CORK based Cuban heavyweight Mike Perez will miss out on a World title shot after a disappointing and controversial reverse to Byrant Jennings in Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
‘The Rebel saw two judges score the bout in favour of Jennings, 115-112 and 114-113, while the third judge saw it as a Perez win, 114-113, however the Adam Booth trained talent was docked a point in the last round.
Perez and his team were furious that they were docked a point in the final stanza- for either hitting on the break or use of the head- as they had never received a warning re either offence.
I won the fight. I won the fight easily,” Perez said. “I did what I wanted to do. The referee (Harvey Dock) stole the fight from me.”
“Mike was terrific in the gym and we won this fight clearly by three rounds,” trainer Adam Booth said. “The ref took it away from him.”
“It’s kind of unheard of to take a point away in the 12th round and have that decide the fight,” said K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler, Perez’s promoter.
However, without that point deduction Perez would have only drawn a fight he looked on course to win rather easily by round five.
The first six rounds the Cuban showed the class and quality difference between himself and his American foe. He was too skilled, too quick and to evasive, but then he presented Jennings with the chance to get back into the fight.
He tired down the stretch, threw two punches and jumped in to hold and once they were up close Jennings worked and stole some rounds. It wasn’t pretty, but the American was taking rounds on work rate.
The Cuban has every right to complain re the stoppage and possibly the manner in which the ref lectured him for pushing Jennings head down when the bigger man kept ducking, but in truth if he had finished the fight like he started it ‘a robbery’ would have been an impossibility.