By Francisco Salazar
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - It was not pretty, but Michael Perez will take it.
Perez had to deal with two cuts and a hard-charging Martin Honorio, eventually winning a six round technical decision before a boisterous crowd at the Belasco Theatre.
Perez was penciled to fight Petr Petrov in a lightweight title eliminator on February 14, but the fight fell through when the location (Monaco) was no longer able to stage the fight card.
So Perez took the fight against Honorio to stay busy, but the fighter from Mexico City took the fight to Perez from the opening bell, landing counter or lead right hands to the head of Perez.
Both fighters suffered nasty cuts in the second round. Honorio was cut above his left ear, a gash that saw an abundant amount of blood come out. Perez dealt with a cut behind his left ear and below his left eye.
Despite the cuts both fighters suffered, both took the fight to each other. As the bout progressed, Perez was at his best when he initiated the exchanges, landing hard right hands to the body.
As the bout progressed, Perez looked like the fresher fighter while Honorio seemed to slow down.
After the end of the sixth round, the ringside physician deemed Perez's cut below his left eye too deep to continue, telling referee Jerry Cantu to stop the fight. Because the fight was stopped by an accidental head-butt that opened the cut, the fight went to the scorecards.
All three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Perez, who improves to 24-1-2, 11 KOs. Honorio drops to 33-10-1 16 KOs.
Junior lightweight Christian Gonzalez knocked out David Rodela in the first round. Rodela (17-13-4, 7 KOs), who has now lost his last four bouts in a row, was able to trade with Gonzalez from the opening bell. Gonzalez (13-0, 12 KOs) pinned Rodela against the ropes, landing a counter right hand that dropped Rodela to the canvas. Referee Wayne Hedgpeth counted Rodela out at 2:16.
In a battle of unbeaten junior featherweights, Oscar Negrete pummeled Neftali Campos for eight rounds, winning a one-sided decision. From the opening bell, Negrete (13-0, 5 KOs) could not miss with repeated punches to the head and body, particularly with left hooks. Campos (11-0, 9 KOs) attempted to fight back, but would easily get countered by Negrete, forcing him to fight defensively. Negrete hurt Campos again with a left hook to the body in round six and again in round, but Campos was able to make it out of those rounds. All three judges scored the bout 80-72 in favor of Negrete.
Junior middleweight and former amateur standout Alexis Rocha battered Jordan Rosario (0-4) throughout the second round until referee Wayne Hedgpeth stopped the bout at 1:43. Rocha, who was making his professional debut, is the younger brother of featherweight contender Ronny Rios.
Junior featherweight Rafael Gramajo won a six round unanimous decision over Sharone Carter. Gramajo (7-1-1, 2 KOs) was the aggressor as Carter worked from the outside. While Gramajo landed the more-telling blows, the bout was highlighted by Carter holding onto Gramajo or falling to the canvas after losing his balance. As the bout progressed into the later rounds, Carter (4-1, 2 KOs) looked as though he was in survival mode. Referee Jerry Cantu finally deducted a point from Carter for holding in round six. All three judges scored the bout 59-54 in favor of Gramajo.
In the opening bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card, junior lightweight Ivan Delgado (9-0-1, 2 KOs) won a six round unanimous decision over Jesus Sandoval. Delgado landed the more telling blows during the first two rounds, but Sandoval (5-9-3, 1 KO)was able to land more behind a steady jab. Delgado swung momentum back his way in round five, hurting Sandoval on a number of occasions. Delgado attempted to finish Sandoval, but was somewhat gassed towards the end of the round. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Delgado, 59-55, 59-55, and 60-54.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing