By: Sergio L. Martinez
This October 27, 2012, San Antonio, Texas will be the site for a battle of has-been contenders as Antonio Escalante (28-4-0 with 19 KOs) takes on former U.S. Olympian and perennial world-class punch bag Ricardo “Rocky” Juarez (28-10-1 with 20 KOs). The ten rounder is promoted by Golden Boy Promotion and televised on Telefutura.
The fact that this fight is being promoted by one of the top promotional outfits in the world and is even occurring at all is a senseless act.
This is not meant to disrespect Rocky Juarez or Antonio Escalante in any way, as both of these men have always put in the hard work and given honest efforts when they fight. The contest itself is sure to be entertaining, as both men are there to be hit and do return fire.
The issue with this fight is that it is happening five years too late and has no real intrinsic value in terms of boxing. Both boxers are well past their expiration date.
Everyone loves a solid scrap, but these two warriors of the leather brotherhood are beyond any actual pugilistic gain. The only conceivable outcomes are another loss, possible serious if not permanent injury and even worse: a win leading to an additional chance to be further damaged another day.
It does not matter how many losses the record reads if the name still carries some value for a young pug on his way up to pad his resume. All most commissions require of a known commodity like Escalante or Juarez is a win in their last one or two fights, and they are magically approved to get the crap beat out of them by a younger, stronger and fresher boxer. God Bless America.
Does that really sound fair to these two fighters that have given so much, but have always come up short of a real payday, leading to situations where they are exposed and eventually raped by promotional outfits and management that should have their best interests in mind?
For those that say, “these fighters know the risks that are involved,” I say, “So do recovering drug addicts, but without a solid support system looking out for their best interests and a safe alternative lifestyle to fall back on, relapse is inevitable.”
If the only thing that a fighter knows how to do is fight, and the person or persons responsible for making sure that their fighter is ready for the day that he can no longer or should no longer fight have not done their job, the only one that suffers in the end is the guy that has gotten his ass kicked year after year.
If in the end all one has to show for the hard work is a 2007 Cadillac Escalade with 22inch custom wheels to his name along with hazey memories and likely future health complications, the guilty parties should be tarred and feathered while forced to play Yankee Doodle Dandy on a kazoo without making any mistakes.
So make sure you tune in this Saturday night and enjoy a pointless confrontation between two guys that deserve better at this stage of their life.
Most feel it is not anyone’s business to tell people how to live or to judge them on choices made. If it truly is a voluntary choice not made out of necessity but out of a desire by both Escalante and Juarez to fight then so be it.
But if this is the result of mismanagement and an overall lack of better judgment by the wards of their careers, then may any ill result or future strife be repaid tenfold for eternity to those responsible.
Enjoy the fight.