Jesus Perez Upends Jojo Diaz; Wins an Unpopular Decision


By David A. Avila

COMMERCE, Ca.-Tijuana’s Jesus Ricky Perez out-scrapped Jojo Diaz to win a close split decision but not according to one score card on Thursday.

“My ultimate respect to JoJo Diaz, he is a warrior,” said Perez. “I thought because he was the favorite, that he was going to win this close fight.”

Moving up in weight hasn’t turned out well for former two-division world champion Diaz whose ventures as a super lightweight have been underwhelming.

In a rough and rousing match Jesus Ricky Perez (25-5, 18 KOs)) opened-up quick and survived “The Pride of South El Monte” Diaz (33-5, 15 KOs) in front of a sold-out crowd at Commerce Casino.

The large pro-Diaz crowd left in anger when the winner was announced.

Perez opened up with a two-fisted attack in the first two rounds as Diaz patiently seemed to gauge the speed and power of his Mexican foe. At times Perez launched seven-punch combinations as Diaz kept a high guard.

Fans grew restless at Diaz’s slow start and shouted their suggestions.

Diaz opened up in the third round and surprised Perez with the speed and accuracy of in his punches. The were pinpoint and nearly dropped the Mexican fighter several times.

Both fighters refused to go backward; it was like two rams on a mountainside butting each other for the territory. The stubbornness to yield resulted in both fighters resorting to rough tactics. During one entanglement Diaz tossed Perez through the ropes in the fifth round. Referee Tom Taylor deducted a point from Diaz for the foul.

Diaz seemingly took control of the fight. His accuracy during exchanges was evident. Perez would not submit and rallied with winging combinations, but few had force behind the blows. And though the number of blows unleashed were high they were not as powerful or accurate as Diaz’s.

The Mexican fighter slowed visibly in the eighth round and it seemed Diaz was going to edge past him with solid momentum. When the scores were read one judge favored Diaz 95-94, while the others saw Perez the winner 96-94 and 99-90.

Some angry fans tossed items into the boxing ring and many others booed the decision.

"I won the fight. This is getting unfair now!" said Diaz, Jr. who has now lost four of five fights. "I train so hard.”

Other Bouts

Eric Tudor (10-1, 6 KOs) had too much of everything for Puerto Rico’s Luis Ramos (6-3-1, 6 KOs) and won by unanimous decision after eight rounds in a super welterweight clash. The taller, faster and more accurate Tudor was able to score at will against the high guard of the Puerto Rican fighter. One thing Ramos possessed was resilience and he withstood a pounding and never went down.

All three judges scored it 80-72 for Florida’s Tudor.

Despite suffering a flash knockdown, Tijuana’s Jorge Chavez (10-0, 7 KOs) rallied past Guadalajara veteran Diuhl Olguin (16-35-7, 10 KOs ) to win by unanimous decision after six rounds in a featherweight match.

Chavez was dropped from a jab and was sent to the canvas by Olguin a veteran of more than 50 fights. He quickly re-grouped and used a constant attack to win most of the rounds. Olguin nearly floored Chavez when he switched southpaw who stumbled a bit. All three judges scored for Chavez 60-54, 58-55 twice.

Moreno Valley’s Joshua Garcia (7-0, 4 KOs) didn’t need long to beat Eric Lozada (1-1-1) to the punch and win by knockout in a lightweight contest. During an exchange Garcia fired a short right cross and caught Lozada walking into the blow and down he went for the count at 1:45 of the first round

Mexico’s Josias Gonzalez (2-2-1) and Florida’s Sasha Tudor (0-0-1) fought to a majority draw after four turbulent rounds including a bad cut suffered from a butt by Gonzalez. Tudor opened up pretty well in the first round of the middleweight bout and then saw Gonzalez turn up the juice.

Photos credit: Al Applerose