This Friday, as ESPN kicks off it’s first installment of Friday Night Fights for 2006, lightweight prospect Vicente Escobedo will be on tap to take his opponent out the same way has taken out all of his eight other professional foes – by devastating them with his power. This time, the Golden Boy promoted lightweight will go up against John Nolasco, the man who almost gave Jason “the American Boy” Litzau his first professional loss last July. BoxingTalk recently spoke with Escobedo to get his thoughts on how he is preparing for a step up in competition, what his game plan will be for his awkward opponent, and what the rest of 2006 looks like for him.BoxingTalk: Vicente, you had another big knockout win last week, tell us about it.
Vicente Escobedo: It was amazing because my opponent, Jefferson Rodriguez was a very tough fighter. I didn’t have much information on him, and to take him out in the second round surprised me because of his experience.BoxingTalk: I know boxers say they don’t go in their fights looking for the knockout, but when all of your 8 fights have ended that way, is it hard to not look for the knockout?
Vicente Escobedo: Not necessarily. In a way, yes, but I prepare for an 8-round fight. I know that if I catch my opponent with a hard shot then he will go down.BoxingTalk: Most of your opponents have had winning records, but how many more fights do you want until you really step up in the competition?
Vicente Escobedo: I leave that stuff up to my promoter and manager. I do my part and train the best I can. They deal with the rest.BoxingTalk: You have another fight coming up on January 27th in Tucson, AZ. That’s two fights in one month, and 2006 just got started. Are you looking to stay this busy throughout the entire year?
Vicente Escobedo: Definitely. We want to stay real busy, and build up my record. The more fights I have the more it will help me out.BoxingTalk: What do you know about your opponent John Nolasco?
Vicente Escobedo: I know he is a former Olympian, I know he faced Jason Litzau, and that he is a good experienced fighter. I’ll study Nolasco’s style and see what he brings to the table.BoxingTalk: I know Nolasco gave Jason Litzau a lot of trouble in his last fight almost giving Litzau his first professional loss. How will you ensure that Nolasco doesn’t cause you the same problems?
Vicente Escobedo: I think I’m a different fighter than Litzau. I’m really cautious with my hands to make sure I have them up, while having my chin down. I don’t want to throw combinations that leave myself open for a bunch of counterpunches.BoxingTalk: This fight will be aired on this year’s first installment of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. Is there any added pressure for you that you have to look impressive when fighting on TV?
Vicente Escobedo: I think every time I fight I want to look good. I want to put on a good performance for my fans and for myself since I train so hard for my fights. Nolasco may be awkward but I will take a win over a good performance any day.BoxingTalk: At this point in your career, do you prepare for each opponent the same way?
Vicente Escobedo: It depends. If I have a tape on my opponent then we will look for their mistakes, but my training habits don’t change.BoxingTalk: What do you feel makes you one of the most promising lightweight prospects out there today?
Vicente Escobedo: It’s hard to say. I love what I do, and I enjoy the sport and what I’m doing. I have so much dedication for the sport, and my fans, friend, and family give me the motivation to go out there and make them proud. I believe in myself to make it as the best fighter in the lightweight division.BoxingTalk: Your promoter, Golden Boy Promotions is using you in a lot for PR purposes. Do you feel you have the crossover appeal that Oscar De La Hoya possesses?
Vicente Escobedo: People say that I do. Oscar is and has been my idol and inspiration, and I naturally fight like him because I’ve watched him from the beginning.BoxingTalk: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans who will be coming out to see you fight or who will be watching you on ESPN on next Friday.
Vicente Escobedo: Thanks to my fans for the support you give me, and I hope you enjoy it. I’ll give a good performance, and thanks to my promoter for everything they have done for me.
BoxingTalk thanks Mr. Escobedo for taking the time to speak with us. We wish him continued success both in and out of the ring.
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