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Jackie Kallen: Trout, Banks, and Tarver All Hope To Revive Careers on Stacked ESPN2 Card

by Jackie Kallen

This Thursday evening (December 11), Craig Goossen, taking over the reins at Goossen Promotions, is putting on a terrific card at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, CA.

To be televised on ESPN2, the main event is a WBA interim Super Bantamweight title fight. 24-2 Tyson Cave will face 23-1 Oscar Escandon. This is an International bout, since Cave is a Canadian and Escandon is from Colombia.

Escandon has never been stopped and is a much bigger puncher. His opponent, on the other hand, has tasted the canvas. Three-and-a-half years ago in the eighth round, Cave was KO’d by AJ Banal in a bout in the Phillippines. He’s had nine straight wins since.

Escandon’s only loss was a year ago in Panama, when he lost a split decision to Nehomar Cermeno. This fight is a crucial one for him and he is gunning for Cave in a big way.

Personally, I am more interested in the 10-round co-main event featuring former champ Austin Trout against Luis Grajeda.

Trout had a lousy year in 2013, losing to both Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara. He came back this summer with a win against 40-3-1 Daniel Dawson. Despite the win, however, Trout was down twice. He needs some solid wins to re-establish himself in the light middleweight division.

Grajeda, a tough Mexican fighter, has lost two of his last four fights. He was no doubt selected as an “activity” fight for Trout. Every man has a puncher’s chance, though, so Trout needs to stay alert.

Also on the card will be Detroit’s Johnathon Banks against former champ Antonio Tarver. Now 46 years old, Tarver is trying to follow in Bernard Hopkins‘ footsteps as a middle-aged pugilist who can still “hang.”

Banks is only 32 years old. Neither man has fought in over a year, and Banks now also serves as head trainer for world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who recently demolished top contender Kubrat Pulev.

Austin Trout hopes to impress on Thursday night (Photo: Facebook)

Tarver is coming off a win, while Banks is coming off a loss to Seth Mitchell, whom he previously beat seven months earlier. It would seem that a win here would be more meaningful for Banks, who still has a decent career ahead of him inside the ring. It’s hard to say where Tarver goes from here.

Sergio Mora, known as “The Latin Snake,” who won The Contender back in 2005, will also be on the undercard. He is still out there plugging away. He’s 26-3-2, and is still looking to grab that brass ring. He’ll be fighting lightly-regarded Dashon Johnson, a journeyman with a 15-17-3 record.

Fans of the heavyweight division will have their eyes on 12-0 American Dominic Breazeale. He continues to improve and will basically just be sharpening his skills against journeyman Epifanio Mendoza (40-19-1). This is not too much of a test for Dominic and should give him a few rounds of work. But Mendoza has been stopped 10 times. He’s hardly a threat.

I’d love to be at this card. There will be plenty of action. Even Rico Ramos will be on the undercard and he’s always fun to watch.

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