By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Welterweight Alex “The Brick City Bullet” Perez (17-1, 9 KOs) rebounded from the first loss of his career on Saturday night with a hard fought eight round unanimous decision victory over rugged Kenny Abril (14-6-1, 7 KOs) at Schuetzen Park in North Bergen, New Jersey. In the six round co-feature of the six bout card promoted by Andre Kut’s KEA Boxing Promotions in association with Global Boxing Promotions, undefeated welterweight Juan “The Beast” Rodriguez (11-0, 5 KOs) remained perfect with an impressive three round beat down of Emmanuel Medina (3-4-1, 3 KOs).
Newark, New Jersey welterweight Alex “The Brick City Bullet” Perez knew he needed to look impressive on Saturday night after being stopped by Canadian Antonin Decarie (27-1, 8 KOs) in his unsuccessful bid for the NABF welterweight title last September on HBO’s Boxing after Dark series and promised you would see the real “Brick City Bullet” in his return to the ring against hard hitting Kenny Abril. Many would not have taken such a tough fight after their only loss but Perez wanted to make a statement and was willing to take the risk.
Fellow southpaw Kenny Abril was coming in on a three bout winning streak, including an impressive split decision victory over veteran Dennis Laurente (44-5-5, 25 KOs) . A victory over Perez would put him in line for bigger and even more lucrative fights.
Alex Perez looked confident right from the opening bell as he used his reach advantage to box the shorter Kenny Abril from the outside. Abril was game and took his time and to bang the body with hard left hooks when he could get inside, but Perez was by far the busier fighter and he easily captured the opening two rounds.
The fight went on the inside a bit more in the third round as Perez mixed in some good body shots of his own. Abril tried to work on the inside while fighting behind a peek-a-boo defense. Perez seemed to take the fight over as he continued to display an impressive repertoire of hooks, uppercuts, crosses and right hands.
Perez looked to finish it early in the fourth and was willing to trade on the inside with the shorter Abril. Fighting Abril’s game on the inside turned out to almost be a huge mistake as late in the round he was rocked by a huge overhand right. Abril immediately jumped on him with a four punch combination. Perez legs buckled as he desperately reached out and clinched in an effort to regain his senses. After they were broken apart, Perez slipped back to the ropes and tried to bang his way out but was caught again with another big left up top just a second before the bell sounded.
The pivotal round of the fight occurred in the fifth as Abril needed to capitalize on the damage done in the fourth. Perez came out boxing and quickly and began to regain his composure as he landed two quick uppercuts behind hard right jabs. Abril tried to force him to the ropes, but each time Perez showed his boxing knowledge and spun Abril and boxed his way out of danger.
Perez went back on the attack in the sixth, setting down on his punches which slowed the attack of the Rochester native.
The fight changed again in the early moments of the seventh as Perez gained distance and boxed his way around the ring. Abril was game and kept looking for the big upset with heavy single haymakers whenever he was within range, but Perez was slipped many of the big shots.
Perez looked to have a comfortable lead entering the eighth and final round and began to box safely on the outside. Abril tried to get inside, but Perez was smart and tied him up and smothered his attacks before boxing his way until the final bell sounded to end the fight.
All three judges saw the fight easily in favor of the “Brick City Bullet” Alex Perez by scores of 79-73, 78-74 and 77-74 for eight round unanimous decision victory.
“I give a lot the credit to my great team that I have behind me for this victory, ” said the satisfied Perez afterward. “I am focused and looking to get right back to another title fight. I was sick for my fight against Decarie but I had too much heart to pull out, now I know the game and it isn’t all about heart.”
Perez’s Trainer Jose Rosario commented on the importance of the fight for Perez’s career afterward. “A lot of people thought we were crazy to take the fight with Kenny Abril. We didn’t want to fight a stiff. We wanted to show the world that Alex is one of the top fighters and that is why we picked Abril. Now he is ready to again take on anybody in the division.”
In the six co-feature of the evening local favorite welterweight Juan “The Beast Rodriguez (11-0, 5 KOs) remained undefeated with a third round TKO victory over the always dangerous Emmanuel Medina (3-4, 3 KOs) of Quincy, Massachusetts.
Medina, with all his victories coming by way of knockout was dangerous and looked to pull the upset, but Rodriquez would never let him get into a rhythm as he boxed his way from the outside right from the get go.
Medina snapped a few heavy have jabs to in hopes to keep Rodriquez on the outside. It would not work though as the Union City, New Jersey native continued to slip in and out with heavy two and three punch combinations.
Rodriguez seemed to feel Medina withering in the third and threw several big rights up while mixing in hard combinations. “The Beast” changed his attack in the closing minute with several blistering hooks underneath which forced Emmanuel Medina to quit after he returned to his corner.
