Golden Boy matchmaker, Eric Gomez, has informed RingTV.com that “a confidential agreement” was reached between junior lightweight challenger Vicente Escobedo and former WBO 130-pound titleholder Adrien Broner for their HBO-televised clash at the U.S. Bank Arena in Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati on Saturday night.
“The fight’s on. The fight’s on after we reached a confidential agreement,” said Gomez. “Whoever wrote that the fight was off — f__k you — the fight is on.”
The fight became jeopardized at Friday afternoon’s weigh-in, where Broner (23-0, 19 knockouts) came in at 3.5 pounds above the 130-pound division limit. Escobedo (26-3, 15 KOs) stepped on the scale and weighed 130.
At that point, Escobedo threatened to pull out of the fight, but decided to allow Broner a Saturday morning weigh-in, where they wanted the champion to come in a 140 — 10 pounds over the contracted weight.
Escobedo, who weighed 140 on Saturday, and Arellano, initially said that they were pulling out of the fight.
But Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, informed RingTV.com that “Team Escobedo is having a team meeting, and they’re going to decide what they want to do.”
“The fight is on,” said Schaefer, after the agreement was reached. “The fight is on, and that’s all that really matters.”
Although details of the agreement were not disclosed, sources with knowledge of the situation informed RingTV.com that Escobedo was “offered more money” by the camp of Broner, whose adviser is Al Haymon.
As a result of Broner’s initial infraction, he was fined $60,000 of his purse — $30,000 of which was added to Escobedo’s take of $150,000, and $30,000 of which went to the Ohio Commission.
“It’s fight time, man,” said Broner, when reached by RingTV.com in regard to the latest development. “That’s all I’ve got to say, man.”
Is the delay an advantage or a disadvantage?
“I don’t see it as an advantage or a disadvantage. I don’t do the advantage or disadvantage thing,” said Broner. “I just fight, man. I’ll leave it at that. I really can’t give you too much, but just holler at me after the fight.”
But even while the chaos was being sorted out, Broner said that he was never worried about whether or not the bout would happen.
In fact, Broner was fast asleep after the Saturday morning weigh-in. Asked if he still thought the fight would happen, Broner said, at the time, “yeah.”
“I ain’t talking about the fight,” said Broner. “But I will see you tonight. I’m going to beat his a__.”
On Friday, WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel told RingTV.com that Broner’s mishap cost him his title at the scales, although that meant that Escobedo still could win the title if the fight took place.
Valcarcel could not be reached for an immediate update.
But under the initial rules laid down by Valcarcel, if Escobedo takes the fight and is victorious, he will be the new titleholder.
If Broner wins, Valcarcel said that he will be named the No. 1 contender to the title owned by WBO lightweight titleholder Ricky Burns (34-2, 9 KOs) of Scotland. Burns has a defense opposite Kevin Mitchell (33-1, 24 KOs), of England, on Sept. 22.
“If Broner wins, the title will be vacant because he can not keep the belt since he was overweight,” said Valcarcel. “If Escobedo wins, then he becomes the champion. If Broner wins, then he will become No. 1 at 135 pounds and become the mandatory for Ricky Burns.”
Photo by Pat Lovell, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org