Vicente Escobedo knocked Lonnie Smith down three times en route to a first-round stoppage on Saturday in his hometown of Woodland, Calif. The 2004 U.S. Olympian won the vacant NABO 130-pound title with the impressive TKO victory.
Escobedo (25-3, 15 knockouts) started fast, matching the vaunted aggression of his 25-year-old opponent. The 30-year-old veteran quickly established his jab, which set up a hook-cross combination that dropped Smith (14-3-2, 10 KOs) midway through the opening round of the Solo Boxeo Tecate main event.
Smith, of Las Vegas, got up and resumed his swarming attack, but his guts only played into the accurate hands of the more experienced boxer. A lead counter right from Escobedo dropped Smith a second time with a minute remaining in the round. Again Smith got up, but this time on wobbly legs. Escobedo pressed the younger man into a corner with a series of one-two combinations and dropped him a third time from an accumulation of right hands.
Referee Dan Stell waved the bout off at 2:20 of the round.
It was Escobedo’s third consecutive victory since dropping a 10-round decision to Roert Guerrero in November of 2010 and his second bout since dropping down from lightweight to the junior lightweight division. Winning the NABO belt pushes him up the ratings of the WBO, whose 130-pound title is held by undefeated Adrien Broner.
Smith’s loss snapped a nine-bout win streak.
In the co-featured bout of the Telefutura-televised card, 19-year-old junior featherweight prospect Manuel Avila (7-0, 2 KOs), of Fairfield, Calif., scored a six-round unanimous decision over David Reyes (2-2), of Montebello, Calif.
In an entertaining ”walk-out” bout, Dmitry Chudinov (6-0-1, 3 KOs), of L.A. by way of Russia, and Paul Mendez (7-2-1, 2 KOs), of Delano, Calif., slugged their way to a six-round majority draw.