U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio– In a bout that was on-again, off-again all afternoon because of Adrien Broner’s inability to make any of the pre-fight weight requirements, Broner (24-0, 20 KOs) stopped a game, but overmatched Vicente Escobedo (26-4, 15 Kos) in five rounds on HBO’s Boxing After Dark.
Broner, set to fight in his hometown, had already given up his WBO super featherweight title and $60,000 in fines for failing to make the 130 lb. limit and further put the fight in jeopardy by failing to make the 140 lb. same day weight the morning of the fight. After several back and forth exchanges between Broner’s team and Escobedo’s, it was finally settled, just minutes before the arena doors were to be opened, that the fight would go on with Escobedo making an additional $250,000 for his night’s work.
As for the fight itself, Broner had his way and did what he wanted with Escobedo. The talent disparity, regardless of the much-publicized weight issue, was the biggest factor in this bout and it showed the moment Broner shifted from a cautious Mayweather-like pose to go on the attack.
Escobedo tried to make his fight and tried to work the body, but he never got into the fight and collapsed the moment Broner decided to press the attack.
In the fifth round, with their fighter backed up against the ropes, cut, and clearly bothered, Escobedo’s corner tried to wave off the contest, but failed to get referee Gary Rosato’s attention in time to save their fighter some extra punishment. Eventually, it did end, though, and few were surprised by the result.
After the bout, Broner affirmed his move up to lightweight and reached a new low point on HBO post-fight interviews with a humiliating fake proposal to his girlfriend, which ended with a “will you brush my hair?”
On the undercard, twenty-three year old welterweight prospect, Keith Thurman (18-0, 17 KOs) stopped a pedestrian Orlando Lora (29-3-2, 19 KOs) in six rounds, but in the process showed himself to be a not ready for prime-time player.
Heavy-handed and confident, Thurman whacked Lora hard and frequently, even when in retreat, and eventually got to Lora in the sixth. The 31-year-old Mexican was buzzed and sent to the canvas. He would beat the count easily, but opt out of the contest rather than face another four rounds of thumping.
Thurman is someone to keep an eye on, but shame on HBO for airing a painfully raw prospect on prime TV time against someone with little chance of beating him. Thurman-Lora looked more like a 6-round swing bout on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.