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Escalante dominates Lock

24
Jul

Antonio Escalante outworked and punished a game Cornelius Lock to win a unanimous 10-round decision in a featherweight bout Friday on an ESPN2-televised card from El Paso, Texas.

Escalante (20-2, 13 knockouts) knocked Lock down twice in the third round, dropping the slick southpaw with a right to the solar plexus and again with hook-cross-hook combination to the head, en route to scores of 98-90 and 100-88 (twice).

Escalante, a native of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico now living in El Paso, delighted the hometown fans who packed the Don Haskins Center by forcing the action in every round and being the busier of the two, especially with debilitating body shots.

Lock (18-4-1, 11 KOs) exchanged punches with Escalante on even terms in the first two rounds of the bout, however, after suffering the two knockdowns in the third, the Detroit native adopted a jab-and-slide strategy that enabled him to survive but didn’t allow him to earn the respect of his relentless antagonist.

Lock landed solid single counter punches in the middle rounds, but was repeatedly hurt to the body and buzzed by hooks and crosses to the head. By the late rounds, it was clear that Lock, who did more moving than sticking, was a beaten man.

It would have been merciful had the referee or Lock’s corner pulled the proverbial plug on the bout, but he was allowed to continue, and when Escalante stepped up his pressure in the final two rounds, the gutsy southpaw was needlessly punished.

In the co-featured bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card, junior featherweight prospect Juan Velasquez suffered the first loss of his career, dropping a unanimous six-round decision to tough Mexican veteran journeyman Jose Berranza.

Velasquez (9-1, 5 KOs) was dropped twice in the third round of the bout and appeared to lose his confidence and legs from that point in the bout, often slipping to the canvas without taking a punch. Berranza (32-15-2, 25 KOs) pressured Velasquez and worked the tall, lean Puerto Rican’s body en route to scores of 57-55 and 58-54 (twice).

Velasquez’s twin brother, Juan Velasquez, who opened the Friday Night Fights broadcast, fared better in his six-round bout against Juan Nazario, which he won by unanimous decision.

Velasquez (11-0, 9 KOs) dominated the survival-minded Nazario (6-2-1, 4 KOs) to unanimous shutout scores of 60-53.

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