Vicente Escobedo has fought all over the world, represented his country in the Olympics and fought some of the best fighters in the sport throughout his career, but the one thing the top junior lightweight contender has never done is compete in his hometown as a professional. That changes on Saturday, March 3 as Escobedo steps into the ring at the Woodland Community Center in Woodland, Calif. against Lonnie Smith in a 10 round fight for the vacant NABO Junior Lightweight Title which will be televised on TeleFutura’s “Sólo Boxeo Tecate.”
Joining Escobedo on this exciting homecoming card will be Fairfield’s unbeaten featherweight star on the rise, Manuel “Tino” Avila, who faces an opponent to be named in the six round co-main event.
A 2004 United States Olympian who got his start in the sport at the Woodland Boxing Club, Vicente “Chente” Escobedo (24-3, 14 KO’s) has come a long way since those early days, and at 30 years old, he is approaching his physical prime as a boxer. The owner of wins over former World Champions Kevin Kelley and Carlos Hernandez, Escobedo lost in his lone world title shot at lightweight via a razor-thin split decision to Michael Katsidis in 2009. Now fighting at 130 pounds, Escobedo has been better than ever, defeating Walter Estrada and Rocky Juarez in his most recent fights and he’s ready to make a move on the junior lightweight elite in 2012.
A professional since 2006, 24-year-old Las Vegan Lonnie Smith (14-2-2, 10 KO’s) appears to be reaching his prime and is ready to prove it against a tough contender in Escobedo. In 2009 Smith returned from a two-year layoff and came back as a more mature and polished fighter and has been unstoppable since, winning nine in a row, with six coming by knockout, including victories over David Rodela and Eduardo Arcos. Now he takes a big step up in facing Escobedo, a fight he’s been waiting for, in Escobedo’s hometown.
A talented amateur who turned heads every time he stepped between the ropes, Manuel “Tino” Avila (6-0, 2 KO’s) continues to impress as a professional, winning all six of his fights thus far. A professional since late 2010, the 19-year-old stepped on the gas last year, fighting five times and ending 2011 on a with a big win over then-unbeaten David Reyes in October.
Escobedo vs. Smith headlines a night of world-class professional boxing presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Don Chargin Productions in association with Paco Presents and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate. Doors open at 6:00pm, the first bell rings at 7:00pm and the TeleFutura broadcast begins at 11:00 pm ET/PT. Tickets, priced at $40, $50 and $70, are on sale now and available for purchase at Paco’s Restaurant by calling (530) 669-7946, F&F Multiprint by calling (530) 666-3102 or online at PacoPresentsBoxing.com.