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  Record Crowd For Golden Boy Watch
Escobedo, Caballero Score Victories


By Barbara Pinnella


I made the drive down to Fantasy Springs Hotel and Casino in Indio, California for the fights put on by Golden Boy Promotions. I had wanted to go down there the last time, but wasn’t able to make it, and I was looking forward to a fun night. I was not disappointed, although admittedly I almost never am.

In the main event Vincente Escobedo (23-3, 14 KO’s) took on Walter Estrada (38-14-1, 25 KO’s). This fight was for a scheduled 10 rounds in the Lightweight division. Most recently Estrada was given the split decision victory over Nate Campbell.

The first round was all Escobedo, as he landed some hard punches. Estrada was not able to answer back in the opening round. Vincente continued to stalk in the second round, and kept pushing Walter back throughout most of the round. When Estrada did get to throw some punches they were easily deflected by Escobedo.

Walter looked a bit better in the third round, being more aggressive than he had been in the first two rounds. He came out even stronger in the fourth, and landed some good left hands during the round. He had definitely picked up the pace and was trying to play the same game as Vincente.

A pretty even fifth, and it was the same song in the sixth. The confidence that Escobedo had shown in the early part of the fight now seemed to wane a bit, as Estrada was peppering him with punches.

That all changed in the seventh as a left jab, right hand combination sent Estrada to the canvas. He almost did it again, but Walter was able to dodge the left hand.

The doctor had to look at a cut on what appeared to be the right cheek bone of Escobedo in the eighth, but the fight continued. The cut was caused by a head butt. Walter tried to take advantage of that situation as he attacked the head of Escobedo, but to no avail.

A back and forth round nine, with nothing remarkable going on. Both men brought it in the tenth and final round. When the dust cleared the scores were 97-92, 97-92 and 96-93, all for Escobedo.

I caught up with Vincente after the fights. “He surprised me,” he said of Estrada. “The guy was tough. I thought I was going to be faster and stronger than him, but he came to fight. He showed a lot of heart. I hurt him, but I wasn’t able to take him out. Like a veteran he did what he had to do – he had the experience.

“He was a little awkward and I couldn’t throw my shots the way I wanted to. That’s what made him a little difficult. I was really good and sharp in training and I didn’t look as sharp as I liked in the ring. But I learned, and I’m going to look at the video. I made some mistakes but I did some good things too. But I learned and most importantly I got the win, so I’ll just prepare myself better for the next one.”

I asked Vincente where he goes from here. “I’ll get some rest. I feel good though, I feel really good besides the head butt and the cut (eight stitches worth), and I hurt my hand in the fifth round,” he said, as he showed me his swollen right hand. “I couldn’t really throw it as hard as I wanted to after that. But the plan is to get back in there soon.”

He didn’t think his hand was broken. “No, I think I just bruised it. I have really, really big knuckles and sometimes I just damage them.

Escobedo is looking forward to returning to Fantasy Springs soon and fighting again for the fan base that he is rapidly developing.

The popular local fighter Randy Caballero from Coachella, California (8-0, 4 KO’s) went up against another local Hugo Ramos (3-8-2, 1 KO) from Palm Springs in a fight that was billed as the co-main event. This bout was for a scheduled six rounds in the Super Featherweight division.

Caballero hurt Ramos in the first round with some punishing body shots, but could not put an end to the fight. Still, it did help to soften Hugo up. Round two saw more body punches from Randy, as well as some well placed shots from both right and left hands, but Ramos was also able to land a few.

Halfway through the fight and Caballero was still doing damage to the body of Ramos. He would throw combinations to the torso and then lay a few on Hugo’s head. Ramos was still making contact occasionally, but it wasn’t slowing down the young man from Coachella.

The fourth was possibly Hugo’s best round, but that might be because Randy did not attack quite as much as he had been. Both men came out strong for round five, but Ramos quickly slowed down while Randy stayed aggressive and continued to do what he had all night – connect with the head and body of Ramos.

