December 5 2008 was a hot night for those who are interested in the progress of Philly fighters as Peltz Boxing Promotions went head to head with the Legendary Blue Horizon for the last opportunity of the year to showcase local talent. On this night, it wasn’t The New Alhambra as instead promoter J. Russell Peltz upped the anti and collaborated with Golden Boy Promotions, King Promotions and Telefutura for a card which will be one of the final episode of the soon to be defunct Solo Boxeo series. The end result was a very good 7 fight card which saw two vicious knockouts, an Olympian continue his rise through the ranks and others who are clawing their way towards recognition as fighters with a bright future.
The evening’s main event featured the one who many regard as Philly’s #1 pound for pound prospect Mike Jones (16-0, 14 ko’s) taking on Chicago’s experienced veteran Luciano Perez (16-9, 14ko’s) for a scheduled 10 rounder. Jones, who is becoming a good crowd draw on the local scene, has recently gained some world wide recognition being ranked the #12 welterweight in the WBA. This came on the heels of his last win, a thumping TKO over Brazil’s Juliano Ramos, which was for the then vacant NABA Welterweight title.
His opponent Luciano Perez is no stranger to stiff competition. In his 5 years as a pro, Perez has faced the likes of Carlos Baldomir (former undisputed welterweight champ), Jesus Soto Karass, Alfonso Gomez (The Contender) and Juan Manuel Buendia, all of whom carry a world rating with a major sanctioning body.
On this night, it was found our hours before show time that Perez was well over the contractually agreed upon weight limit of 147 pounds, weighing in at a whopping 154. With the entire telecast hanging in the balance, Jones and his team agreed to fight on despite the unprofessional actions of Perez. Perez was fined for his actions but the cost almost turned out to be a lot deeper than originally expected…
From the opening bell Jones found himself in a firefight with Perez, who came out punching for a quick victory. Jones, who coming in to the fight was rumored to have a “left hand that was f$#ked”, abandoned his traditional method of using the ring, working jabbing and throwing hard body combinations for a street brawlers style of hard over the top rights.
Perez, even after eating a big right seconds into the bout, was more than willing to oblige and this one broke down to a wild, give and take fight through two rounds which saw both fighters get buzzed a bit early. A nasty gash opened on Perez hairline late in the 2nd and within seconds was gushing blood, yet still continued to fight as both men exchanged heavy leather.
At start of the 3rd round, Perez came out bombing for the knockout. But when the going got really tough, MJ got going and dropped the incoming Perez with a 3 punch combo the finished with a hard right to the face. Perez had the audacity to continue but soon after got caught with one of the best left hooks in recent memory, which cork screwed Perez into the ropes, down to the canvas and out of commission. Perez somehow beat the count again but referee Gary Rosado saw he was in no shape to continue and immediately called an end to things. Five minutes after the fight, Perez left ringside still on shaky legs.
After the fight, Jones told me “I saw in his eyes he was a desperate fighter because of that bad cut” he added “He wanted the get the knockout and I didn’t want to have a no contest on my record if they stopped it early because of the bleeding, so I knew I had to get him out of there and that’s what I did”. An upgrade to his #12 WBA welterweight world ranking is in line for sure after this win.
In the co-feature, 2004 Olympian and current Jr. Welterweight prospect Rock Allen (14-0, 7ko’s) returned to the ring for only the 2nd time this year but showed no signs of rust as he banged out a win against tough Mexican fighter Humberto Tapia over 8 tough, yet convincing rounds.
Allen’s approach early in the fight was to attack the body and Tapia knew only one direction which was forward. This led to quite a few very good two way exchanges in the middle of the ring.
Though Allen was scoring more with his three and four punch combos, Tapia landed a few hard rights upstairs in the early going which Allen seemed to handle with no problem.
After 4 rounds, Allen seemed to realize that the ring was his friend, opting to move around, box and use different angles which caused a lot of Tapia to misses and openings for more clean punches landing for Allen.
Round 5 through 8 had a similar theme, Allen showing off his superior hand speed allowing him to land at a high rate and Tapia still willing to fight through a swollen face, looking to score one big punch at a time.
The fight lasted the distance but there was no doubt as all three of the judges score cards read 80 – 72 in favor of Allen.
After the fight Rock seemed pleased with his performance but also stated that ” I knew he was tough coming in so I wasn’t surprised he could take a good punch” he also added “My dad told me, hit the body and the head will fall. I just wish I had 2 more rounds to work with. I could feel him wearing down near the end and with a little more time I would have knocked him out. I may not have the power of a Mike Jones but I know how to break a fighter down”.
In the swing bout, Reading’s undefeated Jr. Welterweight Jason Cintron (brother of former IBF champ Kermit Cintron) continues to impress, this time with a 2nd round stone cold starching over Puerto Rico’s Pascali Adorno courtesy of a perfectly placed right hook to the jaw bone. Cintron was in command for the opening bell showing a nice blend of skill, patience and power. He dropped Adorno late in the 1st with a hard left hand and sealed the deal in the opening seconds of round 2. Look for more of Cintron after the new year as he burst out of no where over the last 2 months, first beating the USBA regional champ Tyric Robinson in a non title bout a few weeks back and then following it up with this big KO and improving his record to 10-0 with 3ko’s.
In featherweight action, Reading’s Lucian Gonzalez continues his escape from journeyman-ville, winning his 7th straight fight after starting his career 2 – 4. His assignment on this night was Robert DeLuz of Michigan, who has become a familiar face in our town providing solid, yet unspectacular tests to the young and hungry Philly fighters who dare to strive for prospect status at the 125 lb mark. In DeLuz previous fights against Philly hopefuls Eric “Outlaw” Hunter and Teon Kennedy (both former highly decorated amateurs) the pace was slow and the two-way action was sparse. On this night, Gonzalez was somehow able to bring the fight out of DeLuz, which led to an entertaining 6 round contest that went the distance. DeLuz played the role of attacker while Gonzalez took the job of counter puncher. The two sat in the pocket and exchanged some good leather. Gonzalez ability to put more combinations together and use the ring led to a clean sweep on the scorecards although all rounds were competitive. With the win, Gonzalez shows he has definitely arrived; a promoter could have a gem of a fight on their hands if they match him with either Kennedy or Hunter. I am sure boxing commish Greg Sirb would have no problem putting the State Title on the line!
Rounding out the card, Jr. Middleweight Kaseem Wilson (10-1, 4ko’s) shook off 15 months of ring rust in his return bout against Marvin Rivera. The fight started slow but Wilson warmed up down the stretch scoring a late knockdown en route to a unanimous decision win. Good comeback for Wilson as he showed stamina through the entire 6 rounds against a fighter that is no slouch.
In the only dud fight of the night, featherweight Paul Fernandez lost in a mild upset against Puerto Rico’s Esteban Rodriguez.
In the curtain closer, Cruiserweight Julio Caesar Matthews stayed undefeated by knocking out hard hitting journeyman William Bailey in the 3rd.
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