Thursday, September 28, 2023  |



Michael Perez outpoints Martin Honorio in bloody fight

Fighters Network

Lightweight contender Michael Perez shook off some rust after an eight-month hiatus and recorded a nice victory over veteran Martin Honorio on Friday night in Los Angeles, although it wasn’t pretty.

An accidental clash of heads in the second round caused a deep gash above Perez’s left eye but the winner looked sharp before the fight was stopped because of the cut after the sixth round in the L.A. Fight Club main event at the Belasco Theater. All three judges had the same score: 60-54, a shutout.

Honorio, who suffered a huge cut on the side of his head as a result of the butt, fought well in the first few rounds in spite of his shaky record the past few years but Perez quickly adjusted and took control of the fight.

Perez (24-1-2, 11 knockouts) had the tighter technique even though he had difficulty seeing because of the blood, landing straight, hard rights behind his jab with consistency. Honorio, a former two-time world title contender from Mexico, fired back with spirit but he took more and harder shots.

Perez was in his corner after Round 6 when referee Jerry Cantu, on the advice of the ring doctor, stopped the fight because the cut had grown too large. The fight then went to the scorecards to determine a winner.

The product of Newark, New Jersey, who is trained by Robert Garcia in the L.A. area, has been cut in a number of his fights.

“(The referee) was just asking if I could see,” Perez said during his post-fight interview on the stream. “I told him, my left eye, I couldn’t see nothing. That’s why I kept rubbing my eye. I would rub it clean and then connect on punches. I hurt him. I kept with the game plan.

“Robert told me to jab and throw the overhand right over his jab. He had a lazy jab. And I kept hurting him.”

Perez has had some hard luck recently. He was set to fight Sharif Bogere in a title eliminator last July but Bogere pulled out with an injury. And Perez was a possible opponent for Lucas Matthysse and Adrien Broner but those fights didn’t happen either.

So the Puerto Rican-American waits for his chance.

“It’s a minor setback again,” he said. “I’ll take a few weeks to recover and stuff; I’ll continue running to stay in shape. I’m looking forward to a world title shot. I’ve got the skills; people have seen it. ÔǪ I think I can handle the top guys.

“I think I can be a world champ and WILL be a world champ.”

Honorio (33-10-1, 16 KOs) is now 1-4 in his last five fights.

On the undercard, junior lightweight prospect Christian Gonzalez made short work of veteran David Rodela, ending their scheduled eight-rounder with a single overhand on 2:16 into the first round.

Gonzalez (13-0, 12 KOs) had Rodela (17-13-4, 7 KOs) pinned against the ropes and was pounding away when he put Rodela down with the right. Rodela, shaking his head while on the canvas, couldn’t continue.

“I did what we practiced in the gym,” Gonzalez said. “We knew he was a taller fighter so we had to work on the overhand right. That’s what punch got him out of there.”

Rodela said beforehand that this would be his final fight.

Oscar Negrete (13-0, 5 KOs) shut out tough, but overmatched Neftali Campos (11-1, 9 KOs) in an eight-round junior featherweight fight. Negrete was clearly the better boxer, as he took the fight to Campos from beginning to end and scored consistently. Campos was resilient but didn’t have the skills to compete on an even level.

Alexis Rocha, the younger brother of featherweight contender Ronny Rios, stopped Jordan Rosario at 1:43 of the second round of a scheduled four-round junior middleweight fight. Rocha was making his pro debut. The 18-year-old former amateur standout from Santa Ana, California, demonstrated sharp skills and very heavy hands, patiently pounding away at Rosario (0-4) until referee Wayne Hedgpeth made the decision to save the Dominican from taking more punishment.

Rafael Gramajo passed the biggest test of his young career, outpointing one-time amateur standout Sharone Carter in a six-round junior featherweight fight. Gramajo (7-1-1, 2 KOs) struggled early but gradually imposed his will on Carter (4-1, 2 KOs). All three judges scored it the same: 59-54. Carter lost a point for holding.

And junior lightweight prospect Ivan Delgado (9-0-1, 2 KOs) remained unbeaten by outpointing Jesus Sandoval (5-9-3, 1 KO) in a six-round fight. The scores: 60-54, 59-55, 59-55.