The official time of the TKO victory was 3:00 minutes of the third round.
“He couldn’t handle my speed, ” said Rodriguez afterward. “I felt stronger this fight and my bodywork was hurting him. If he didn’t quit in the corner, I knew I was going to get the knockout.”
The victory moves KEA Boxing’s own Juan “The Beast” Rodriguez to 11-0, 5 KOs. Emmanuel Medina drops below the five hundred mark at 3-4-1, 3 KOs.
Two undefeated former national Polish national amateur champions looked to remain undefeated as Global Boxing prospects Patryk Szymanski and Michal Chudecki took to the ring in separate bouts.
Szymanski had a tough opponent on his hands as he took on fellow undefeated junior middleweight David Roman Curiel in what was to become an ugly six round scrap. The Polish prospect who now resides right here in North Bergen boxed well using his height an reach advantage to gain control from the outside with sharp jabs in the opening round.
Curiel was game though and dove in landed big hooks on the inside whenever he saw an opening. Szymanski would counter and time the rushes, before clinching and pushing down Curiel’s head to avoid getting hit with a head butt. The fight started to really get dirty and Szymanski was warned for pushing his opponent’s head down late in the second. Though there was a lot of clinches, Szymanski was outworking Curiel throughout.
The fight continued to be rough in the third as both fighters continued to wrestle in the clinches. Szymanski appeared to be stronger as he threw Curiel off and almost out of the ring in an attempt to release himself from a clinch. Curiel wasn’t deterred and kept pressing forward trying to land the big shots. Szymanski countered well and used wily veteran tactics which cost him a point as referee Ricardo Vera took a point for pushing down Curiel’s head again in clinch. Curiel began to trade with Szymanski moments later. Szymanski appeared to lose his balance while avoiding Curiel’s attack and his glove touched the canvas. It was ruled a knockdown, leaving him in a big hole.
Szymanski would not back off and again almost threw him out of the ring again as he became frustrated with the rough stuff in the clinches.
Even though he was behind on points Szymanski wouldn’t back off as he began to find his mark, catching Curiel on the end of his hard hooks, crosses and overhand rights. Curiel continued to push forward but just wasn’t landing enough big shots to turn the contest in his favor.
Curiel pushed down Szymanski’s head in the fifth. Szymanski seemed to tire a bit, but his punches still were finding their mark.
David Curiel continued to press the attack as both began to trade in the sixth and final round. Neither would land the telling shots, but Szymanski was more effective in the close round. All three judges saw the bout in favor of Szymanski by scores of 57-55 across the board.
The frustrated Patryk Szymanski taunted Curiel after the decision was announced. Curiel threw his glove at the face of Szymanski, which almost set off a melee in the ring. Promoter Andre Kut immediately stepped in between the fighters and quelled the anger of both corners.
Patryk Szymanski ups his record to 7-0, 2 KOs, while David “The Riot” Roman Curiel falls for the first time as a professional moving to 3-1-1, 1KO.
The other Polish national champ Michal “TNT” Chudecki looked for his sixth straight victory as a pro when he took on eight fight veteran Christian Steele of Staunton, Virginia in a six round lightweight contest.
Though the fight was also a sloppy contest, Chudecki appeared to be the victor as he made his way inside and outworked Steele throughout each round. Steele made some rounds close, as he timed the rushes of Chudecki and landed several hard counters.
One judge saw the bout 58-56 in favor of Michal Chudecki, but was overruled by the other two officials who scored it 57-57 even, for the majority draw.
Michal Chudecki slides to 5-0-1, 3 KOs, while Christian Steele moves to a deceptive 3-5-1, 1Ko.
Undefeated junior middleweight and fan favorite Anthony Gangemi (3-0, 3 KOs) of nearby Mine Hill, New Jersey kept his perfect knockout streak with a second round knockout of formerly undefeated Edson Soto (1-1, 1KO) of North Bergen, New Jersey.
Soto tried to bang away right from the opening bell, but Gangemi easily weathered the opening combination and then began to rain down some heavy combinations of his own.
Gangemi seemed to be in control as the second round opened. Soto’s punches became wider as he withered from the hard shots coming from the more polished Gangemi. The tiring Soto tried to fight back, but Gangemi unleashed a right hand up-top and followed it up with a perfect body shot underneath and Soto was fell to his hands and knees. Soto tried to reach his feet but didn’t beat the count. The official time of the knockout was 47 seconds of round two.
In the opening bout of the evening Nydia “Dha Phenominal” Feliciano (6-4-3) of the Bronx, New York, consistently out boxed Philly slugger Elizabeth Sherman (4-3, 2 KOs) over four rounds to capture a one sided unanimous decision victory by scores of 40-36 across the board.