ORANGE, Calif. – Colombian lightweight Darley Perez (32-1, 20 KOs) retained hisWBA Interim World Title by outclassing and outpointing the previously once-beaten Jonathan Maicelo (21-2, 12 KOs) of Peru in front of a sold out crowd at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez. Calif.
The unanimous decision scores read: 118-108, 120-107, 118-109.
The 12-round world championship bout was televised on the season premiere of ESPN2’s “FridayNight Fights.”
Perez, who was making the second title defense of the interim belt he won last June, controlled the pace of the fight with his accurate left jab, which opened up wide windows for him to land crushing power punches.
“I was prepared for a tough fight,” Perez said. “Maicelo is an incredible competitor. He never backed down. It took me a few rounds to settle into a rhythm, but once I did, I was able to land whatever I wanted. After a couple of rounds, I was able to time his movements and connect with a variety of punches.”
“I want to be the best in the lightweight division,” Perez continued. ‘That’s what drives me. I put my heart and soul into every fight and I’m going to keep preparing the same way.”
“I did my best tonight but was up against a better man in Darley Perez,” Maicelo said. “He did a good job of using his reach to keep me off balance. It was very difficult to land my shots. He’s a great champion and I take my hat off to him. I still want to fight and see if I can work my way back to the top. This is not the end of my career. I know I can get back in there and compete at a high level.”
Maicelo took a thorough beating in the eleventh round. Perez got the better of a back and forth exchange that resulted in Maicelo getting dropped just before the round concluded. Throughout the fight, Perez routinely landed jabs, straight rights, and left hooks.
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