Perez Squeaks by Maldonado
In the evening’s co-main event, which showcased two young talents in the lightweight division, Michael "Angelo/The Artist" Perez (17(10)-1(1)-1) gained a less than favorable win over Fidel "Atrisco Kid" Maldonado, Jr. (13(11)-2(1).
The initial round saw each fighter somewhat testing the other, as they were hesitant to engage directly. Perhaps a classic southpaw versus orthodox matchup was to come. The test between the two continued into the second. Maldonado scored the first impressive shot of the fight with a quick left to the jaw of Perez to open round three. The fight gravitated towards the center of the ring. Referee Ray Corona confirmed prior to the end of the round that the cut over the right eye of Maldonado was caused by an accidental headbutt. Maldonado came out swinging early on in the fourth, yet he appeared quite gassed. After the initial flurry from the New Mexico fighter, Perez maintained control thereafter in a very dominant round. He started by going to the body of his opponent and capitalized by working upstairs.
Maldonado controlled the pace in the fifth. Whether by punches or clinches, he appeared focused on slowing the action to his liking. Not much was shown after such a one sided beginning. Surprisingly, neither fighter sought to take control in round six. Maldonado visibly won the seventh by way of his connection rate. He did more and he pressed the action as well. Fidel painted an impressionable eighth round, save for the last minute. His foe from Newark connected at will in the final sixty seconds. The tendency to sag continued in the ninth. Maldonado would begin quickly, yet tire and seemingly cede the round to Perez. Still, he refused to fold. The two young contestants gave the Californians in attendance a good show. Maldonado pushed forward and scored a knockdown with fifteen seconds left in the final stanza. A hallowing left to the body was the key. A flurry followed, yet Perez beat the count. The bell sounded to end the contest and onto the judges went the respective scores.
In the end, the scorecards read as follows: 97-92 (Perez), 95-94 (Maldonado) & 95-94 (Perez). Michael Perez wins by split decision.
August 24, 2012