By Jake Donovan
--Eric Hunter outboxed Rene Alvarado over 10 rounds to take a decision in their Fox Sports 1-televised headliner Tuesday evening at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
Scores were 98-92 and 97-93 (twice) in the main event of a show put together
to help celebrate local legend Bernard Hopkins' 50th birthday.
A pair of late knockdowns proved to be the difference in Michael Perez barely outlasting Miguel Acosta in their fantastic 10-round brawl in the evening's co-feature.
Scores 97-94 and 96-93 (twice) in favor of Perez, although a strong case could be made for Acosta otherwise outfighting him over the long haul.
Perez was forced to overcome a rough start, as Acosta came with clear intentions of scoring a major upset. Their styles made for terrific television, as well as a treat to a vocal crowd on the edge of its seat the entire night.
Acosta was well on his way to an early contender for Upset of the Year before Perez came on late. A knockdown in round seven resulted in a three point swing, as Acosta was on his way to winning the frame but instead went in the books as 10-8 for Perez.
It was the same theme for the final three minutes of the bout, one that joins the third frame of last Saturday's five-round war between Amir Imam and Fidel Maldonado Jr. as a Round of the Year contender. Acosta hit the deck early in the final round, but came roaring back to hurt Perez, with non-stop action ensuing to close out the contest and bring the crowd to its feet.
Perez advances to 22-1-1 (10KOs) with the win, extending his unbeaten streak to eight straight following a 6th round knockout loss to Omar Figueroa three years ago. The Newark (N.J.) native is now training with Robert Garcia and his all-star roster of fighters out of his Oxnard (Calif.) gym. It remains to be seen if he can adapt to a style that allows his career to advance, if not return to the level of praise he enjoyed prior to his lone career loss.
Acosta falls to 29-8-2 (23KOs) but his four-fight losing streak hardly tells the whole tale. The 36-year old ring veteran from Venezuela has been competitive in each of his past four starts, and even proving valiant in defeat in losing his lightweight belt to Brandon Rios in their Feb. '11 slugfest.
Lamont Roach Jr. opened up the Fox Sports 1 telecast with a 4th round stoppage of Herbert Quartey.
Three knockdowns came of the bout, with Roach coming out strong and flooring Quartey in the opening round. The 19-year old prospect remained poised, picking his spots and slowly breaking down the visiting journeyman from Ghana.
The deciding fourth round saw Quartey (12-11, 9KOs) twice hit the deck, the last knockdown prompting Hall of Fame referee Steve Smoger to stop the fight without issuing a count.
Roach Jr., based out of greater Washington D.C. area (Upper Marlboro, Maryland to be exact), improves to 6-0 (3KOs).
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox