INDIO-A battle between counter-punchers didn’t provide a lot of action as NABO junior lightweight titleholder Eloy Perez retained his title against Rialto’s Dominic Salcido by majority decision on Friday.

“It was two boxers trying to outsmart each other,” said Perez who retained the title on the Golden Boy Promotions card.

Speed, precision and counter punching didn’t equal action as a sold out crowd of 1,700 at Fantasy Springs Casino saw Perez (19-0-2, 5 KOs) of Salinas, California narrowly convince the judges he was the winner over Salcido (18-3, 9 KOs). It was close.

Both fighters started tentatively jabbing. Salcido landed two counter right hands and a left uppercut to seemingly win the first two rounds.

Perez began to find the range for his counters despite the longer reach of Salcido.

Both fought very carefully but the smaller Northern Californian began to land more of his combinations in rounds three and four.

Salcido opened up a bit in the sixth round. A right lead and some quick one-two combos started the ball rolling for the Rialto fighter who was being too cautious in the previous two rounds.

The battle between the counter punchers began picking up in the seventh. But the eighth saw Salcido land a few right hands and a left hook forcing Perez to hold. He wasn’t hurt but sustained some body blows during the clinch.

Perez used his jab to connect often and tried to burrow his way past Salcido’s longer reach. But it was never easy. Both fighters reflexes prevented each other from landing much.

“He ran from me the whole time. He was awkward and didn’t come to fight me. He wanted me to reach for him,” said Perez.

After 10 rounds one judge scored it 95-95 and the other two scored it 96-94 for Perez.

“I thought it was a good fight. I landed more punches and jabs than him but he’s the champion so I had to do more to win,” said Salcido.

East L.A.’s Frankie Gomez (7-0, 6 KOs) battered the durable Ramon Montano (17-8-2) for six rounds in winning by unanimous decision in a junior welterweight bout. The Las Vegas boxer absorbed every big shot Gomez could offer but couldn’t match the speed and combinations.

“He could really take a shot,” said Gomez of Montano who has never been knocked out. “I was never hurt and felt I controlled the fight, but I was upset I didn’t knock him out.”

Other bouts

U.S. Olympic bronze medalist Deontay Wilder (13-0, 13 KOs) survived a second round knockdown by Florida’s Harold Sconiers (17-21-2, 11 KOs) to rally for a fourth round technical knockout victory. It wasn’t easy. A three punch combination dropped Sconiers at 1:09 of the fourth round forcing the referee to stop the heavyweight fight. Wilder scored three knockdowns but was nearly knocked out by the veteran.

“We knew he was a tough. I’m glad it wasn’t easy. Life brings obstacles. I never want anything easy,” said Wilder who trains in Alabama. “I don’t even remember getting a knockdown. As far as he scoring (a knockdown) it was time for me to step it up even more. I like competition. I like somebody that has the same heart as I.”

On paper it looked to be a tight featherweight struggle, in the ring Paramount’s Charles Huerta (15-1, 8 KOs) started the end of Brownsville’s Felipe Cordova (10-2, 4 KOs) with a well-placed left uppercut that wobbled the Texan. A right hand followed that and a left hook dropped Cordova. He got up to beat the count and was met by a swarm of pinpoint punches that forced Cordova to the ropes in bad condition. Referee David Denkin stopped the fight at 1:53 of the first round.

“I noticed the first body shot did damage. He was covering his body that’s when the uppercut landed. I kind of started throwing wild punches but I caught myself. My dad said to pace myself and jab. I could tell he was done,” said Huerta who expected a very tough match. “Guys from Texas are always coming to fight. I would have like to put him down but getting a stoppage is always good.”

Huerta used this fight to test the waters as a 122-pound junior featherweight. For this fight the weight was 124.

“I felt like a monster at this weight. I like being the bigger guy,” Huerta said.

Coachella’s Randy “El Matador” Caballero (5-0, 4 KOs) was too fast and too accurate for wily veteran Missael Nunez (4-10-2) who fights out of Los Angeles. Caballero, a bantamweight, landed nearly every punch he fired but was unable to land more than one against the defensive-minded Nunez. All three judges scored it for Caballero.

East Coast heavyweights Seth Mitchell (19-0-1, 13 KOs) of Maryland and Derrick Brown (13-5-3, 11 KOs) of New York City needed only one round to show what they had. Mitchell blasted Brown to the floor with a right hand behind the ear for a knockdown. He got up. Then another right hand floored Brown again. He got up. Finally, a loaded right to the body crumpled Brown for good at 2:59 of the first round.