When someone says "he fights like a Mexican," tonight's Friday Night Fights main event is the sort of fight they're talking about.
Highly-touted Antonio Escalante out-brawled Miguel "Mickey" Roman in El Paso, winning a unanimous decision on scores of 97-92, 96-93 and 96-93. Bad Left Hook scored it a slightly wider 98-91. There's no doubt that Escalante (23-2, 14 KO) won the fight, I don't think, but the key thing is that these two men put on a hell of a show for 10 rounds tonight.
Roman (28-7, 20 KO) is a made-for-TV fighter. Teddy Atlas compared him to Arturo Gatti or Micky Ward after, talking about it not really mattering if he won or lost, that he's the sort of fighter you always want to see. That's exactly what he is. As Joe Tessitore put it, "You can give me Mickey Roman any time."
It was the sort of fight that fight fans love. Escalante is a real contender, fighting now at 126, having been ranked No. 8 by The Ring at 122. Roman is not, and overall you could see the obvious difference in talent. Roman can't box in space, isn't fast, isn't particularly heavy-handed (though he did rock Escalante), but he's got a huge heart, a tremendous chin, and he doesn't know how to take a step backwards.
It's a good win for Escalante, and a good loss for Roman.
Sidenote: Escalante decked Roman in the eighth round, then got on his bike for the ninth, prompting Roman to stop cold, cross his arms, and invite Escalante to hit him. Escalante feinted like he was going to, and then didn't. Roman didn't budge.
If I were Escalante, I'd have cold cocked him. Ask Robbie Peden how to deal with something like that.
On the undercard, Golden Boy prospect Danny Garcia stayed unbeaten but had some trouble with England's Ashley Theophane, earning a split decision victory (94-95, 95-94, 96-94). Bad Left Hook scored it 96-93 for Garcia, who apparently left his jab in Philadelphia tonight, because he just did not jab Theophane at all, and Theophane scored with a lot of looping shots that really should not have been getting in. Garcia's going to need a couple more fights at that level, but he did show some good counter-punching tonight. Garcia is now 16-0 (10), while Theophane drops to 25-4-1 (7).