By John Cannon
Once the announcer rendered the decision in the Brandon Rios and Manny Perez fight, Rios yelled out a “Grito” that had Corpus Christi rocking. Rios (22-0, 15 KO’s) defeated Perez (14-5-1, 2 KO’s )via TKO as the referee stopped the fight at the 1:16 mark in the seventh round in the main event of Top Rank’s Hall of Fame Fight Night at Whataburger Field.
Photos: Chris Farina/Top Rank
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Rios cut Perez open early in the second round as he was pounding his head effectively with vicious combinations. Perez starting wearing down in the fourth round as Rios continued to apply the pressure with lethal hooks and uppercuts. Rios stunned Perez with a right hook in the sixth and it was apparent that Perez’s night was pretty close to being done. In the seventh round, Rios unleashed his hands and Perez couldn’t counter and the referee decided that he had enough.
In the co-main event, San Antonio’s Raul Martinez defeated Jhonathan Perez of Columbia by TKO in the fourth round as Perez’s corner called off the fight after the round. Martinez (25-1, 15 KO’s) nailed Perez with combinations early on and eventually caught Perez with a straight right that stunned Perez.
Martinez hurt Perez in the third round as he connected with a thunderous body shot which sent Perez crashing down to the canvas. However, Perez was able to answer the eight count as the fight resumed. Martinez continued to unload on Perez in the fourth as he was chopping his opponent down.
In the swing bout, Corpus Christi native Jerry Belmontes (10-0) defeated Aduato Gonzalez(11-8) of Mexico by unanimous decision. Belmontes put on an outstanding performance which had the home crowd roaring throughout the entire fight.
In earlier action, Corpus Christi native Alfonso Lopez (17-0) kept his perfect record in tact as he defeated James Johnson by TKO and Puerto Rico’s Mario Santiago defeated Morris Chule of Kenya via split decision.
Dallas native Roberto Marroquin also kept his perfect record in tact as he defeated Miami’s Jose Garcia Bernal by unanimous decision and Houston’s Omar Henry defeated Carlos Aballe of Miami by unanimous decision as well.