J'Leon Love took on Marco Periban, in a 168 pound faceoff, to start the Showtime PPV show.
In a bout which started slow, but picked up immensely midway through, before slowing down again,a UD10 went to Love, via scores of 95-93, 97-92, 96-93.
There were copious boos at the MGM Arena, as Peri threw a ton more, landed about the same and hurt Love big-time, almost to the point of stoppage in the fifth.
Peri came forward in the first, stalked, while Love moved laterally, popped a jab, outboxed him. The tall Mexican was put off by some feints, and his face was red from jabs by the end of one.
In the second, the pace was steady, the action unremarkable. The nose was bothering Peri in the second and third, and in the third, Peri landed some power shots. Love grabbed, and the crowd hooted.
Some counters worked for Love, but he was moving and watching too much. In the fourth, Love came out more focused to offend. But that jab bothered him, and he didn't seem to have settled on a smart adaptation.
Peri's hard flurries in the fifth excited the crowd. The ref hopped in to stop it, then backed off, when Love was out of it. Love was down, his butt on the ropes, and Jay Nady shoved Peri back, and he tripped. Peri was irked that it looked like Nady was there to half, then seemed to change his mind.
Peri hopped on Love, and hammered him, in round six, but then got countered by a left hook. Peri looked almost done, blood on the left eye, as he danced to avoid eating.
In round seven, would Love keep on aggressing? Somewhat, with rights to the body, but Peri got some energy back, with a second wind.
In the eighth, it was even-ish, with Peri popping a jab, moving, and Love answering, without the urgency you'd like to see. Blood poured from Peri's nose in the ninth, yet he showed heart by keeping on stalking, cracking hooks. Love waits too much, then throws one. In the tenth, you wanted to know who wanted it more. Love was busier man, I thought, and may have taken the tenth. We went to the cards.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV