Like Mexican Coke, the Spanish boxing telecasts taste sweeter and more natural even though in truth they are no better than the standard American product. Solo Boxeo Tecate on TeleFutura in particular has consistently entertained recently despite specializing in cards sans star power, so we’re pleased to bring you regular coverage in this space starting this week.
Friday’s edition from Salinas, Calif. featured local unbeaten junior lightweight contender Eloy Perez breaking down and overwhelming Ira Terry Jr.; referee Dan Stell was forced to stop the fight in the 6th round.
The 25-year-old Perez (23-0-2, 7 KOs) has trod a tougher path than most well-regarded prospects but that hasn’t prevented his promoter Golden Boy from treating him as the Caleb to stablemate Adrien Broner’s Aaron in a case of favoritism that would make fellow Salinas native John Steinbeck blush.
A total of five knockouts in his first 21 fights relegated Perez to TeleFutura while Broner grew up on premium cable, but stopping Daniel Jimenez in two rounds a couple months ago sparked interest Golden Boy’s interest. His aggressive performance against Terry (24-7, 14 KOs) should only help.
Though both men are roughly the same age, Perez and Terry’s careers are already headed in opposite directions. Eloy is hoping for a shot at Broner or at the least a major fight in next calendar year; Terry has been stopped in his past five outings.
A cautious opening round saw both men stay behind their jabs, but Perez steadily increased the pressure and showed less respect for his opponent as the fight wore on. Eloy stays in the pocket but still defends most punches, a key trait of an appealing TV fighter.
Eloy’s lack of power may keep him off the pound-for-pound list but he could play a role in the type of action fights needed to breathe life in the junior lightweight division. His style is attractive and at the very least he should be an antidote to some of the less-than-courageous performances in recent main events.
By the 3rd Perez was punching with abandon, landing more often than not and avoiding the responses from a game Terry. The Tennessean was left with three choices: run, tie up or get the worst of an exchange. Fortunately he chose the third option often enough to entertain the vocal if modest crowd at Sherwood Hall.
A one-sided 5th saw Terry finally go into retreat but he came back to stand his ground in the 6th. Perez responded by bullying him around the ring and teeing off with no fear of rebuttal. The referee finally waved off the action at 1:22 of the 6th with Terry leaning on the ropes and covered up, though he appeared relatively unharmed.
The Ring-rated Perez is far from perfect; his punches are wide and slapping, particularly problematic for someone that fights on the inside. But in a shallow 130-pound division he would pose a challenge for any of the listed contenders.
With Broner fighting Vicente Rodriguez in November the most likely next foe for Perez is a step down against the likes of Jason Litzau. That would do little to improve his standing in our book.
A ShoBox-style face-off against another top American prospect like Mikey Faragon, Diego Magdaleno or Puerto Rico’s Luis Cruz would be vastly preferable, but such a fight would require considerable courage from their respective handlers. Hopefully they realize box office appeal must be earned inside the ropes, not through a matchmaker’s wile.
22-year-old Paul “El Gallo Negro” Mendez easily out-pointed Loren Myers in a six-round light heavyweight contest, scoring a clean sweep on all three scorecards. Mendez (7-2, 2 KOs) stayed busy with his lead hand and had little trouble with the doughy Myers. (8-14-1, 2 KOs).
Local light heavy prospect Rudy Puga Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs) forced Jose Hurtado (3-4, 3 KOs) to capitulate with more than a minute left in the opening stanza. The referee smirked as Hurtado protested the stoppage despite taking a knee twice within 30 seconds. “The Revelation” impressed but it’s too early to tell what he could be.
19-year-old Ulises Soriano won his professional debut against Johnathan Zamudio (0-1-1) in a four-round lightweight contest that featured some of the best action of the evening. Despite lacking physical gifts Soriano is slick and kept up the pressure while winning a majority decision, with one judge scoring it a draw.