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A donnybrook in El Paso
For Escalante, the stakes were high as he used this fight as a prep for a possible title shot but Miguel Roman proved to be a tough opponent. Roman is a straight forward Mexican fighter who bores his way into his opponent chest and let loose with fierce body shots.
Escalante combines boxing skills with great inside fighting skills but against Roman, the outside game would be the appropriate. As the first round began, it became obvious that this was going to be war.
In the opening minute, both fighters went toe to toe. Roman forced Escalante to box as he found that Roman a tough hombre. Both fighters exchanged inside shots as the bell rings ended the first round.
The fourth round saw Escalante moving back and to the side as Roman continued his own assault on Escalante’s body. He found himself in a war as he threw punches in volume but much of his own offensive did little to discourage Roman.
In the fifth round, Escalante looked drain as Roman nailed his opponent with effective left hooks. In the sixth round, Escalante’s boxing skills gave him an edge as he avoided many of Roman’s haymakers to win the round.
In the seventh round, Escalante landed a few left hooks of his own to Roman’s body that slowed him down and by the end of the seventh round, he did look slower.
In the eighth round, Escalante nailed Roman with several combinations while moving away. It was his best round as he nearly ended the fight as he unleashed a five-punch combination that included an upper cut and ended with a solid right hand to Roman’s left side of his face.
He went down with 20 seconds left, but he didn’t beat count but wobbled back to his corner. Escalante took the ninth round off as he moved comfortably over the first minute but in the process, he allowed Roman to recover from the beating in the previous round.
Roman found the strength to begin one more counter attack and try to change the momentum. Escalante’s brief respite almost turned out to be his own end as Roman followed him from one end of the ring to the other.
With one round left, Roman managed to put the fight back into doubt. What was considered an easy decision suddenly turned into a battle of desperation.
Escalante started the tenth round with a volley of punches for the first minute but Roman survived the original assault and then he took over the second minute with a fierce body attack of his own as he forced Escalante to retreat.
He went back on the attack as he landed several combinations in the fight’s final minute and Roman retreated as Escalante continued his attack. He found one more burst of energy in a fight that drained everything from both fighters.
Escalante won the bout by scores 97-92, 96-93, 96-93 and continued his own march to a title bout.
In the opening bout, Danny Garcia put his undefeated record against his toughest opponent, British fighter Ashley Theophane. His goal was to combine boxing with occasional pressure to keep his younger opponent off balanced.
Garcia had the reputation of being an attacking fighter but in this bout, he had to show flexibility of his own. In the opening round, Theophane’s boxing skills confused Garcia and put him on the defensive.
Garcia fought better in the second round but his opponent still held the edge. In the third round a Theophane right hand shot over a Garcia left that shook Garcia. Though out the round, Garcia find himself fighting moving back and was ineffectual.
In the fourth round, Garcia had his best round as he started to counter Theophane.
Garcia made his own adjustments to Theophane and simply countered his wilder punches with effective counters to the body and head. His power started to take hold as Theophane slowed down. Garcia continued effective countering as his body shots took some of the starch out of Theophane.
After being victimized by Garcia counters over the previous three rounds, Theophane threw some successful punches including a sold right halfway in the eighth round.
In the ninth round, Theophane began strong and Garcia lost a point for a low blow.
Afterwards, Garcia put on a second gear as he tried to avoid a two point lost for the round. He threw power punches that hit the body and the head while forcing Theophane to retreat.
Garcia appeared to have control the fight after the fourth round as Theophane’s face swelled from Garcia’s power punches. His continued his power punching and while in the later part of the fight, Theophane took advantage of Garcia keeping his left low but these counters did little to stop the younger Garcia.
While Garcia won by split decision and Theophane had his moments, Garcia won the fight and should have been rewarded with unanimous decision.
What Garcia showed in this fight was the ability to make subtle changes to win the fight. In the early part of the fight, Theophane’s offensive tactics scored but starting in the fourth round, Garcia used his quicker hands to counter.
He moved to Theophane’s body and these punches slowed the British fighter.
While Garcia showed weakness just as keeping his left hand low and failure to keep a consistent jab allowed Theophane to score, he adjusted to his opponent and this was the difference.
When a young fighter has the skills to adjust during a bout, this is a fighter who has the potential to be a champion.