22.06.07 - By Gary Jones: Welterweight prospect Richard Gutierrez (21-1, 13 KO’s) soundly defeated a badly outclassed Luciano Perez (15-6-1, 13 KO’s) on Friday night, winning a 10-round unanimous decision at the Mahai Temple, in Miami, Florida. Gutierrez, 28, still in the process of regaining his momentum following his close 12-round majority decision loss to Joshua Clottey in July 2006, appeared to treat his bout with Perez as a sparring match, almost carrying Perez for the duration of the fight rather than trying to take him out.
Article posted on 23.06.2007
That’s not to say that Perez didn’t have his moments, because he clearly did look good times, particularly when he was landing his right hand. However, those moments were made possible by Gutierrez’s generosity, as he just didn’t seem to take Perez seriously an opponent, likely because of his lack of knockout power, not to mention his average boxing skills.
For much of the fight, Gutierrez fought in slow, deliberate manner, throwing lots of jabs, and hooks, but nothing thrown with mean intentions like in his previous bouts. Perez, 29, with a sloppy, wide open offensive which consisted of mainly on throwing wide hooks, many of which Gutierrez easily countered or blocked. The oddest thing, though was how Gutierrez, a fierce slugger known for his power and his aggressive fighting style, transformed into a boxer for the entire bout, spending time circling and jabbing and fighting off the ropes like an imitation Floyd Mayweather Jr. It showed how multifaceted Gutierrez’s boxing skills are, that he could do this for the entire bout.
In rounds 1-4, Gutierrez controlled the fight with his jab, and an occasional hook, most which landed cleanly on the face of Perez, who was not interested in defense for the most part. Perez seemed to be trying to KO Gutierrez with every shot, winding up with big looping punches that mostly missed their target. By round four, swelling had developed under Perez’s right eye, courtesy of Gutierrez’s excellent jab. In the same round, Perez was penalized a point for a low blow, one of many shots south of the border during the bout. Gutierrez, to his credit, didn’t complain or roll around on the canvas like so many other boxers do. Instead, he took it like a man, and shook his head looked at Perez with pity, as if to say, “Dude, don’t do that.”
In rounds 5-7, the fight remained action-packed, with both fighters trading shots. In the 7th, a cut had opened up under Perez’s right eye, but it was a small cut and it wasn’t ever in danger of causing a stoppage. Gutierrez spent a lot of the time backing up and pumping out an excellent double jab, one of the best I’ve seen in boxing in a long time.
The constant punishment began to show its effects on Perez in round 8-10, as his pace slowed way down. However, he still kept coming forward despite the constant shots he was getting hit with. Gutierrez, though, seemed to back off every time he appeared to hurt Perez with a shot, allowing him to stay in the bout. In the 10th, briefly Gutierrez opened up for 10 seconds with several huge power shots, which made him seem like a completely different fighter. He quickly backed off, however, and let Perez resume his slow, plodding attack. Afterwards, it was discovered that Gutierrez had hurt his right hand in the fifth round, which helps explain why he wasn’t throwing with authority for the 2nd half of the fight. The final judges’ scores were 98-81, 96-93, and 100-89, all for Gutierrez.