Petrov stops Perez, earns lightweight title shot
INDIO, California — Lightweight contender Petr Petrov stopped Michael Perez after the sixth round of their WBA title-elimination bout on Friday at Fantasy Springs Casino.
Petrov (38-4-2, 18 knockouts), a hardnosed 33-year-old veteran who lives in Spain and trains in Southern California, dropped Perez (24-2-1, 11 KOs) with a right cross in Round 2 and proceeded to manhandle the 26-year-old technician with a brutal blend of body punches and accurate power shots to the head over the next four rounds.
The fight, which headlined a RingTV Live stream and estrellaTV-televised show, was stopped before the start of Round 7 at the behest of Perez’s trainer Robert Garcia. Perez suffered a nasty cut by his right eye after an accidental clash of heads in Round 2 and the Newark, New Jersey native did not appear to recover from the knockdown that occurred in the same round.
With the victory, Petrov’s sixth straight since dropping a decision to current WBC titleholder Dejan Zlaticanin in 2013, the Russian punisher earned a shot at WBA titleholder and RING magazine champ Jorge Linares, who is coming off a career-best performance against Anthony Crolla last Saturday.
Linares is scheduled to face Crolla in a rematch early next year, but Petrov’s promoter Artie Pelullo says he wants to push the WBA to mandate an immediate title defense against his fighter.
On the undercard of the Golden Boy Promotions show, lightweight prospect Genaro Gamez improved to 3-0 (all by first-round KO) with a highlight-reel stoppage of Vernon Alston. Gamez, a 21-year-old boxer-puncher from San Diego, knocked Alston (9-7-1, 7 KOs) out of the ring before referee Tony Crebs waved the fight off.
Welterweight prospect Alexis Rocha, of Santa Ana, California, improved to 5-0, with 4 KOs, with a first-round stoppage of Colbert Lozoya (7-14). At 19, Rocha is 17 years younger than Lozoya.
A pair of popular Indio-area amateur talents, Javier Padilla and Luis Coria, made their pro debuts to the delight of close to 1,000 local fans. Coria, an 18-year-old junior lightweight with a lot of power (in his fists but also in terms of charisma), blasted Noe Munoz (2-4) out at 1:20 of Round 2 with a monster left hook. Padilla, a 21-year-old bantamweight, quickly wore down Richard Montes (0-3) to a second-round stoppage.
Both Coria and Padilla are managed by Coachella-based trainer Joel Diaz and coached by Antonio Diaz.
Junior welterweight prospect Jonathan Navarro (7-0, 5 KOs) had a frustrating time with unorthodox late-sub Farkhad Sharipov (4-9, 1 KO). Navarro, a heavy handed former amateur standout from East L.A., is used to knocking opponent’s out but had to settle for a six-round unanimous decision against the mobile switch hitter from Kissimmee, Florida (by way of Kyrgyzstan). Navarro, who is trained by Robert Garcia, won by unanimous scores of 58-56.
In the opening bout of the night, 2008 Ghanaian Olympian Bastie Samir (15-0-1, 14 KOs) knocked off nearly three years of ring rust with a six-round unanimous decision against game and capable Sijoula Ade Shabazz (6-2, 5 KOs). Samir, who scored a technical knockdown in Round 1, won by unanimous scores of 58-55.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer