by Ezio Prapotnich
The charme of Heavyweight boxing lies in the knock-outs. From that point of view, in spite of the withdrawal of the “big” names on the bill, this international edition of Prizefighter was good value for money. A new Heavyweight star, who might compete very well at domestic and European level, announced his arrival on the scene. His name is Mike Perez and this is how it went…
QUARTER FINAL 1: MIKE PEREZ VS KERSTON MANSWELL.
After a couple of body exchanges, 25 years old Ireland based Cuban southpaw Mike Perez (16-0, 12 ko’s) took immediately control of the fight landing a solid right hook, which will be his trademark shot throughout the evening, to the head of Trinidad and Tobago champion Manswell (20-2, 15 ko’s) opening the way to a storm of punches. Perez crowded Kerston without giving him a moment of rest until a series of head shots put him down for the count. The pace slowed down in the second, allowing Manswell to land his own right hand occasionally, but Perez was still in control and landing his shots with surgical precision. In the third, Mike displayed a very good straight left that, combined with his body shots, earned him an unanimous 30-25 decision on all three scorecards.
QUARTER FINAL 2: GREGORY TONY VS EVGENY ORLOV.
Russian giant Evgeny Orlov (13-9-1, 8 ko’s) was brought in at the last minute to replace Kevin Johnson. He was slow, temptative and his style basic to say the least, but he knew how to use his size and was able to keep Gregory Tony (15-2, 12 ko’s) at the end of his jab for three rounds. Tony could not get close enough and missed a lot. So did Orlov, although he had Tony open on the ropes on several occasions in which he was too slow to capitalize. Evgeny still managed to land more clean punches but, probably because his style makes for a boring fight, he found himself at the wrong end of a split decision, with two judges favoring Gregory by scores of 29-28 and 30-27(???) and one awarding the Russian 29-28.
QUARTER FINAL 3: TYE FIELDS VS MICHAEL SPROTT.
Again, the difference in size was instrumental in this quarter final. Canada based American Tye Fields (47-4, 41 ko’s) was towering over Michael Sprott (36-16, 17 ko’s) from the centre of the ring and trapped him on the ropes time and time again scoring to the body. Sprott really had not much choice but keeping low and trying to hit the body as well, although he managed to score a good right hand to the head of the American. Michael looked more confident in the second and turned the table cutting off Fields and landing a couple of right hands to the head, but, although bleeding from the nose, Tye came back with his own straight right that visibly stunned the former Prizefighter champion and put him in survivor mode. Sprott was still competitive in the third, where he actually landed the cleaner shots to the head of Fields with his right, but two of the judges saw differently and scored it 29-28 in Fields favor while the third had it 29-28 for Michael.
QUARTER FINAL 4: KONSTANTIN AIRICH VS LUCIAN BOT.
German Konstantin Airich (17-4-2, 13 ko’s) was all over Romanian Lucian Bot (14-1-1, 5 ko’s) as soon as the rang bell and landed a savage series of hooks to his head and body. After this early rally, the pace slowed down, but Airich hurt his opponent again with a right hook and made one of his gloves touch the canvas with a left to score a knock down. Bot managed to land a few decent straight punches in the second, but Konstantin was doing the better and cleaner work in both this and the third round, using the hook to set up combinations and earning an unanimous decision with scores of 30-27 twice and 29-28.
SEMIFINAL 1: PEREZ VS TONY.
Perez knocked down Tony three times with his left hand for the referee to stop the action at 0:54 of the first round.
SEMIFINAL 2: FIELDS VS AIRICH.
Already in command thanks to his longer reach, Fields knocked out Airich with a pefect left uppercut to the ribs at 1:14 of round 1.
FINAL: PEREZ VS FIELDS.
Perez pressed the fight from the beginning, attacking the body, until one of his trademark right hooks nailed Fields in his corner where, after a series of unanswered blows, the referee stopped the fight at 00:42 of the first round.
In conclusion, it was an entertaining night of boxing with a deserving winner. Keep an eye on Mike Perez: a few more impressive wins like these and it would be worth matching him against the likes of Chisora, Fury and Price.