Tom Donelson / Member Boxing Writers Assc. and Boxing Research Org.
HBO featured two of Canadian bests as Lucian Bute faced Jean Pascal but before the main event, Mike Perez faced Carlos Takam in a heavyweight bout. Perez was fighting his first fight since his last bout with Magomed Abdusalamov, who slipped into a coma after taking a beating from Perez. Many fighters when they have faced with tragedy aren’t always the same after being involved a bout in which their opponent is either seriously injured or dies from their injuries.
The first round saw both fighters feel each other and while Perez landed a couple of solid straight lefts from his southpaw stance; there was little to distinguish between the two. Perez landed a couple of right hooks and two big left hands as he attempted to walk Takam down. Perez suffered a cut over his right eye from an accident head butt in the third round and suddenly the bout looked in jeopardy as the blood flow liberally.
Starting in the sixth round, Perez moved inside as Takam quit boxing and decided to allow Perez fight toe to toe. Takam took advantage of his weight advantage and started to pound Perez over the final thirty seconds. This continued into the first two minutes of the seventh round even though Perez did manage to land some solid combinations as the bell rang.
Takam pounded Perez with body shots and while he lost the early rounds, he dominated round six through nine with his inside game. Takam’s corner told their fighter, “Take him down” and he attacked Perez and landed a big right hand that sent Perez reeling. This was a tale of two fights with Perez using his boxing skills to win the early rounds but Takam won the second half of the fight. The judges had this fight a draw but Takam may have deserve the victory but Perez was favored to win and a draw was still upset. For the record, Harold Lederman had it 96-94 in Takam’s favor but Kellerman had it even so this was not a bad decision by the judges.