The manager of Vicente Escobedo told RingTV.com that his fighter has not lost focus heading into Saturday night’s HBO-televised clash with former WBO 130-pound titleholder Adrien Broner.
Rolando Arellano also credits Broner’s adviser, Al Haymon, for sweetening the deal financially after a chaotic 24 hours during which Escobedo considered pulling out of the bout in the wake of a weigh-in controversy.
“Now, there is an agreement and now we are ready for a fight,” said Arellano, who did not reveal the total amount that was taken from Broner’s purse of $300,000 to Escobedo’s base of $150,000. “I want to applaud Mr. Al Haymon for basically intervening and kind of creating the incentive for this fight to go through.”
The fight became jeopardized at Friday afternoon’s weigh-in, where Broner (23-0, 19 knockouts) was 3.5 pounds above the 130-pound division limit, and Escobedo (26-3, 15 KOs) was on weight.
Broner was fined $60,000 of his purse — $30,000 of which was added to Escobedo’s purse, and $30,000 of which went to the Ohio Commission.
Arellano and Escobedo threatened to boycott the bout, 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.
Arellano said Broner’s camp wanted 143, and that’s what Broner weighed on the scales on Saturday at 9:30 a.m., prompting the renewed cries from Arellano and Escobedo, who re-weighed at 140, that they would not participate.
But early Saturday evening, Golden Boy Promotions’ matchmaker, Golden Boy matchmaker, Eric Gomez, informed RingTV.com that “a confidential agreement” was reached, allowing Broner-Escobedo to transpire at U.S. Bank Arena in Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati.
“It’s fight time, man. That’s all I’ve got to say, man. I don’t see it as an advantage or a disadvantage,” said Broner, who will be after his fourth straight stoppage victory against Escobedo.
“I don’t do the advantage or disadvantage thing. 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.”
The situation was resolved during “a team meeting” by Escobedo’s camp, according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, in addition to Escobedo’s being “offered more money,” according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
“We have a fight, and what I can tell you is that there was an agreement reached. I can’t tell you the specifics of the agreement because I have to honor the confidentiality clause of the agreement,” said Arellano.
“We have a gentleman’s agreement and a contractual agreement that the terms and the conditions of this agreement will remain silent. But there was an agreement between the two parties, and this fight will go on.”
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 belt if the fight took place.
Even in defeat, if he performs well, Arellano said Escobedo still stands in good stead, with Broner moving up a division after the bout.
“Vicente will will be right there at 130 pounnds,” said Arellano. “The rankings might fall one or two spots, but he’s in a great position right now.”
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.
Even before the fight, Broner had said that Escobedo represented his final bout at 130 pounds.
“This will be my last fight at 130 pounds, and I’m going out with a bang, for sure. They didn’t just give me the title, I had to win it, and I’m going to go out there and show why I’ve kept it,” said Broner, who turns 23 on July 28.
“I’m going to leave out of here with the belt. So, like I said, this is the last fight at 130 pounds, and I’m going to to out and give a good performance. I’m young, I’m 22 and I’m still growing,” said Broner. “But, you know what? I just feel like it’s time for me to go up.”
Photo by Pat Lovell, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org