Ringside in Verona: Perez Wins an Unpopular Decision over Lopez

VERONA, NY — In a fight of contrasting styles, Michael Perez (25-2-2) scored a somewhat controversial split decision against Marcelino Lopez (32-2-1) in a super lightweight contest. Two judges favored Perez by scores of 97-92 and 96-93 respectively while the other had it for Lopez 96-93. The decision was booed by the crowd at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino who thought that Lopez’s harder punches outweighed the activity of Perez.

Perez used his legs and quickness to outbox Lopez in the early stages of the fight. Lopez was relentless with his pressure throughout the evening and began to start to get to Perez beginning in round three. In that round, Lopez captured Perez along the ropes and teed off with power shots to the head and body.

After enjoying a better fourth, again using his legs, Perez seemed to be stunned toward the end of the round with a right from Lopez. The next three rounds were tight with Perez having his moments when he boxed, but Lopez raking Perez with power shots when Perez went stationary.

With the fight seemingly up for grabs in the eighth, Lopez landed a massive left hook that put Perez on the canvas. But Lopez though was unable to finish Perez and as the round progressed Perez began to once again use his legs effectively to set up angles to land on Lopez.

By the ninth, Perez’s face was swollen and he seemed to be wilting some to Lopez’s pressure. Lopez landed some head snapping punches in round nine, punctuating it with a hard left to the body.

The tenth and final round saw a microcosm of the fight. Perez boxed effectively in spots but Lopez also found his moments landing some very hard power shots. In the end, two of the three judges preferred Perez’s boxing and activity to the harder punches landed by Lopez.

In the televised co-feature, Rashidi Ellis (18-0) scored a majority decision victory against John Karl Sosa (13-3) in a super welterweight battle.

Ellis displayed his speed advantage in the first frequently making Sosa miss and then making him pay. But in the second, Sosa landed a big left that wobbled Ellis. Ellis spent the remainder of the round holding and trying to regain his legs as a now more confident Sosa pressed the attack.

The fight was a seesaw affair from there on out. Sosa would control spots at times with more precise punching, but Ellis was busier, flashing his tremendous hand speed advantage in spots as he outhustled Sosa. The rounds were often close with little separating the fighters.

In the eighth, with the fight seemingly up in the air, Sosa hurt Ellis again with a combination that started to the body and ended with a big overhand right. But after enjoying a big eighth, Sosa seemed to be running on fumes. In the ninth, he often looked to the big screen to see how much time was remaining in the round. Ellis enjoyed a big round simply outworking a visibly tiring Sosa.

In the tenth and final round, with the end in sight, Sosa mustered his last reserve and opened up more. Ellis, also sensing he needed a big round, let his hands go as well as a frenzied crowd cheered them on in appreciation.

The judges preferred the busier Ellis with two scoring the bout 97-93 and the third seeing it even at 95-95. It was the activity and flashier punches of Ellis that caught more the attention of the judges than the sharper punches of Sosa in a fight that was not easy to score.

Eddie Gomez (20-2) bounced back after suffering a knockout loss his last time out to score an eight round unanimous decision against Dennis Dauti (14-2) in a welterweight contest.

Though Dauti was much taller than Gomez, Gomez found a way to land his jab. His well-timed jab, delivered with his much quicker hands, scored often. It was a nice bounce back performance by Gomez against a tough game opponent.

Also returning from a knockout loss, light heavyweight Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (18-1) scored a second round knockout of journeyman Larry Pryor (10-16). Shabranskyy dropped Pryor twice in the first with right hands. In the second, Shabranskyy pressed the attack. With Pryor against the ropes, he landed a barrage of punches including a final overhand right that ended matters 54 seconds into the frame.

In the opening bout of the evening, Syracuse super welterweight Jimmy Garcia (5-0) stopped the debuting Albert Tulley with a left hook to the body.

Finally, in the swing bout blue chip prospect Travell Mazion (11-0) returned after a two year hiatus to knock out Juan Jesus Rivera (28-18) in the first round. Mazion finished Rivera with a sharp jab followed by a blazing fast right hand that landed flush on Rivera’s jaw.

Photo credit: Tom Hogan / Golden Boy Promotions

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