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Friday’s Boxing Notebook
IOWA CITY (BASN) — This past Friday night, two prospects who happened to be twins made their television debut and the main event featured two featherweights in a fight to determine the future of their careers.
Carlos Velasquez, like his twin Juan, came into his fight undefeated and his opponent Juan Nazario was looking to make his own mark. There is always the debate — How do you manage the career of prospects?
For many promoters today, prospects are brought up on diet on tomato cans and the barely living. Even prospects with extensive amateur experience are brought along similar to those with less experience.
The question is how fast do you bring up a prospect and for many promoters, it is the record that matter not whether the prospect learns anything.
The Velasquez brothers have been put in with soft competition and for Carlos, Juan Nazario was to be the first big test. It turned out to be false as Nazario spent more time running for surviving as oppose to fighting.
In the first minute, Nazario got off some counter but as the fight progressed, Nazario countered less and moved more. I should say, run more.
The key punch in the battle was in the second round when a Carlos Velasquez right nearly sent Nazario down. From the replay, it looked like a knockdown but Nazario kept his balance and got back up before the referee could determine if his glove hit the canvas.
From this point, Nazario retreated continuously.
The flaws in Velasquez showed up quickly but Nazario was not the fighter to take advantage of those flaws. Those flaws included lack of jabs, failure to cut off the ring and trying to end the fight with one punch.
No combinations and no jabs, Velasquez could never sustain a consistent attack and there were times that he was more interested in allowing his opponent to hold.
When Carlos Velasquez fights a better opponent, these flaws will be exposed just as his brother flaws were exposed in his fight against Jose Beranza. Juan Velasquez won the first two rounds with boxing skills but the veteran Beranza stayed close to the younger fighter and waited for his opportunity.
The fight change in the third round when a Beranza right to the body caught Velasquez off balance and sending him down. He pursued and while the first knockdown was more a flash, the second knockdown was not a fluke as Beranza nailed Velasquez with a left uppercut.
From this point, the veteran Beranza gave his youthful opponent a boxing lesson as he stayed inside and pounded the body. Velasquez panicked and he simply threw wide punches while going for the knockout. In the first two rounds, he used his jab to set up his combination but after he was knocked down, he skipped his boxing skills.
This simply opened him up to Beranza attacks.
At the end of the fifth round, another Beranza right sent Velasquez reeling to the rope and his mouthpiece flying. Before he could finish the job, the referee stepped in to place the mouthpiece back The referee saved Velasquez from a knockout but not a lost as Beranza won an easy decision.
In the main event, hometown hero Antonio Esclante challenged Cornelius Lock. Lock’s advantage was his boxing skills but Lock also had one disadvantage, he could be tempted to fight a brawl.
That is what happened. Esclante attacked the body and wore his opponent down; he also forced Lock to fight his fight. In the third round, Lock preferred to fight his opponent as oppose to box. This made the fight exciting for the fan but it also ensured Lock’s defeat.
A body shot sent Lock to the ground early in the round and Esclante continued to attack. He landed a series of body shots which set up another series of head shots to send Lock down one more time. He staggered to his corner and from that point, the fight belonged to Esclante.
From the third to the seventh round, Esclante dominated the action. There were times that Lock boxing skills came through with accurate punches but these exchanges were few as Esclante’s body shots forced Lock to fight toe to toe, while diminishing all of Lock’s advantages.
As the fight wound down, Esclante slowed down his pace but Lock was too beaten to take advantage of this. In the final round, Esclante went for the knock out. In the opening seconds of the round, an Esclante’s right nearly stopped Lock.
He played defense as Esclante pushed forward, throwing one big bomb after another; attempting to stop Lock. He survived on guts and heart but this was Esclante night and his decision.
If Esclante showed one weakness, it was his lack of ability to cut off the ring and this allowed Lock to survive; in particular in the latter rounds when Lock escaped off the ropes against Esclante’s more powerful punches.
Power overcame skills as Esclante kept his career as a title contender, but Lock own career suffered a set back for he didn’t just lose but he lost big, nearly being knocked out.
As for El Peso boxing fans, they were treated to a power display by their hometown favorite.