Lorenzo Trejo — the 36-year-old Mexican boxing lifer who for 19 years has punched, been punched and bled in serving out his fighting profession — has had his moments in the prize ring. But not many. And not in a long while.
That doesn’t faze Bruno Escalante.
“I stay motivated because you can’t take any guy lightly,” said Escalante, the Filipino-born, Hawaiian-raised and Belmont-based fighter who will face Trejo on Friday from the Fox Theatre in Redwood City in a scheduled 10-rounder. “They’re all dangerous. Especially this guy.”
Trejo (33-28-1, 20 KOs) will be the most experienced fighter to share the ring with the 25-year-old Escalante (11-1-1, five KOs) in a 115-pound bout.
Trejo’s brightest moment was in 2006 when he came within a single knockdown from claiming a 105-pound world title off Thailand’s Eagle Kyowa. But since decking Kyowa twice in the sixth round on his way to dropping a close unanimous decision, Trejo’s career has been mostly dim.
He’s lost 10 of his past 13 bouts, the most recent of which were a pair of knockout losses, neither going beyond the first round. Those defeats have degraded Trejo from journeyman to stepping stone. And for a rising prospect like Escalante, stepping stones are necessary.
“I feel like every single fight I’m improving,” Escalante said, stressing the importance of a cautious, body punching attack, one that the southpaw has honed in sparring sessions with heavier California boxing prospects Roman Morales and Jesus Sandoval. “He looks like a puncher. It’s going to be explosive.”
The bout will be Escalante’s first since claiming the International Boxing Association 115-pound belt against Michael Ruiz Jr. last December, a title that won’t be at stake Friday night. Manager Herb Stone booked the stay-busy bout in hopes of securing a title defense in either April or May.
But at the risk of looking past Trejo and his later title defense, Escalante is already eyeing another bout down the road.
When he was an 18-year-old amateur, Escalante he flew from Hawaii to China to challenge China’s most accomplished fighter in pugilistic history, two-time Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming.
Shiming beat Escalante on points that December 2006 night in the main event of a tournament that pitted American and Chinese amateurs against one another.
And Escalante eventually wants a rematch, especially considering Shiming won a fight Saturday night, with his first knockout in the professional ranks with renowned trainer Freddie Roach in his corner.
“It’s going to be different. I just want to have that opportunity,” Escalante said. “He’s like the Manny Pacquiao in China.”
Rounding out the card Friday will be San Francisco prospects Jonathan Chicas and Ricardo Pinell. Tickets are priced at $60, $50 and $40 and can be purchased at foxrwc.com and PacoPresentsBoxing.com.
WHEN: Friday, doors open at 5:30 p.m., main event at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Fox Theatre, Redwood City
MAIN EVENT: Bruno Escalante (11-1-1) vs. Lorenzo Trejo (33-28-1)
INFO: www.foxrwc.com or www.PacoPresentsBoxing.com