By Mike Coppinger
BRONX, N.Y. – With an eye toward next year’s foray into regular shows in Brooklyn, N.Y., Golden Boy Promotions staged a card stocked with local New York City area fighters at the Paradise Theatre in the Bronx on Friday, as part of Telefutura’s Solo Boxeo Tecate.
Golden Boy COO David Itskowitch will be heading the project, slated to start sometime next year, where monthly shows will emanate from the soon-to-open Barclays Center, the future home of the Nets of the NBA. In anticipation of next year, two of the area’s best prospects were featured, Mikey Perez and Eddie Gomez.
“It’s great to have Mikey and Eddie fighting in New York,” said Itskowitch. “Both of them as you can see brought crowds tonight. They’ve got a lot of support. Especially Eddie, for such a young fighter. They’re both good fighters, I didn’t think Mikey’s fight was going to be as short as it was, usually Mikey’s fights are a little more interesting and exciting and they go a little longer. But they’ll be two kids that will be featured.
Nearby-Newark’s own Perez (14-0-1, 8 KOs) made quick work in the featured bout, stopping Miguel Rodriguez (7-3, 3 KOs) in the opening round , the result of a debilitating body shot.
Rodriguez beat the count, but fell to the canvas once more, unable to stomach the pain, as he was counted out.
Time of the stoppage was 49 seconds of round one.
“I was setting it up, I’d seen the opening, I was pot-shoting him with the jab, he leaned over and I leaned over with him, there was a shot that was there, and I took it,” said Perez, known as “The Artist”. “It means good things ahead for me, with my people in Jersey and New York, people that I grew up with, to come out and see me and support me. I usually fight on the west coast or Puerto Rico.
Perez, 21, is excited for the opportunity to begin fighting closer to home more regularly, as any fighter would be.
“It’s going to be great,” Perez said. “It’ll boost my fans up even more on the east coast, it’ll be perfect for me.
In the co-feature, Golden Boy prospect Eddie Gomez of Bronx, N.Y. (6-0, 4 KOs) delighted his hometown fans with a three-knockdown, one round stoppage of Marcus Hall, Rochester, N.Y. (5-4-1, 2 KOs).
Gomez came out fast and furious, dropping Hall with a sharp right early in the bout. Hall beat the count, but was on unsteady legs, as he was dropped with a barrage moments later along the ropes, as Gomez mixed it nicely to the body and head.
Seconds later, “E Boy” ended matters, dropping his foe with another flurry of power shots, as referee Willis Dock had seen enough, waving the bout off without a count.
Time of the stoppage was 2:00 of the opening stanza.
“I wasn’t really expecting a first round-knockout, I was expecting to go in there and put in work, go to work, get at least two, three rounds and then take him out,” said Gomez, 18. “I’m excited about coming out and fighting in my hometown. I actually live five minutes away from the venue, so you know I had a lot of support.”
Gomez has fought most of his bouts in Puerto Rico, but relishes the chance to fight regularly in his native New York City.
“Every time that [Golden Boy] throw a show [in Brooklyn], I wanna be over there fighting,” said Gomez. “Every time. Probably in two years I’ll be stepping it up. I’m coming up quick, I got six fights now, in two years I’m expecting to have at least 20 fights, and I’m going to work.”
If tonight is any indication of things to come, boxing could see a resurgence in Gotham.