by Charles Jay
Tonight in Miami, Breidis Prescott is fighting a main event, albeit a scheduled eight-rounder. But at one time he may have been – indeed, should have been – on the verge of a title shot.
Can he get the ship going back in the other direction?
Prescott, who is 25-4 with 20 knockouts, will be at the Doubletree Hotel in Miami, at the Miami Airport Convention Center, taking on Francisco “Gato” Figueroa (20-4-1, 13 KO’s), and a win wouldn’t necessarily bring him much closer to fighting for a real championship. However, he’s got his own game plan.
Prescott’s difficulty is the same as it has been with a lot of fighters through the years, in that they simply punch too damn hard, so nobody with a belt is going to be anxious to go up against him unless they absolutely have to.
Right now, no one has to.
Prescott, originally from Baranquilla, Colombia and now fighting out of Miami, is one of those guys who may have seen things turn out in a different way with the right connections. Almost four years ago, he was undefeated, yet underrated and under-appreciated, when he stepped into the ring at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester against the “can’t miss” prospect, Amir Khan, who was ready to make his move four years after winning a silver medal in the Olympics.
As the bell rang, it began the most horrific minute of Khan’s young life. Prescott, who had come into the bout with 17 knockout wins in nineteen fights, started throwing punches with force right from the beginning, and quickly had Khan on his back with a couple of left hooks. Khan got up, but was shaky, so a combination by Prescott put him down again, enough that he failed to beat the ten-count. The whole thing took all of 54 seconds.
If that had truly been billed as a “crossroads” fight, Prescott may have been the guy who went on to fight for a world championship.
After all, he had at least one good win prior to that, including a decision over Richard Abril, who recently took Brandon Rios to a split decision (and is currently the WBA’s #1 lightweight contender).
But Khan was the guy who was steered and coddled, and after this severe mistake by his handlers, he was maneuvered into a fight with a “name” who had clearly lost the touch, i.e., Marco Antonio Barrera, and a win there put him right back on track toward a title fight, which he eventually won.
Meanwhile, Prescott had to continue fighting pretty much whoever was offered, and he experienced some tough luck in a split decision loss to Miguel Vazquez, who had to get up off the deck in the first round. Then he had to deal with undefeated Kevin Mitchell, who took his measure easily over the course of twelve rounds.
A narrow loss to hometown boy Paul McCloskey in Belfast didn’t do him any good, and then there was the stoppage defeat he suffered at the hands of Mike Alvarado last November.
Yes, there is something of a pattern. Of Prescott’s 29 career fights, he has scored a knockout in the first three rounds in eighteen of them. In the others, he’s just 7-4. No, as it stands now he doesn’t deserve a title shot, and it won’t matter much if he gets by Figueroa, a former NABF 140-pound champion who has gone his last three fights without a win (two losses and a draw).
Sure, he’d like to fight Danny Garcia, who just beat Khan in a unification fight, but he isn’t in anyone’s ratings at the moment. The best thing Prescott has to aim for right now actually isn’t all that bad. He is pining for a rematch with Khan, whose star has fallen quite a bit since losing to Lamont Peterson in December and getting stopped by Garcia in his last bout. Khan’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, has indicated in the past that he didn’t think such a thing was a bad idea, and now that Khan has to rehabilitate himself it might as well be against one of the guys who beat him, right?
Yeah, it sounds ideal, and if Prescott gets pushed into the later rounds he will inch much closer to being ordinary, but when it really comes down to it, how anxious will Khan be to fight someone who has already put him on Queer Street, and is one of the sport’s most dangerous early punchers?
In other words, right now, there’s only one to tango.
And Figueroa, who figures the eight-round scheduled distance is because “they know he gets tired,” is going to try to push that number back to zero.