Guerrero (right) looks to break down the guard of Escebedo.
Guerrero Claims Vacant WBO Intercontinental Lightweight Title
With his wife sitting ringside and fully recovered from a bout with Leukemia, Robert Guerrero (28-1-1, 18 KOs) looked impressive in a unanimous decision win over a worthy Vicente Escebedo (22-3, 14 KOs) on Saturday night at Prudential Center. With the victory, Guerrero claimed the previously vacant WBO Intercontinental Lightweight Championship, making the weight class his third division in which he has won a world title.
“I just went out there and did what I had to do,” Guerrero said at the post-fight press conference. “It was a great fight. I’m just excited now.”
Guerrero came out with an intense focus from the onset of this fight, showing both good hands and head movement throughout the 10 rounds of action. He also displayed some good combination work, which led to him securing his first knockdown of the night in the third round when he forced Escebedo to a knee after finishing a rally with a hard right hand.
Escebedo showed some great resiliency and heart by doing all he could to withstand the attack of Guerrero, but a busy jab and combination game kept him on his heels the entire evening. Guerrero nearly got his second knockdown of the bout when hurt his opposition with only a minute remaining in the fifth round, but an Escebedo slip allowed him some extra time to recover. The native Californian used that cushion to his advantage, finding just enough space to escape the frame with no additional damage.
The following round, Guerrero was able to achieve his second 10-8 count when he caught Escebedo off balance and immediately sent him to the canvas by landing a sharp right hand. However, Escebedo continued to show his toughness and persevered through the rest of the frame. In the remaining rounds of the fight, Escebedo did all he could to find Guerrero in a bad situation, but the crafty veteran provided almost no opportunity for his opposition to capitalize on any errors.
“He was coming in with his head a lot,” Guerrero stated about the aggression of Escebedo. “He was ready, he was ready to go. He left no stone unturned. He was coming to fight. Pretty much, he came well prepared. I just worked my jab and caught him with some great shots and changed everything around.”
When the 10 rounds of action had eventually concluded, each of the ringside judges gave the decision to Guerrero. The tallies from the officials were counts of 100-90, 98-90 and 96-92.
Lightweight Robert Guerrero speaks to the media after defeating Vicente Escebedo to win the vacant WBO Intercontinental Lightweight Title.