The Lukie Report: Escalante Wins Breaks Hand
Bruno Escalante had a hard night’s work against Victor Ruiz at Cache Creek Casino & Resort in Brooks, CA in front of a sold out crowd on April 5th. “I hurt my hand in the second round” Escalante said to Philippine News correspondent, Truth Esguerra afterwards. “I tried to finish very strong” Escalante stated as this marks the second time Escalante has had to dig deep at the famed resort in Brooks, CA. Last September, Escalante would need to work over time to defeat Joseph Rios in one of the most competitive affairs from last year in Northern California.
Even minus one hand that Escalante reported via Instagram on Sunday night was broken in two places, Escalante found a way to win. For Escalante his philosophy is simple. “Fighting is so much mental and my team at Undisputed Boxing Gym, Brian Schwartz, Michael Bazzel and Fabian Melendez keep me so sharp not just physically, but mentally as well.” The daunting task seemed doable thanks in no small part to the training prior and his belief in his team.
Escalante now has new goal once healthy. That goal is to fight for the world title by the end of the year. For reference the champions in junior bantamweight are at this time WBO and #1 guy in the division Omar Narvaez, WBC Srissket Sor Rungvisai and IBF Daiki Kameda. Escalante recently stated that he would be willing to travel and looking at the list of champions none of which are based in the United States rather out of Thailand, Japan and Argentina. The most likely title shot Escalante may get pending on his hand at the end of the year is WBC as belt may be moving to Mexico if Carlos Cuadras is victorious next month. Another scenario would be if Zou Shiming moved up to fight for the WBA belt and if he could get in position to challenge Shiming as the two have history from the amateurs where Escalante lost a decision to Shiming when he was still a teenager.
Nonetheless, Escalante is Junior Bantamweight who can draw a crowd, engages in exciting fights and has multiple parts of the world behind him. Despite a nasty injury, the 2013 Northern California fighter of the year has a lot to look forward to.
Mendez returns with W, but fights through injury
Paul Mendez handily defeated Santiago Perez in the co-main event, but not without his own personal foe to battle. That personal foe according to his camp’s (@SamGarciaBoxing) twitter account, which stated “…8-0 for Paul Mendez feel good about the win battled a left shoulder injury and it showed up, but Paul’s tough”. Mendez who was coming off an impressive KO win on Fox Sports 1 over Raul Casarez, one that even caught the eye of Oscar De La Hoya spent the majority of this camp in Big Bear Lake, CA, a place out of training Mendez is not fond of and has noted on several occasions.
Mendez used his masterful technical excellence to control the fight at range and dictate the terms that the fight was fought on, but one thing was absent the ability to close. Mendez who is working his way into the top ten rankings for the middleweight division returned quickly from his last bout which was February 17th meaning he essentially went straight back into camp after the impressive win including training on his birthday. Mendez will now look to take a bit of time off to heal up and just get a bit of rest as he was very active in the first quarter of 2014.
Mendez and his camp, The Garcia family was the focus of a great piece by Vic Tafur for the SF Gate leading into the fight as well. Mendez, who has sparred with Gennady Golovkin, worked with Virgil Hunter and Andre Ward in years prior saw a new storyline. Mendez and his family was now the center of attention in the local media beyond just boxing circles something that he may not have been accustom too. Mendez may have been tired, hurt or just had one of his off nights, but even then he outclassed a game foe and didn’t even give him a single round as he shutout Perez for the entire fights length.
Robb Is Back
Sacramento’s Guy Robb returned against undefeated Daniel Ramirez handing Ramirez his first loss. Guy Robb is probably one of the most known fighters in Northern California yet has not been as active as one might have hoped. Robb best known for his breathe taking battle with Joel Diaz Jr., took the fight to Daniel Ramirez and dominated from start to finish as the fighting pride of Sacramento, looked to reclaim his stake as the most exciting young fighter coming up through the ranks in a division void of a lot of star power in junior lightweight.
Robb is now under new management with Herb Stone who works closely with Paco Presents Boxing and Don Chargin Promotions and keeps fighters very active.
Pinell Gets Stunning KO Win
Ricardo Pinell is one of the brightest prospects in the bay area, I have not been bashful about stating this opinion. Pinell who trains out of B St. Boxing in San Mateo under Eddie Croft as well as working with mitt master Jairo Escoabar in San Francisco, CA is showing improvement especially from his last outing in which Pinell seemed to lack urgency. Pinell, who at times can get hit a bit too much is a defensive wizard when he brings his A-game with lethal finishing ability.
On this night, Pinell faced Darren Mallard, an undefeated prospect who just took a fight against another undefeated fighter, Mauricio Zavaleta, last month and beat him. Pinell was able to walk down Mallard and in the third round and landed a perfect counter straight left that separated Mallard from the conscious world for longer than ten seconds. This marks the fifth fighter with a winning record Pinnel has faced in his first nine bouts and fourth undefeated fighter he has beaten so far not a small feat by any measure.
Ambrosio and Martinez battle to draw, Bourland gets win
Luis Ambrosio is a promising young fighter in the featherweight division yet he is beginning to look more and more human by the day. Ambrosio whose style is similar to Abner Mares minus the professional and championship refinement got all he could bargain for against Cesar Martinez in a battle of wills as well as the fight of the night. Martinez on the other hand was a man who was determined not to fade nor backdown. The two exchanged punches for the duration of four rounds with both having their moments with the only loser being the one who did not attend the fight.
In the second round, Ambrosio landed a right hand that opened up a cut over Martinez’s eye, Martinez showed urgency by responding with harder shots trying to finish Ambrosio. In the end, Ambrosio is now voyaging into a domain that he may want to make an adjustment upon as he was coming off a split decision win in his last fight and now picked up a draw against Martinez. Ambrosio who is relentless, aggressive and tough at times can be his own worst enemy as he will engage in wars that maybe he doesn’t need to fight per say.
In the opening affair Cruiserweight, Ryan Bourland picked up a win over Zlatko Ledic in a back and forth affair that saw Bourland using a bit more ring generalship to edge out a close win in a hard fought bout.