Escobedo too much for Arrieta

Times Staff Writer

If Vicente Escobedo is to ever live up to the frequent comparisons between he and his boss, Oscar De La Hoya, he's going to need more than just the Golden Boy's good looks, Olympic pedigree and Mexican-American heritage.

On Friday he could have used a good knockout punch instead of letting veteran Roberto Arrieta hang around for 10 rounds. But that only delayed the evitable with Escobedo winning a methodical and unanimous decision in a lightweight bout at a largely empty Home Depot Center.

"He's a good prospect. But he has to refine a lot of things," Arrieta said.

A jab was about the only thing the 26-year-old Escobedo had. And his inability to combine punches or get to Arrieta's body forced him to go the distance for the fifth consecutive fight.

The only knockdown came in the sixth round when Escobedo took a hard right then countered with a right of his own, sending Arrieta (27-13-4) to the canvas. When he got up, the Argentine was bleeding from his nose and a cut over his right eye. He spent much of the rest of the fight trying to deny Escobedo his jab by staying close.

"He held me so much I couldn't finish him," said Escobedo (17-1), who fights out of De La Hoya's Golden Boy stable. "[But] he took a lot of punishment."

There were three junior welterweight fights on the six-round card with Jeffrey Resto (22-2) of the Bronx bloodying Hector Alatorre (15-4) of Tulare en route to a 10-round majority decision, Chula Vista's Ernest Johnson (18-2-1) scoring a unanimous six-round decision over Marteze Logan (26-33-2) of Covington, Ky., and San Antonio's Hector Ramos (2-0) -- knocked down three times in the first four minutes -- getting off the canvas to win a unanimous if controversial four-round decision over Shawn Waite of Los Angeles, who was making his professional debut.


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