ShoBox: Jonathan Romero vs. Efrain Esquivias Preview and Prediction


On this weekend’s edition of ShoBox: The New Generation, two talented up-and-comers will compete for a title shot, as Jonathan Romero (21-0, 12 KOs) takes on Efrain Esquivias (16-1, 9 KOs) in a bout deemed an IBF super bantamweight title eliminator. What these two lack in drawing power, they hope to make up in action in a bout that has fallen under many boxing fans radar. Although this is mostly due to the media attention paid to the Murray vs. Burns match (which takes place the day after), one can’t help but think that Shobox’s lack of promotion for these smaller cards has something to do with it.

Even with its problems, ShoBox has served as a vital tool as viewers are able to follow a prospects potential greatness or failure on a rather large stage. This fight will be no different, as Romero looks to continue his winning ways, while Esquivias stands in his path determined to erase the memory of his loss to Rico Ramos. Will Esquivias prove to be the fighter his promoter, Ken Thompson, hyped up as “…the next Pacquiao”? Or will Romero look to stay undefeated en-route to earning his first major title shot? Only time will tell, but this preview ought to help.

At this point in his career, there isn’t much one can say about Jonathan Romero’s resume. He’s both extremely talented and undefeated, but one can’t help but question his opposition. Up to this point in his career, 9 of his 21 victories have come against fighters with losing records. His path up to this point isn’t much different than those of many young up-and-coming fighters, but it was worth mentioning. Luckily, Romero has managed to consistently improve in each of his in-ring appearances, and he’ll have to continue doing that in order to get past his toughest test yet, in the form of Efrain Esquivias.

Going into this fight, Romero is the much taller man. He possesses a slick defense which relies strongly on footwork and upper-body movement, and also has a telephone pole-like jab used to frustrate his usually much smaller opponents. Another interesting fact about Romero is that he relies more on counter-punching and technical boxing to gradually wear an opponent down, instead of applying constant pressure. This style of fighting can be seen in most of his fights that have gone the distance, as he is able to remain fresh while his opponents are left gasping for air.

Going into his fight with Esquivias, Romero will have to do what he does best in order to pull out a win. To keep the smaller Esquivias at bay, Romero will have to throw the jab early and often while mixing in, his seemingly trademark, lunging body shot. As the fight wears on he’ll also have to be weary of Esquivias aggressive style of pressure fighting by relying on his slick defense, as well as his footwork. If he can manage to move around the ring while countering the on-coming Esquivias, Romero will run away with a dominant unanimous decision victory.

Similar to Jonathan Romero, Efrain Esquivias resume isn’t exactly a who’s who of big-name fighters. Unlike Romero however, Esquivias has already faced a legitimate contender, as he stepped up and took a fight against a crafty Rico Ramos. Although Esquivias would go on to lose a majority decision to Ramos, one couldn’t help but give the man credit for accepting such a challenge at such a point in his young career. There is absolutely no way that Esquivias will ever live up to the hype that his promoters threw upon him, but who really does?

Esquivias has potential to become a solid gate-keeper for the division, which judging by Marcos Maidana’s career, that isn’t a bad thing. Going into this fight with Romero, Esquivias will have to channel his inner Maidana to derail the hype train surrounding the young Columbian. Although he is the smaller fighter of the two, Esquivias possesses a longer reach that Romero which will help in trying to close the distance against the taller fighter. Esquivias is also the much more aggressive of the two. The American applies seemingly constant pressure as he mixes stinging hooks to the body and vicious shots to the head. To defeat Romero, Esquivias will have to constantly stalk the undefeated fighter while also avoiding any potential openings to Romero to exploit. If he can manage to do this, while also applying his endless aggression, there is no doubt that Esquivias can upset the Columbian en-route to a late rounds stoppage victory.


In the early rounds, Esquivias will immediately be on the offensive as he tries to bully Romero along the ropes. Although Esquivias will be the busier fighter, Romero will land the more powerful punches as he calculates and counters each time the American comes in too wild. Both fighters will find some success, but the earlier rounds will go to Esquivias on the score cards due to his higher output and overall aggression. As the fight approaches the middle rounds, Romero will slowly begin taking over. He will being moving around the ring effectively, while avoiding the ropes and countering an over-eager Esquivias. Esquivias will begin to grow increasingly tired, as each Romero counter seems to be more effective than the last.

The rounds will no doubt remain competitive, but Romero will steal these rounds. As the fight approaches the later rounds, both will come out doing what they do best. Unfortunately, it will look more like the middle rounds than the early ones as Romero continues to outbox and counter the visibly frustrated Esquivias. In the final round, Esquivias will do everything in his power to stop the Columbian. As he comes roaring out, Romero will continue avoiding the ropes while exploiting the Americans porous defense. The fight will be a fun one, but the victor will be clear. Jonathan Romero will walk away the victor with a majority decision win.

Pick: Jonathan Romero def. Efrain Esquivias via Majority Decision (MD