Escobedo meets Arrieta in lightweight fight

Times Staff Writer

Former U.S. Olympian Vicente Escobedo puts his 18-1 record on the line against Argentina’s Roberto Arrieta in a 10-round lightweight fight tonight at the Home Depot Center, the main event in a six-bout undercard leading up to Saturday’s Oscar De La Hoya-Steve Forbes showdown at the same venue.

Escobedo, a hard-punching 26-year-old from Woodland, Calif., hasn’t lost since dropping a split decision to Daniel Jimenez more than two years ago. And for his last four fights he has been working in Mexico City under legendary trainer Nacho Beristain, who Escobedo said has brought him back to a quick-attacking, two-fisted style of fighting.

But it has been 17 months since Escobedo scored the last of his 11 knockout wins. So Arrieta (27-12-4), a tough, wily 32-year-old veteran who has flattened his last four opponents, should provide a stern challenge.

The Escobedo-Arrieta fight, scheduled for about 6 p.m., and a 10-round junior welterweight bout between New Yorker Jeffrey Resto (21-2) and Tulare’s Hector Alatorre (15-3), will be shown on the Spanish-language TeleFutura network.


Originally on the schedule was a 10-round super middleweight fight between Oxnard’s Sergio Rios (18-6) and Mexican Julio Cesar Garcia (40-3), but that had to be scrapped when Garcia pulled out.

A concert by the norteno group Los Tucanes de Tijuana will follow the boxing card.

The fights begin at 4:30 p.m. with Yonny Perez (15-0, 12 KOs) of Santa Fe Springs facing off against Mexico’s Manuel Sarabia (16-24) in a six-round bantamweight bout.