Escebedo and Guerrero will open the HBO telecast.
Vacant WBO Intercontinental Lightweight Championship on the Line Saturday
A loaded night of boxing is on tap for Prudential Center on Saturday when HBO’s Boxing After Dark makes its debut at the Newark arena, which has quickly become one of the top venues in the country for the sport. Zab Judah (39-6, 27 KOs) will face undefeated Argentine Lucas Matthysse (27-0, 25 KOs) in the main event, but the vacant WBO Intercontinental Lightweight Championship will also be decided when Robert Guerrero (27-1-1, 18 KOs) steps in the ring with Vicente Escebedo (22-2, 14 KOs).
"I want to thank God for the opportunity because with everything that I've been through with my family, I would never be here without God,” Guerrero stated. “The training and hard work is done. Now it's time to fight. Vicente and I have known each other since the amateurs and now we are fighting in the pros, and I'm excited to get in there and handle my business."
Guerrero is a former two-time IBF Featherweight Champion, and he won the IBF Super Featherweight Title in the summer of 2009 when he decisioned Malcolm Klassen. He then vacated the belt this past February to take care of his ailing wife, who was suffering from Leukemia. He then put his career on hold to help her through a rough stretch with her illness, but she then overcame her ailment to return to full health. When that occurred, Guerrero headed back to the ring in April and immediately scored a TKO of Roberto David Arrieta. He then followed that up with a unanimous decision victory over Joel Casamayor three months later in his first bout as a junior welterweight. He now steps into the lightweight division to face Escebedo, a pairing that will decide the WBO Intercontinental Lightweight Championship.
"Everything is done. My preparation is done,” Escebedo commented. “This is the best camp I've ever had, and I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm excited to fight for the first time on the East Coast. I came here for one thing, and that is to win and show that there is a new sheriff in town."
Escebedo was a highly decorated amateur fighter before turning professional in 2005, winning his debut bout by knocking out Abraham Verdugo at the Staples Center. He then went on to win his first nine fights, all by way of knockout, before suffering his first defeat to Daniel Jimenez. He then went on a 12-bout winning streak to improve to 21-1 as a professional boxer, but Michael Katsidis ended his run by taking an extremely tight split decision victory in 2009. Escebedo then rebounded with a third round TKO of Carlos Urias in March.
The Guerrero-Escebedo pairing will kick off HBO’s Boxing After Dark, which hits the air at 11:15 p.m. Tickets for the entertaining evening of fights start at $53 and can be purchased today by calling TicketMaster at 800-745-3000 or visiting www.Prucenter.com.