Vicente Escobedo made quick work of what was supposed to be a pretty decent fight tonight in his hometown of Woodland Hills, Calif., flooring Lonnie Smith three times en route to a first round stoppage on Solo Boxeo Tecate.
Escobedo (25-3, 15 KO) has always seemed to lack a little something, but tonight he was focused on a target like I've never seen from him before. He first put Smith (14-3-2, 10 KO) down on a hard right hand, as he was just unleashing combinations filled with bad intentions from the get-go.
Smith really never recovered from that first knockdown. He was down again moments later, clipped by a left hook, and then finished off with 40 seconds left in the round, as he hit the canvas again, forcing referee Dan Stell, who gave him every chance to get into the fight, to step in and stop it.
I'm not trying to overstate this win, because at the end of the day (!), Smith is a young fighter who had never been past six rounds. But having seen him before, a one-round blowout was the last thing on my mind -- I expected Escobedo to win, but even against a fighter you could still reasonably call a novice, this was impressive. Even the sportsbooks didn't have this one wide: Earlier today, Escobedo was listed at -170, with Smith at +130.
It's a big setback for Smith, but as he just turned 25 on Saturday (terrible birthday present of a fight, huh?), he'll have time to come back. If nothing else, he could be a consistent TV fighter, because he does come to fight. But if Escobedo shook his confidence tonight, it could be tough to come back.
As for Escobedo, don't be at all surprised if he comes into the picture to face Adrien Broner (23-0, 19 KO), as Golden Boy doesn't have many guys at 130, there aren't many American fighters at 130 to begin with of any real quality, and it would be a perfectly respectable fight.