Photo courtesy of SFL Entertainment.
Report by Resolution Sports
Michael “The Artist” Perez (20-1-2, 10 KOs) put on an impressive performance in the first defense of his WBA Fedelatin Super Lightweight Championship on Monday night, outboxing a gritty Jorge Romero (24-8, 21 KOs) over 10 rounds to roll to a unanimous decision victory. The bout was hosted at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Perez’ native country of Puerto Rico, airing as the main event of a Golden Boy Live! broadcast on FOX Sports 1.
“Here and there, it changed the momentum because he was coming forward,” Perez said of a focused body attack that he dealt Romero throughout the fight. “What he was really trying to do was save his energy for the last two rounds. You guys saw that. I just kept doing what I did, (using) my head movement. It kept me out of trouble, and it put me in position to throw shots. I just kept doing what I was doing, and I came out with the victory.”
The opening frame of this contest was a bit of a feeling out by Perez, who was working the jab while looking for habitual patterns of Romero that he could expose later in the bout. The Newark resident then came out in the second stanza by doubling up his jab and quickly coming over the top with a right hand as Romero attempted to get out of the way of his jab.
After finding a home for the jab and overhand right, Perez began focusing on the body at the onset of the third round. With Romero unsure of where the attack was coming from, Perez started to fire off left hooks to both the body and the head, dropping his lead shoulder to confuse his Mexican counterpart. The combination of left hooks and damaging body work began to pay dividends for Perez, who really picked up the momentum to control the middle frames of this bout. Throughout that portion of the evening, he displayed a calm confidence and did a nice job of timing the advances of Romero, blasting off left hooks when he took a big step forward.
With Perez well in control of this match, Romero completely went for broke at the end of the eighth round, keeping that same reckless demeanor over the final two frames of action to mount his best offense of the night. However, Perez stood his ground and exchanged when he had to do so, ending the final moments of the contest with a burst of his own aggression.
When the bell rang to conclude this pairing, both fighters met in the center of the ring to show their mutual respect, and the result would rest upon the thoughts of the ringside judges. All three men saw it the same way, with Perez taking the first eight rounds of the bout and cruising to flush 98-92 counts on the scorecards. With the win, he secured his 20th professional victory, as well as the first successful defense of his title.