Escalante Wins War Against Roman
As youngsters Antonio Escalante 23-2 (14) and Miguel Roman 28-7 (20) came face to face on the streets of Juarez, Mexico where they both spent their childhood. There was no ring, no referee and a crowd consisting mainly of Roman’s bigger brothers. Neither would concede defeat that time but this time Miguel Roman had no choice, losing by unanimous decision on all three judges cards. The street fighter still appeared to be in them though as they went toe-to-toe for ten gruelling rounds at the Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso, Texas.
The fight took no time at all catching fire and neither man took a backwards step. Defence seemed to be an afterthought as both fighters pummelled each other with bomb after bomb. Roman is a nightmare opponent for anyone and he will give any fighter around his weight class a gut check. His relentless pressure and desire to win can be difficult to cope with, and although Escalante tried to use his jab and footwork to fight going backwards, for the most part he simply had to bite the bullet and stand toe to toe with Roman. Escalante showed why he is top ten ranked by most of the governing bodies though, and beat Roman at his own game.
It was touch and go at times for Escalante, who certainly took his fair share of punishment, never ever really taking control of Roman, but he generally had the edge in one of the most exciting main events of ESPN’s Friday Night Fight’s for some time. Both boxers literally traded devastating punches from first bell to last.
The pace didn’t ease and as the fight wore on it was Roman who appeared to be feeling it more. Hardly surprising after the effort he had given, but like a man possessed he just kept coming. Even in the seventh, after Escalante dropped him heavily after a flurry of punches, he didn’t drop his rhythm. By the next round Roman was back, hammering Escalante with punches in an astonishing turnaround. Even in the final round, after a huge right hand starched Roman’s legs, he momentarily took a breath and dived straight back in. Credit to both guys for putting on a terrific performance, but it was Escalante who’s slight edge in class earned him the decision win, by scores of 97-92, 96-93, 96-93 on the judges cards. Both men will need a good rest after this one.
In the chief supporting bout undefeated prospect Danny Garcia moved to 16-0 (10) with a split decision win over Brit Ashley Theophane 25-4-1 (7). In what was more of a challenge for Garcia than anticipated, Theophane did quite a good job of frustrating Garcia for most of the fight.
In what was more of a technical fight than the main event, Garcia possibly had a few weaknesses exposed that better fighters could capitalise on, and although not a great performance from the Golden Boy prospect, motivation could have been a factor. Eventually as the fight wore on he seemed to rise to the challenge more, and by the late rounds seemed fully in control. It was enough to give him the win by scores of 95-94, 96-94 & 94-95 on the cards.
Garcia will have to go back to the gym and work hard to improve his future performances, especially if he intends to fight at a higher level.