By: Marc Livitz: Before a rowdy hometown crowd at the Woodland Community Center in Woodland, CA., Vincente "Chente" Escobedo claimed the vacant WBO NABO Super Featherweight title with a devastating first round TKO victory over "Lightning" Lonnie Smith.
Escobedo (25(15)-3), a member of the 2004 Olympic squad, spotted Smith (14(10)-3(2)-2, Las Vegas) a few shots at him, after which he proceeded to quickly work his way into Smith’s body, then pushed him away in order to land his left jab. He followed the jab with a powerful right and then a rapid three punch combination which sent "Lightning" Lonnie to the canvas for the first time at the ninety second mark. Although Smith easily beat the count, he tried to continue the attack upon Escobedo, but to no avail. Just a few moments later while the two were in the dead center of the ring, Smith was grazed by a left uppercut that still wobbled him enough to allow "Chente" to land a hard right hook to his ear. Much like the first knockdown, the second one came after Smith had tried to stand toe-to-toe with Escobedo and trade shots. The Las Vegas fighter rose to his feet once again but this time, his opponent didn’t wait to answer back. Vincente caught Smith with two powerful left/right combinations which sent him barreling backward toward a corner. After he tried to grab the top rope to slow his fall, he never had a chance to set his feet and prepare for the onslaught unleashed upon him by Escobedo.
The local hero from Woodland landed a few power shots on Smith, who then fell flat on his back. Referee Dan Stell stepped in and halted the action at 2:20 of round number one. Vincente Escobedo, who has lost only twice in the past six years (to Michael Katsidis and Robert Guerrero, respectively) stated that although he is content to leave his options for the future open for now, that he will not rule out a potential bout with undefeated super featherweight champion Adrien Broner.
In an entertaining bout in the Super Bantamweight division, Manuel "Tino" Avila maintained his undefeated record by way of a unanimous decision victory over fellow Californian David Reyes. From the opening bell onward, Avila (7(2)-0) controlled the pace of the bout as long as he continued to walk down Reyes (2-2), who seemed content to try to use the ring and wait for his chance to counter. The two young fighters (Avila is 19, while Reyes is 21) kept a constant flow of action in the ring. Each tried their best to engage the other in a war of wills, yet Avila had a bit less of a wide stance between the two and on occasion was able to get the attention of Reyes with a straight right or left hook. "Tino", of Vacaville, CA followed to a "T" one of the main rules of scoring a bout: effective aggression. Throughout the six round contest, he was the clear aggressor and ultimately Reyes paid the price for trying to lie in waiting for a clear chance to counter.
It was possible that Avila could have done more in the bout. Although David Reyes (Boyle Heights, CA) was effective at evading any constant or serious pressure from him, his fellow boxer from Northern California did not attempt to seal the deal in any manner once he was able to back Reyes into a corner. The three judges were in agreement after the scheduled six rounds were complete. Two cards were a clean sweep at 60-54 each, while the third read 59-55.
March 3, 2012