BORN: June 3, 1985
BIRTHPLACE: Ciudad, Juarez, Chihuahua, MX
HOMETOWN: El Paso, Texas
WEIGHT: 122 lbs (Super Bantamweight)
PRO RECORD: 21-2 (13 KO’s)
RANKING: #1 World, WBA
MANAGER: Lester Bedford
Born in Ciudad Juarez , Mexico on June 3, 1985, Antonio Escalante always had big dreams. From a very young age, Escalante would peer across the way to the United States side of the border and dream of making it big one day in America . And since he had to fight for everything he ever had, it only made sense that he’d fight to make that dream a reality….
After moving to El Paso as a youngster and enjoying a short amateur career, turned pro on Sept. 21, 2003 with a first-round knockout of Mike Slobada, in Dallas . From the beginning, it was obvious that he possessed the power and natural talent to make an impact in boxing…..Escalante followed the Slobada victory with two more first-round knockouts, against Jose Luis Burgos and Ivan Silva….the Burgos fight on Nov. 7, 2003, was the first time that El Pasoans got a glimpse of the rising star, as the fight took place on the undercard of the Angel Manfredy-Johnny West main event at the Don Haskins Center….Escalante made his presence known with thumping body shots that seemed to echo off the hallowed walls of “The Don”…..it didn’t take long before Burgos began to wince and he fell at the 2:15 mark of the first round….
Escalante went the distance for the first time on April 3, 2004, winning a four-round decision over Rodrigo Ortiz at the City of Industry, Calif….then Escalante tasted defeat for the first time in his career….on June 11, 2004, Escalante was narrowly outpointed by Jairo Sanchez at Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas….the fight was close, and many in the crowd thought Escalante won…however, the scores of 39-36, 38-36 and 39-35 were unanimous for Sanchez…
Escalante bounced back with a four-round decision over Ernesto Rivera on June 11, 2004, in his birthplace of Juarez….El Pasoans got to see Escalante for a second time on Oct. 22, 2004, as he knocked out Brian Garcia in the third round at the El Paso County Coliseum…After an easy decision win over Natalio Ponce on April 29, 2005 in Laredo, Texas, Escalante rattled off three consecutive ’05 knockout victories, over
Rigoberto Hernandez (KO 1), Terrance Roy (KO 2) and Trinidad Mendoza (KO 3)….the Roy knockout was on the undercard of the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Jermaine White card at the Don Haskins Center…
The three impressive wins set up Escalante’s national television debut, as he took on rough-and-tumble veteran Jose Andres Hernandez in his home away from home – Chicago’s Cicero Stadium – on Jan. 27, 2006….Escalante and Hernandez waged an incredible war for the fans who attended live, and those watching on Telefutura network….for those critics who wanted to see Escalante’s chin and heart, this was the fight….Escalante took everything the talented and tough Hernandez could dish out, and always came back with something of his own…..he passed every test possible with flying colors and won by unanimous decision, becoming a fan favorite in Chicago and on Telefutura network…..the Escalante-Hernandez battle won “Fight of the Year” honors from Telefutura….
Escalante was back in Chicago four months later, outpointing another tough cookie, Juan Ruiz, again by unanimous decision…Escalante stopped Alex Baba in the 10th and final round on July 7, 2006, in McAllen, Texas, and returned to El Paso on Oct. 21, 2006, stopping Omar Adorno in two rounds on the undercard of the Juan Lazcano-Manuel Garnica main event at the Don Haskins Center…
The win over Adorno set up the biggest fight of Escalante’s career, a showdown with former three-time title challenger Mauricio Pastrana in Chicago, on Jan. 27, 2007….for five rounds, Escalante dominated Pastrana, using his skill and movement to confuse and rattle the veteran….however, Escalante learned something about stamina that night, as Pastrana persevered and went on to an upset eighth-round knockout defeat…
He bounced back with an eight-round decision over Paulino Villalobos on July 27, 2007, and a fifth-round knockout of Feidor Viloria on Sept. 7, 2007…both fights were in Tucson, Ariz….A decision over Jose Angel Beranza on Feb. 8, 2008 in Boston set the stage for four consecutive knockout victories….David Martinez, Mike Oliver and Gary Stark Jr. were all victims of third-round knockouts…the Stark fight, on April 24, 2009 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, was Escalante’s re-entry into the big-time….the fight was the main event of an ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” card, and the El Pasoan did not disappoint….a vicious left hook put Stark on the canvas in the first round, before another leveled him in the second….the emphatic victory showed just how far Escalante had progressed since the stunning loss to Pastrana two years earlier…..the emphatic stoppage was one of the “Knockouts of the Year” as voted by fans on the ESPN2 website….
ESPN2 liked the Stark knockout so much that they traveled to El Paso for his next fight, a 10-round decision over Cornelius Lock at the Don Haskins Center…Lock proved durable, as Escalante dominated him en route to a unanimous 10-round decision before a spirited partisan throng.
Escalante has a daughter, April, and once held a job at UPS to help support his boxing career…signed with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions in 2006….is known for having power in both fists and a fierce body attack….has a friendly, easy-going personality outside of the ring… After the big victories over Stark and Lock, Escalante is looking to forward to becoming El Paso ’s first-ever world champion.