By Sean Crose
“They treat me right,” Eric Hunter (20-3) tells Boxing Insider about Golden Boy Promotions.
Hunter is a fairly new edition to the House that Oscar Built and is excited to be featured once again on a nationally broadcast card. For Hunter is fighting veteran Antontio Escalante (29-7) on Friday night, in a bout which will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 from the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
It’s the second time the southpaw will be a Fox Sport’s 1 feature attraction this year as a part of its Golden Boy Live series. The first time was back in January, when Hunter outslicked Rene Alvarado in front of a warm Philadelphia home crowd. This time he’ll be on the west coast, facing an experienced pro from Mexico.
Hunter, however, isn’t underestimating his opponent. “I’ve got to take him (Escalante) seriously,” he says. Still, Hunter is far too easy going to end up with a solid case of the nerves. “He’s a man,” Hunter adds, referring to Friday’s opponent, “just like me.”
To be sure, Hunter says he’s taking it easy in the final days leading up to the Fantasy Springs bout. “I’m going to sleep,” Hunter tells Boxing Insider, “play video games.” He may be unwilling to exert himself until fight time, but the featherweight makes it clear he wants to thrill the fans when he steps up against Escalante.
“I definitely want knockouts,” he admits.
And why wouldn’t he? A thrilling performance can put Hunter on everyone’s radar. And with names like Vasyl
Lomachenko, Nicholas Walters and Abner Mares populating his weight realm, now would be a good time for him to be noticed by the boxing public.
Yet Hunter and Escalante aren’t the only people populating Friday night’s card. Abraham Lopez (17-0-1) will also be on hand. What makes featherweight Lopez an interesting case is the fact that he’s a respiratory therapist when he’s not boxing. According to Golden Boy “the breathing exercises that he has learned (and teaches to his patients) from his medical training have helped him train for boxing and have made him a better fighter.”
An opponent hadn’t yet been announced for Lopez until Thursday, but it has now been reported that he will be facing Alfred Tetteh (23-3-1). This bout, frankly, all but promises to have a lot of action. For Lopez has twelve knockouts in eighteen fights and Tetteh has twenty knockouts in twenty-seven fights. It’s hard to see such a matchup taking a boring turn.
Golden Boy Live is in the business of promoting up and coming fighters that might not be seen elsewhere, much the way ESPN’s soon to be defunct Friday Night Fights has for close to twenty years.
If Hunter and Lopez have their way, Friday will only be the beginning. Still, Escalante and Tetteh will clearly have their own agendas when they step into that California ring. Each man on the televised card literally has a career making opportunity at hand.