deep waters, and I think there would have been a different outcome.
“I would have either upset him or it would have been a close fight, at least at 130, I believe. I was walking around in there at 141, 142, and he definitely was in the 150s.”
Ultimately, Escobedo assured the fans that his championship quest is far from over.
“I’ll be back to fight for the title and win. You haven’t seen the end of Vicente Escobedo,” he said.
Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly boxing 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.