By Jake Donovan
Michael Perez scored a well-deserved unanimous decison over Jorge Romero in their 10-round super lightweight bout Monday evening in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Scores were 98-92 on all three scorecards in favor of Perez, who returned to Puerto Rico for the first time in nearly two years.
On paper, the bout was designed to help Perez look spectacular, as he's somewhat struggled to return to past form prior to the lone loss of his career. It's been more than two years since he ran into the lethal fists of Omar Figueroa, squandering an early lead to eventually get overwhelmed in his televised debut when the two fought on Showtime in Jan. '12.
Perez is now unbeaten in six fights since then, but has been extended the distance in five straight contests. A knockout was there for the taking against Romero, a rail-thin journeyman from Mexico who came in having lost three straight. The work was put in early by Perez, who connected repeatedly with digging body shots, hurting Romero in the middle rounds with a two-fisted attack.
However, the 24-year old New Jersey native never went full throttle. Instead, Perez was content to box his way to victory, which in the end proved to be more than enough.
The win advances Perez' record to 20-1-2 (10KO), coming two days after his lone conqueror Figueroa struggled in a split decision win over Jerry Belmontes.
Romero has now dropped four straight, falling to 24-8 (21KO).
The bout headlined on Fox Sports 1's Golden Boy Live series.
McJoe Arroyo remains perfect as a pro, coming out strong but surviving a brief rough patch to score a wide win over David Quijano in their eight-round super flyweight battle.
Scores were 80-72 and 79-73 (twice) in the televised co-feature.
Arroyo (14-0, 7KO) appeared well on his way to a knockout early in the fight. The 2008 Puerto Rican Olympian - having served on the team along with twin brother McWilliams Arroyo - had Quijano in a world of trouble in round two, but was unable to close.
Quijano (15-5-1, 9KO) - a former super flyweight title challenger - scored a moral victory in riding out the storm and lasting the distance, but didn't manage to offer much more than durability. The local journeyman had his best moment of the fight in round five, briefly stunning Arroyo, but spent the rest of the night in second place.
John Karl Sosa remained unbeaten but wasn't spectacularly impressive in a six-round win over Victor Perez in a battle of Puerto Rican welterweights.
The action was relatively competitive over the course of their welterweight battle. Perez came out to a strong start, clearly disrupting Sosa's rhythm. However, the prospect from Caguas - the same town that has produced the likes of Miguel Cotto and Juan Manuel Lopez - was able to take the lead and remain a step ahead.
Scores were 58-56 (twice) and 59-55 in favor of Sosa, who advances to 10-0 (6KO). Perez falls to 3-2 (1KO).
Featherweight contender Jayson Velez remains in the title hunt following a 2nd round knockout of Miguel Soto (12-3, 12KO).
FULL TELEVISED CARD
Michael Perez, 140 lb (20-1-2, 10KO) UD10 Jorge Romero, 138¾ lb (24-7, 21KO)
Jayson Velez, 127 lb (21-0, 15KO) KO2 Miguel Soto, 128 lb (12-2, 12KO)
McJoe Arroyo, 115 lb (14-0, 7KO) UD8 David Quijano, 115 lb (15-5-1, 9KO)
John Karl Sosa, 145 lb (10-0, 6KO) UD6 Victor Perez, 144 lb (3-1, 1KO)
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