As plotlines for Fight of the Year-caliber bouts go, “I gotta get revenge on him for the fight we had as kids after he broke my eggs on the way back from the market” is an infrequent one. Featherweight Antonio Escalante’s motive was just that, and he and Miguel Roman put together a FOTY candidate for sure Friday night.
Old news, I know, but I didn’t see it when it aired originally on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights, and I gather I’m not alone. So when I discovered it was available on replay on ESPN360, I needed to share. So here it is — just click on the “replay” tab and adjust the next scroll down menu to the proper date.
This was a stupid good brawl, not completely lacking in tactical maneuvering as Roman charged forward and Escalante moved a bit before inevitably standing and trading. By the 8th round, bad blood had turned good. Roman was winning the round, but then Escalante dropped him near the end. When the bell rung, the two men hugged each other out of respect. At the end of the 10th, they put their arms around each other and walked around the ring with their free hands held high, getting a deserved round of applause from the exceptionally gratified audience.
I clearly underestimated Roman by just looking at his record. He’s as tough as boxers come. Escalante is tough as all get-out, too, but he was somewhat better, which was reflected in the scorecards, and he’s fast becoming one of the most exciting fighters in the sport. Do yourself a favor: Watch the fight now, if you haven’t already.