A breakdancer as a teenager, Vicente Escobedo entered the ring to what he considered “Old School” techno beats for his scheduled 10-round junior lightweight bout against Lonnie Smith on Saturday.
“When I walked into the arena, I walked in to Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa. It’s kind of my thing,” said Escobedo, who is 30. “I like to dance, man. I used breakdance and that kind of gets me fired up and ready to just go out there and do my thing, have some fun and go out there and fight.”
Escobedo (25-3, 15 knockouts) did his job in the ring as well against Smith (14-3-2, 20 KOs), whom the 2004 U.S. Olympian floored three times on the way to a first-round TKO before his hometown fans in Woodland, Calif.
“I grew up here in Woodland, California, born and raised,” said Escobedo, whose jab set up a hook-cross combination that dropped Smith. “I like a lot of the old school, you know, from the 1980s. I really loved the ’80s era, so I usually listen to that sort of stuff as I started my breakdancing at around the age of 14 all the way through high school.”
The victory was the third straight for Escobedo. It ended Smith’s streak of nine consecutive victories that had included six stoppages.
Escobedo’s manager, Rolando Arellano, wants to land a title shot agaisnt WBO beltholder Adrien Broner (23-0, 19 KOs), who, like Escobedo, is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.
“I think that Vicente made a statement there,” said Arellano. “I am starting discussions regarding Adrian Broner.”
BRONER-ESCOBEDO COULD BE ENTERTAINING
Escobedo’s love for music could make for an interesing night of boxing if he is matched with Broner, who is an aspiring rapper.
During his ring entrance for his fourth-round knockout of Eloy Perez on Feb. 25, Broner was dancing and rapping a cut of his own creation.
“Like I’ve always said, I’m an entertainer. That’s my new song called ‘Cook,’ which is a dance. The video is on Youtube,” said Broner, whose ring nickname is “Da Problem,” while his rap monicker is “AJ Da Problem.”
“I’ve got this movement going on called ‘The Band Camp,’ and it’s me doing my thing. We’re moving slowly but surely, and we’ll be on top of the game pretty soon.”
SETH MITCHELL INSPIRES LOCAL YOUTH IN MARYLAND
Seth Mitchell scored another knockout, but this one was not in the boxing ring.
The unbeaten heavyweight prospect was a hit while speaking to a large group of middle school- to high school-aged athletes on Sunday at the annual Prince George’s County Boys and Girls Club in Lanham, Md.
Mitchell (24-0-1, 18 knockouts) delivered an inspirational message to the athletes and their families, later helping to hand out awards, pose for pictures with award winners and sign autographs.
“Speaking at the PG County boys and girls club 2012 annual banquet had special meaning to me. It brought back fond memories of my childhood,” said Mitchell, who starred as a linebacker at Gwynn Park High in Brandywine, Md., in P.G. County.
“I could envision myself sitting in those same seats. To be able to give the youth some insight on how sports can help shape and mold them into young men and women was a great opportunity for me.”
Mitchell’s manager, Sharif Salim, said he was “most impressed” with Mitchell’s delivery.
“His speech left a profound impact on our community,” said Salim. “The P.G. County Boys and Girls Club should be commended for building our children into tomorrow’s leaders.”
Mitchell’s next fight will be against Chazz Witherspoon (30-2, 22 KOs) on the undercard of the rematch between RING light heavyweight champ Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson on April 28 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
Witherspoon has scored four straight knockouts since he was stopped by contender Tony Thompson in the ninth round in December of 2009 at Boardwalk Hall.
Mitchell is coming off December’s HBO-televised second-round knockout of Timur Ibragimov (30-4, 1, 22 KOs) that earned him his 22nd consecutive victory and his 17th knockout during that run at The Washington Convention Center.
Although the heavyweight division is dominated by the Klitschko brothers, Vitali Klitschko (44-2, 40 KOs) and Wladimir Klitschko (57-3, 50 KOs), Mitchell, nicknamed, “Mayhem,” is considered by some to be America’s best chance at ending its heavyweight championship drought.
No U.S.-born fighter has held a heavyweight title since 2007, when Shannon Briggs briefly wore the WBO’s strap. In 2006, Hasim Rahman of Baltimore held the WBC belt while the IBF title was held by Chris Byrd.
Puerto Rican-American John Ruiz, the first Latino to win a heavyweight belt, held the WBA title from 2001 to 2005.
Photo by Chris Cozzone-Fightwireimages.com
Photo by Lorin Chvotkin
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com