Luis Perez now a two-division champ

By George Kimball @ ringside


Luis Perez now a two-division champ

Barrett, Stiverne upset on Connecticut undercard

A third title bout on the Bridgeport card saw former IBF 115-pound champion Luis Perez of Nicaragua win the vacant IBF bantamweight title with a seventh-round TKO of Genaro Garcia.

Perez had floored Garcia with a straight left in the second round, and the Mexican went down twice more from what referee Charlie Dwyer ruled slips. Perez, who had pretty much had his own way over the first six rounds, decked Garcia again with a short left early in the second, and although he gamely bounced up, Dwyer immediately cradled him in his arms and declared the hostilities at an end.

“I did the best I could,” said Garcia through an interpreter. “Perez had a lot of stamina, and he made the most of his reach advantage.”

“Garcia was strong,” said Perez, “but I think I won every round.” (He did, on the Boxing Talk scorecard, anyway.”)

Perez, in gaining his second world title, improved to 25-1, while Garcia is now 35-6.

Although Garcia looked the worst of the two afterward, it was the new champion who, experiencing tenderness in the middle of his chest, was taken to a Bridgeport hospital for observation after the bout.

The undercard produced two more significant upsets, as journeyman Cliff Couser demolished former heavyweight title challenger Monte Barrett and roly-poly Michigan opponent Demitrice King knocked highly-touted King heavyweight Bermaine Stiverne from the ranks of the unbeaten.

Couser (26-12-2) hurt Barrett with a short right late in the first, and then landed another just as the bell rang. Barrett woozily made it to his feet after the bell to take Danny Schiavone’s eight-count, and was visited by Dr. Michael Schwartz between rounds.

That Barrett had not fully recovered was soon apparent. Couser dropped him with a left-right combination, and while Monte got up again, when he took another hard right and a solid left hook with no response, Schiavone stopped it at 0:42 of the second. It was the third straight loss for the 36 year-old Barrett (31-6), who in his previous two outings had been stopped (in 11) by then-WBA champion Nikolai Valuev and outpointed by former champ Hasim Rahman.

Stiverne looked to be in for another easy night when he decked King with a right hand in the first round, but the Flint journeyman battled back to score a fourth-round TKO. After stunning Stiverne with a sweeping right, the opponent drove him into a neutral corner, where he hammered away with his right (while illegally clutching the ring rope for leverage with his left glove) until Johnny Callas stopped it at 1:59 of the round.

Stiverne fell to 12-1, while King improved to 12-15.

Fighting as a 210-pound heavyweight, perennial cruiserweight contender Guillermo Jones improved to 35-3-2 with a unanimous decision over Zack Page (13-14-1). The only knockdown came in the second, when Jones decked Page with a jab, while later in the same Jones drew a warning from Schaviaone after a low blow. Judges Steve Epstein and Don Trella both had Jones winning 79-72, while Duke Lawson had the Panamanian in front 78-74.

Devon Alexander of St. Louis remained unbeaten at 12-0 when he was awarded a third-round TKO (after multiple takedowns) over Marcus Luck (8-15-1) of Danville, Va, while Puerto Rican middleweight Sergio Rivera (2-0) outpointed Devin Laney (0-2) of Miami, with all three judges (Tom Kaczmarek, John McKaie, and Frank Lombardi) returning 39-37 scorcards.

A scheduled junior middleweight bout which was to have pitted former WBA champion Alex (Terra) Garcia against Nicaraguan Jose Rodriguez was scrapped a day earlier after Rodriguez scaled in at 167 at the weigh-in.

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Bridgeport, Conn.
July 7, 2007

JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Joachim Alcine, 152 1/2, Montreal, Canada dec. Travis Simms, 152 1/2, Norwalk, Conn.  (12) (Wins WBA title)

BANTAMWEIGHTS: Luis Perez, 118, Managua, Nicaragua TKO’d Genaro Garcia, 118, Puebla, Mexico (7) (Wins vacant IBF title)

FLYWEIGHTS: Nonito Donaire, 111 1/2, General Santos City, Philippines KO’d Vic Darchinyan, 112, Vanadzor, Armenia (5) (Wins IBF title)

HEAVYWEIGHTS: Cliff Couser, 242, St. Louis, Mo. TKO’d Monte Barrett, 227, Queens, N.Y. (2)

Demetrice King, 270, Flint, Mich. TKO’d Bermaine Stiverne, 245, Laval, Canada (4)

Guillermo Jones, 210, Colon, Panama dec. Zack Page, 201 3/4, Warren, Ohio (8)

MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Sergio Rivera, 160 1/2, San Juan, Puerto Rico dec. Devin Laney, 162, Miami, Fla. (4)?
JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHTS: Devon Alexander, 140, St. Louis, Mo. TKO’d Marcus Luck, 143, Danville, Va. (3)