Story by: Crystal Hamlin
MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, MD — In the main event on Golden Boy on ESPN’s card at MGM National Harbor, local favorite Lamont Roach, Jr won a 10-round UD over Rey Perez.
Outside of a body shot that got his attention early in the fight, Roach outhustled and outworked the rugged Perez. All three judges scored it 99-91 for Roach.
Roach, (16-0, 6 KOs), entered the ring with a heavy heart as he lost an integral piece of his team last month. His trainer, mentor, and cousin Bernard Roach died suddenly from complications of a heart attack.
Roach admitted it was hard to focus, but there were no signs tonight as he used excellent movement and hand speed to control Perez (21-9, 6 KOs).
Perez didn’t come to lay down as he gave a hard night’s effort for his honest pay. However, there was too much of an athletic advantage for Perez to overcome.
I like the way Golden Boy is moving Roach. He’s only 22. There is no need to rush him to become another titleholder who is learning on the job.
Roach had a very active 2017 and he should continue that trend in 2018. Maybe by the end of 2018 he can faceoff against a similar young prospect to see what he’s made of. We’ll keep an eye on him here, of course.
Gary Russell, Jr was in attendance.
Attendance for the card was 1,768. I think the start time (6:30pm on a Thursday night) contributed to the turnout. More importantly, the hometown Redskins had a Thursday Night Football national broadcast with the archrival Cowboys. Washington D.C., along with the metropolitan area, is a football town. Football is king and that is that.
“I feel good after a god performance like. In the second round, he hit me with a really good body shot. But I stayed composed and got myself together. I’d been through that before, and I’ve sparred with bigger people.”
“True fighters know how to recover and get back to their game plan, and that’s what I did. I used the time to recover, and got back to what I was doing to get the victory.”
In the televised co-feature, Avery Sparrow brought the Philadelphia rough-and-tumble spirit early on to beat Jose Lopez by UD.
Sparrow (9-1, 3 KOs) didn’t fight like a replacement opponent as he overcame a major height deficit to beat Lopez to the point all night.
Sparrow used crafty tricks out of the Philly boxing gyms and he was just a step ahead of Lopez (18-2-1, 13 KOs) all night. The Sparrow right hand couldn’t miss, especially late. He used it wisely and his unorthodox fighting style was too much.
In the end, two judges had it 96-94, and the third had it 97-93. I thought Sparrow won by at least three points.
“I feel great. I showed that I had more experience.” “I did what I had to do and even hurt him a couple times. We knew the game plan was to take me to deep waters, so we started cautiously and reversed the plan. We took him to deep waters and got the victory.”
Manuel “Tino” Avila (23-1, 8 KOs) UD over Diuhl Olguin (11-9-2, 9 KOs). Scores were 77-75, and 78-74 twice.
“I feel good about this win because I was working on different things,” said Avila. “It threw me off that the opponent was decided at the last moment and that I hurt my left hand. Overall, it was a great learning experience because I chose to work on thing and with a good opponent.”
Lamont Capers (8-10-3) SD over Luther Smith, Jr (9-2, 8 KOs). Scores were 38-37 for Smith, and 38-37 twice for Capers.
“I did good,” said Capers. “They saw me as the underdog, but I pushed him and I conquered.”
“I wasn’t tired,” said Smith. “I simply wasn’t able to land the shots I wanted to land and that my coach was asking for. He [Capers] never hurt me, but he was a lot busier.”
Thomas Williams (0-0-2) DRAW with Alberto Delgado (0-2-3)
Williams: “This fight went the same way as my last fight. All I can say is that Delgado is one tough guy.”
Delgado: “It was a tough fight. I gave everything, but I needed more power to win.”