They went for it all in the final round, each trying to put the other away. While Ramos came in with a record quite a bit less impressive than Caballero, he was tough enough of an opponent that Randy was never able to take him out, even though he hurt him several times. All of the judges saw the fight the same way however, 60-54 across the board for Caballero.

To me he was a more mature fighter than the last time I watched him fight, but when I saw him later Randy was honest about his night in the ring. “I knew Ramos could take a punch,” Randy told me later. “I used to spar with him. But I was a little disappointed in my performance. I think I could have taken him out, but I didn’t.”

They started off the night with the fight that opened the television coverage, and it was between two Featherweights. Local Indio resident Diego Madrigal (1-0-1) found himself in the ring with Juan Sandoval (2-6-1, 2 KO’s). This fight was to go a scheduled four rounds. Madrigal came out like gangbusters to start the round, but Sandoval answered back as the round continued.

Round two saw Diego on the attack again. But make no mistake, both men were very wild in the first half of this fight, chasing and swinging at each other without the benefit of a lot of contacts. Don’t get me wrong, the hits were solid. It’s just that they did a lot of missing as well.

Juan came back in the third, and sent Diego into the ropes, which was not called a knockdown by the referee. None the less, he landed several good punches in that little assault.

The action continued in the final round. The fans were really into it, and the action never stopped. The ref got his exercise as well, as he spent the 12 minutes running around the ring in his effort to avoid the fighters. For all their efforts, the fight was scored 38-38 on all cards, a draw. Had Madrigal been called down in the third, things would have been different – the old coulda, woulda, shoulda moment.

While this was to be an undercard bout, the taping continued as the Lightweights went a scheduled eight when Shamir Reyes (18-9-2, 7 KO’s) faced off against Sharif Bogere (19-0, 12 KO’s). By the end of this fight, only one of those men would have a 19 next to their win column. An interesting entrance for this one, as Bogere came out wearing a lion skin headdress. A quick right hand in the opening seconds of the first round sent Reyes to the canvas. Later in the round it was a left that put Reyes down. After Sharif unleashed a battery of punches on his opponent, the fight was waved off at 2:37 of the very first round. This fight scheduled for eight was over very early.

The young Michael Finney (7-0, 7 KO’s) tried to keep both those streaks alive when he went up against Josh Beeman (4-9-3, 2 KO’s). This fight was scheduled for six rounds in the Welterweight division.

Finney showed why he has that record, as he came out the more accurate fighter right from the start. A short little right put Beeman down in the second.

Michael was working the body of Josh as if it were the heavy bag in the third, but Beeman was able to come back from that and connect with a lot of his punches. In the fourth he continued with that onslaught, and more than held his own.

That was not to last however, as one more brutal body shot put Beeman down for good at 1:12 of the fifth round.

The final fight of the evening saw two Junior Middleweights hit the ring when Canadian Mikael Zewski (8-0, 4 KO’s) faced Gerardo Prieto (6-11-1) in a fight scheduled for six rounds. On paper Prieto looked to have a very difficult task in front of him, as he came into this fight having lost his last five.

That appeared to be the truth in round one as Zewski had the upper hand throughout most of the opening round. The same thing continued in the second. Prieto spent a lot of time showboating, even waving a glove in response to a comment from the crowd. Unfortunately, that doesn’t win fights.

Mikael’s punches continued to find their target and Gerardo continued to skip around throughout round three. At the conclusion of that round the corner of Prieto stopped the fight. Zewski remained undefeated and Prieto was handed his sixth loss in a row with that TKO.

This was the largest crowd to date for a Golden Boy Promotions fight at Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino, as 1,440 fans filed in to watch the action. Their next event at the Springs will be on April 1, and will feature a rematch between Eric Morel and Martin Castillo. Caballero will also be fighting again on that card.


Be safe and God Bless,
Viva La Raza,
Barb.



 

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