By Ricardo Ibarra
Stepping up to face his most notable opponent to date, rising Jr. lightweight prospect Giovanni Cabrera-Mioletti (14-0, 5 KOs) will square off with rugged former world ranked contender Antonio Escalante (29-9, 20 KOs) on Friday night at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington. Headlining Brian Halquist Productions’ first ‘Battle at the Boat’ card of 2019, Cabrera-Mioletti will meet Escalante in the ten round main event of a stacked six bout line-up.
After a highly productive 2018, Cabrera-Mioletti is looking to keep his momentum going early in the new year, taking on a vastly more experienced opponent than he’s faced before. The twenty-four-year-old Cabrera-Mioletti, who currently resides in Chicago, Illinois but is originally from nearby Seattle, fought five times last year, scoring three of his wins over fellow unbeaten up and comers. In one of the more impressive of those victories, he stopped Ray Lampkin in the second round in March. He continued to display an improving set of skills and ring intelligence over his next three fights, closing out the year with a resounding seventh-round TKO over Headley Scott, who at the time carried an unblemished eleven fight record. He’ll be facing a meaningful test against the battle-worn, yet still well-regarded Escalante.
Hailing from El Paso, Texas, Escalante was at one time on the cusp of a world title fight, taking on some of the toughest fighters of his era in and around the featherweight division and earning a top spot among the world ratings. A fan-favorite throughout his career, he fought wars in the ring, notching notable wins over current top-rated contender Miguel “Mickey” Roman (WUD 10, 2010), and the once highly-touted Mike Oliver, whom he stopped in the third round in 2008 to claim the NABO 122 lbs. title for the second time in his career. Some of his other notable fights include a 2010 third round loss to former world champion Daniel Ponce Deleon in a WBO featherweight world title eliminator; and a third round TKO at the hands of current WBC 130 lbs. champion Miguel Berchelt in 2014.
Escalante will step back into the ring for the second time since coming back from a three year stretch of inactivity last October, when he lost a six-round unanimous decision to Joseph Rodriguez. The heavy-handed banger will be looking for his first win since his first round TKO of Sammy Ventura in January of 2014.
The ten round main event between Cabrera-Mioletti and Escalante is scheduled for ten rounds in the Jr. lightweight division. Rounding out the rest of the card will be a five-fight undercard that promises to deliver fireworks, courtesy of promoter Brian Halquist and matchmaker Andy Nance.
In a four round bout, undefeated light heavyweight Richard Van Siclen (5-0, 3 KOs), of Seattle, will make his return to the ring after a fourteen-month hiatus from the sport. He recorded his last win in October of 2017, taking a four round unanimous decision over Alex Cazac. Van Siclen will square off with tough journeyman Eddie Hunter (10-14-2, 3 KOs) at the 175 lbs. limit.
Making up the rest of the line-up will be Shae Green (2-0-1, 1 KO) taking on Journey Newson, who will be making his pro debut, in a four round Jr. welterweight contest; Niko McFarland (2-4-1, 1 KO) squaring off with Luis DeAlba (0-1) in a four rounder in the Jr. welterweight class; Luis Iniguez (0-1-1) battling pro debuting Quinten Wyland in a four round lightweight match-up; and lastly in a light heavyweight tilt, William Parra-Smith (0-1) will take on Derick Bartelemy (0-8-2) over four rounds.
Tickets to ‘Battle at the Boat 119’ are available through the EQC box office and all Ticketmaster Outlets. Doors to the I-5 showroom will open at 7 p.m. with the opening bouts set to kick off the show at 8 p.m. For more information visit www.halquistproductions.com and the Battle at the Boat Facebook page.