In the HBO TV opener, Mike Perez took on Magomed Abdusalamov in a heavyweight tussle at the MSG Theater in NYC on Saturday evening. They engaged in a fan friendly scrap, tons of action for fans used to subpar heavyweight tangles. Perez looked the part of the crafty Cuban, and showed a wider array of skills and tactics. We went to the cards, and received word of a UD10, with Perez getting the nod by scores of 97-92, 95-94, 97-92.
After, Mago said he hurt his left hand in round one, and that he wasn't able to make a fist thereafter. But he gave props to Perez for being a champ on this night.
Perez, born in Cuba, was 19-0 entering, while the Russian Mago was 18-0. One-twos, and a sharp left, won the first for Perez. He had the “harder” hitter Mago backing up. The second was tighter, as Mago closed the distance. He jabbed more, and though he was bleeding from his nose, had a better round. Perez' body work impressed, however. Both lefties were working hard.
In the third, it was another action round. Perez got clanged with some head bobbers, but stayed in come forward mode. In the fourth, Mago's inside work, left uppers and left to the body, spoke loudly.
In the fifth, Perez had his best round. His right hook continued to do damage, on Mago's puffed cheek. In the sixth, Perez was at a confident high. His defense didn't let him down, not too much anyway. Mago landed clean late in the seventh, but Perez was in a nice rhythm before that. In the eighth, Perez again had Mago backing up. In the ninth, the ref took a point from Perez for straying low. Mago has an upswing in the ninth, as he was the busier man. He knocked Perez back with a left midway through. In the 10th, Perez again pushed Mago back for much of the round, and stung him at one point. But we'd go to the cards, and hoped for them doing the right thing.