Perez Earns Hard-Fought Decision of Zuniga

Perez battered Zuniga with heavy numbers over their 10-round encounter.

Ringside Report by Resolution Sports

Super lightweight Michael “The Artist” Perez (19-1-2, 10 KOs) claimed the vacant WBA Fedelatin Title on Monday night, overcoming a tough test in Miguel Zuniga (13-3, 8 KOs). The bout, which was the co-feature of a Golden Boy Live! show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, resulted in Perez getting his hand raised after he claimed a unanimous decision win over the California scrapper.

From the onset of this bout, some good action was on display, with Zuniga doing everything he could to lure the superior boxer in Perez to stay inside and trade punches. Perez also owned a much greater advantage in speed, firing combinations in such heavy numbers that it was very easy to lose count when he started dealing to his opposition.

After allowing pride to come into play in the first couple of rounds, Perez began to step out of the phone booth and truly showcase his boxing skills. While Zuniga did possess some good power and an unquestionable heart, Perez continuously overwhelmed him with combination work and was in clear control by the midway point of the bout. Despite the big doses of punches that Perez was throwing, Zuniga continued to come forward and occasionally drag the Newark native into an unnecessary exchange on the inside. However, Perez did well in regrouping when this happened by taking a step back and countering with numbers, and he landed his best shot of the fight in the sixth frame when he buzzed Zuniga with a flush right uppercut late in the round.

Over the second half of the bout, Zuniga fell a bit too much in love with throwing the overhand, and an elusive Perez did a nice job of reading the power shot and avoided it with regularity. Perez became even more comfortable as the overall pace slowed late in this one, dishing a rapid fire of left hooks that hurt Zuniga in the ninth frame as the Brooklyn crowd began to loudly chant “MI-KEY, MI-KEY!” In that same round as Zuniga started to truly show the effects of the abuse he had been taking, Perez took over complete control and twice battered his opponent onto the ropes in the final minute of that frame.

Perez then closed out this fight in the 10th and final round, still getting off his numbers and continually making a still aggressive Zuniga miss. He also did a nice job of getting there first in terms of confrontation, and there was no doubt when the final bell triggered the call from the ringside judges. After receiving scores of 99-91 (twice) and 96-94, the Newark fighter earned the unanimous decision victory, as well as the claimed the vacant WBA Fedelatin Belt that came with it.

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