By Ryan Maquiñana
WOODLAND, CALIF. – Junior lightweight contender Vicente “Chente” Escobedo cleared the air regarding speculation surrounding a July 21 title shot against WBO 130-pound titlist Adrien “The Problem” Broner.
“My plan is to go forward,” Escobedo told BoxingScene.com. “Whoever’s in the way, whether it’s Broner, or anyone else, it doesn’t matter. I want to get my title, and I want to stay at this weight class.”
Earlier in the week at his public workout, Escobedo (26-3, 15 KOs) told BoxingScene.com that he might not be ready for a July date because he was expecting a baby with his wife this summer. However, “Chente” was much more definitive with his answer following a virtual shutout of veteran Juan Ruiz (23-10, 7 KOs) Saturday night.
“Yeah, it doesn’t matter to me,” Escobedo said when asked if he would indeed be amenable to a July 21 fight. “I talked about it with my manager. We can make it happen.”
Broner (23-0, 19 KOs) has impressed as of late with stoppage wins over each of his last three opponents. Escobedo broke down how a fight would transpire with the Cincinnati native.
“I have to look at more of his tapes, but from what I’ve seen, he has speed and power,” Escobedo added. “But I have speed and power as well. He has good fundamentals, but so do I. I think a fight between me and him would be a great fight. It would be a chess match.”
Regarding fighting in the champion’s hometown, Escobedo was seemingly unconcerned about getting a fair shake.
“One thing I learned from an old trainer of mine, Nacho Beristain—a great trainer—he told me, ‘Chingasos are chingasos,’ which means, ‘Punches are punches.’ The punches are going to be the same whether the fights in Cincinnati or Sacramento. It’s going to be the same fight no matter where it is. A fight’s a fight. We’re professionals and we don’t fold under the pressure.”
Escobedo’s manager, Rolando Arellano, echoed his fighter’s sentiment.
“Within the next couple days, I’ll be over at the office at Golden Boy, talking to Richard [Schaefer] and talking to the network, and we don’t want to lose for an opportunity like that,” Arellano said. “He’s the No. 1 contender. He’s been waiting for his title shot for a very long time, so what we’re going to have to do make several adjustments.
“What the adjustments are I don’t know yet, but we have to sit down with the team and find out what’s best for Vicente number one, what’s best for his psychology number two, what’s best for this family and his future child. I’m sure if we put those elements in place we can come up with something that makes sense for all of us, and we can also save that date and that great opportunity.”
At a Thursday press conference in San Jose to announce Robert Guerrero’s July 28 with Selcuk Aydin, Golden Boy’s Eric Gomez confirmed that Broner had an open date for July 21 in his hometown of Cincinnati, and that Escobedo was their first choice to land the fight.
Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly boxing column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and on the Ratings Advisory Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.