By Tom Donelson, BASN boxing writer
Updated: August 26, 2012
IOWA CITY, IOWA (BASN)—Fidel Maldonado started the Friday night SHOBOX boxing card against the hard charging Michael Perez who did not start out putting his foot on the gas over the opening three minutes. In a round that appeared even on compubox numbers, Perez punches looked more powerful and Maldonado ended the second round with blood flowing from his month and his mouth wide open. In the third round, Maldonado landed combinations but the punches appeared to lack zip whereas Perez punches continued to have impact.
Get ready to rumble...
Perez power took hold in the fourth as his body shots were followed up with hard shots to Maldonado’s head. Maldonado retreated and breathing through his month as Perez move forward with solid right hand shots. Maldonado spent most of the fourth round with his mouth wide open and leaving himself vulnerable to a punch that could have broken his jaws. He staggered back to his corner after taking a beating.
As the second half of the bout began, Perez was in command as he landed nearly three times as many body shots and Maldonado found himself doing what he has done only once in his career; survive six rounds. Perez however slowed his own pace down as he gave Maldonado some breathing space and allowed Maldonado to survive even though he had Maldonado almost down and out in the fourth round. The failure of Perez to put this fight away nearly cost him the fight.
In between seventh and eighth round, Perez corner advise their fighter not to give the judges an excuse to give the decision away but Maldonado came out aggressively as he took the offense and he even managed to bloody Perez lower lip but over the first two minutes of the eighth round. Perez counter attacked over the last minute to take control of the round as Maldonado mouth continued to be wide open and gasping for breath.
Maldonado started the ninth round fast as he did the previous two rounds and reverse the pressure as he came forward despite the fatigue that set in at the end of the eighth round. Both fighters came out for the tenth, viewing this fight in the balance as they pounded each other with body shots and head shots. Both fighters looked exhausted but Maldonado continued to make the fight interesting as he found one last burst of energy. With just fifteen seconds left in the round, Maldonado threw a combination that ended with left hand that sent Perez down. Perez struggled to get up as he knew if he failed to get up; it was over. The bell ranged as Perez stood up. It was now in the hand of the judges scorecard.
Perez connected on more punches, but the last several rounds saw Maldonado coming on strong so this was one of those fights that could have gone either way. Perez won a very close split decision but this was a fight that screamed rematch! In the fourth round saw Perez easily winning the round and looking like he was going to put this fight away but by the end of the fight, it was Perez hanging on.
The second bout saw Randy Caballero fighting Manuel Roman and Caballero started to move forward as he jabbed to set up his other punches whereas Roman merely waited over the first round. Over the first six minutes Caballero moved forward without much opposition as Roman simply waited to counter but he did little to stop the on rushing Caballero.
Caballero jabbed with thirty seconds and followed up with a right hand that sent Roman down for an eight count.
Going into the fourth round, Roman found himself outclassed and when his corner asked him, “What is wrong,” he answered, “I don’t know.” He looked like a fighter trying to find answers for a riddle that he truly didn’t understand as Caballero continued to press the action through the fifth round.
Roman strategy was to get Caballero into the later rounds and for the first time in the sixth round, showed a little life as he moved Inside but Caballero quicker hands with solid combinations even took this advantage away. Caballero had apparently large lead on the scorecard going into the ninth and the ninth was no difference than the previous eight rounds as his quicker hands proved decisive. The last round saw Caballero dominate the round as he outpunch the game Roman, who looked more like an opponent as oppose to a prospect. Caballero connected on more punches and won an easy decision, showing that he is a prospect worth watching.