Lamont Roach survived a severe body attack early in the fight with Philippine’s Rey Perez to kick into overdrive and win convincingly in retaining the WBC Youth Silver super featherweight title on Thursday.
But for a brief hiccup it was touch and go.
Roach (16-0, 6 KOs), with a little help from the referee, was able to ward off further body attacks by Perez (21-9, 6 KOs) in winning by unanimous decision at MGM National Harbor. The Golden Boy Promotions fight card was aired by ESPN.
After a slow opening round, it was during the second round that Perez found an opening for a thudding body shot that nearly doubled over Roach. Immediately the Filipino fighter went into attack mode. After absorbing some big blows to the body, Roach kept his composure and finished out the round.
Perez opened the third round looking to return to the body but the referee Bill Clancy quickly stopped him, advising him the belt was a low blow. That effectively took away all the future body shots by Perez who was warned two more times for hitting the belt. Though none were below the belt the referee had taken away the Filipino’s most effective weapon.
The rest was smooth sailing for Roach who helped his own cause a few times by pointing to the area below the belt when he was hit on the belt.
No doubt Roach was the more skilled and athletic boxer, but the win showed some flaws in his game. Maybe Perez was thwarted by the referee from attacking the body but future opponents will find the target. The bright notes for Roach were that he showed a pretty good chin and accurate punching throughout.
One last note to the referee: you cannot punch below the belt, but on the belt is legal. Those belts are very wide and most boxers have protective belts underneath the trunks.
After 10 rounds all three judges scored the same, 99-91 to Roach, who keeps the WBC title in the super featherweight division. That’s one loaded division. I don’t foresee a matchup between Roach and Ryan Garcia, the other Golden Boy fighter in the 130-pound division, but there are plenty of excellent super featherweights in the loaded division.
Philadelphia’s Avery Sparrow (9-1, 3 KOs) was the winner by unanimous decision after 10 rounds versus big punching Jose Lopez (19-2-1, 14 KOs) of Puerto Rico.
Northern California’s Manuel Avila (23-1, 8 KOs) defeated Diuhl Olguin (12-8-3) by decision in a competitive eight round featherweight contest. It was Avila’s first fight since losing to Jojo Diaz in Las Vegas.
Lamont Capers (8-10-3) survived a knockdown in the first round against Seifullah Jihad Wise (3-4) and rallied to win a cruiserweight fight by split decision after four rounds.
Photo credit: Tom Hogan / Hogan Photos / GBP
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