Las Vegas – In a memorable fight of the year candidate Ghana’s Joseph King Kong Agbeko and Colombia’s Yonnhy Perez treated a sold out crowd of 1012 to a spectacular fire fight on Saturday night. And when the dust settled undefeated Yonnhy Perez emerged the victor and a new IBF bantamweight champion. Judges scored the fight unanimously for Perez: 117-110,116-111,117-110, but the scores did not indicate how closely contested this battle really was.” This is a dream come true,” said elated Perez, 30:” All the hard work and preparation paid off. I knew I was winning rounds and I deserved to get the victory.” It was the war of attrition and Yonnhy Perez did look the fresher better conditioned fighter in the end.
Agbeko (27-,22KO’S) promised the world that he would knock out the challenger , Yonnhy Perez (20-0,14KO’S) and he came out firing with bad intentions unleashing a rein of bombs and setting a furious pace that no human being could keep up for twelve rounds. Not intimidated by a heavy onslaught of the champion or significance of the moment, Perez kept a high guard and fired back with a precision of a surgeon; he used a stiff jab and combination punching upstairs and downstairs to keep his opponent honest.
Despite being under heavy pressure and moving back ,Perez always gave as good as he got, counterpunching very effectively with a greater degree of accuracy, “ I trained to throw a lot of punches,” said Perez: “ I know Agbeko likes to throw a lot of punches, so I knew I had to be better conditioned.” A lot of punches was the key word as these two combatants kept throwing non stop for the duration of the fight, probably setting a new compubox record. But this wasn’t just volume punching; both fighters threw heavy bombs designed to do serious damage. Round after round, amazed I kept thinking: “They can’t keep this up!”, but they did, absorbing an enormous amount of punishment, brave warriors dueled to the very end. “This is King Kong versus Godzilla!” exclaimed an inspired fan. Indeed it was; this fight was reminiscent of great wars between Marco Antonio Barrera and Erick Morales or Israel Vasquez and Rafael Marquez. With fighters going at it non-stop without a clinch and judges having a very difficult task of scoring close rounds, the only person in the ring that had an easy night was referee Robert Byrd.
He did warn Agbeko in the fourth round for a low blow, but besides that it was a relatively clean fight. In the tenth stanza, after a head butt, Agbeko, visibly in great discomfort, turned away from his opponent trying to motion to a referee Byrd that he was head butted. That was a huge mistake. Robert Byrd did not see a butt and Yonnhy Perez kept throwing punches until Agbeko ended up on the canvas.
“He head butted me in round ten,” said dejected Agbeko after the fight:” I don’t think it was fair. The replay clearly shows what happened.” The newly crowned champion Yonnhy Perez had a different take on the situation: “I don’t think he was in a good shape. I think he went down to catch his breath. I felt I was more consistent, more active and I pressed the fight throughout.”
Despite being exhausted, both fighters continued to fire non stop in the championship rounds keeping fans on the edge of their seats and cheering loudly for their heroes.
“This is a real Showtime championship fight!” exclaimed Gary Shaw, a co promoter for the event staged by Don King and televised live by Showtime championship boxing.
In a semi main event of the evening lightweight contender Antonio Demarco dominated and finally stopped a very dangerous ex champion, Nicaraguan, Jose Alfaro in the tenth stanza of the 12 round WBC interim title fight. Referee Joe Cortez waved the contest off at 2:07 0f the tenth, after Alfaro was down for the third time. After a cautious first round where both boxers showed a healthy amount of respect for the opponent’s power, Demarco took over the fight; he used his long reach and a stiff jab to put together his offence and landed some bombs that had Alfaro hurt several times. Demarco showed his maturity by fighting a disciplined contest and not going all out on the adversary who was always dangerous. Using the first principle of the sweet science: “Hit and don’t get hit”, Demarco moved and stayed away from harm’s way and countered with crisp punches that featured hooks and uppercuts.
To his credit, despite being rocked repeatedly, Alfaro kept pressing the action and trying to land a powerful right hands, but could never quite get there. “I couldn’t land my punches,” said Alfaro(23-.20KO’S) who was busted up badly after the fight: “He used his jab and distance better than I did tonight. That was the difference in the fight I could not overcome.”
In the tenth stanza Demarco (23-1-1,17KO’S) landed a lethal combination that dropped the rugged Nicaraguan. Glassy eyed and with no legs under him, brave Alfaro got up, but did not seem to know where he was. Surprisingly referee Joe Cortez allowed the contest to go on, only to stop it shortly after two more knock downs. “I was a little surprised the referee let the fight go,” said elated Demarco: “At one point he turned around and I knew then it was only a matter of time. For everyone who supported me and helped me when I had nothing, I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”
An ex heavy weight title challenger Ray “The Rainman” Austin (28-4-4,18KO) overcame a rocky opening round to stop DaVarryl “Touch of Sleep “Williamson (26-6,22KO’S) at 2:37 of the fourth stanza. Austin came out aggressive from the onset with determination not seen previously; but ran into a straight right hand that almost ended matters at the end of the first. A crushing left uppercut lifted Williamson off the ground and down he went. Referee Russell Mora saw no reason to go on and ended it promptly.
“I absolutely felt that I could keep going and that referee stopped it a little quick,” said Williamson:” I need to stay off the canvas. Everybody thought it was over in the first round, including me. I caught him with a right hand. It was a one-two. I thought I was going to throw a few more punches and finish him.”
“DaVarryl was whopping’ my ass in the first round,” said Austin:” I appreciated it. He came to fight with no fear and no giving up. I want another shot at the world title. I want Vitali Klitschko.”