Record Crowd For Golden Boy
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,