Golden Boy’s Fight Night on Fox Sports is getting a reputation for always having intriguing fights with big time prospects. This Monday’s fights, which took place in Brooklyn’s Barclays center, did not disappoint. Starting the night was a Light Heavyweight match up between Olympian and promising prospect Marcus Brown (6-0, 6 KO’s) and Lamont Williams (5-1-1, 2 KO’s). The second bout was a Junior Welterweight bout between New Jersey’s fan friendly Mike Perez (18-1-2, 10 KO’s) and game Mexican fighter Miguel Zuniga (13-2, 8 KO’s). The main event brought viewers hometown favorite and potential star in the welterweight division Sadam Ali (16-0, 10 KO’s) and the awkward fighting Jay Krupp (17-5, 8 KO’s).
2012 London Olympian Marcus Brown, up until this point, had yet to face an opponent that had challenged or made him adapt at all in a fight. He had scored six easy victories, on six easy knockouts. Lamont Williams, who himself had a respectable record with only one loss, took this fight with the intention of getting the upset victory over Brown.
Instantly the hand speed and the sharpness in Brown’s punches was apparent. The superiority in boxing skills was clearly in the favor of Brown, but Williams was very cautious and landed several counter right hands and left hooks. Williams also effectively used his 6’2” frame, often leaning on Brown and frustrating him throughout. His frustration showed in round five, when while getting separated by the referee, he threw (what appeared to be) an intentional head butt, resulting in a point deduction. Even with all the complications Williams provided, it was a relatively easy win for Marcus Brown. His technical skills and quick effective jab won him a unanimous decision, but also more importantly taught him that he will not be able to fall in love with the knockout.
Mike Perez’s performance in his first move up to Junior Welterweight was difficult to judge. Mike Perez, whose lone defeat came against undefeated Lightweight power puncher Omar Figueroa in January of 2012, showed two things in his victory over Miguel Zuniga. He showed he has unbelievable Amir Khan like speed and creativity with his combinations, especially with his left hand. He also showed he has Amir Khan like defensive flaws. In his one sided affair against Zuniga, he showed how he could throw out combinations in a split second, and could literally land when he wanted. That, though it’s a great quality, also makes it so he has over confidence in his offense and continuously leaves himself in harms way. In the sixth round, which Perez was completely dominating, he was hit on the ropes with a monstrous upper cut. An uppercut that would have knocked out the average fighter. An uppercut that could have easily been avoided had he simply thrown his combination and moved out of Zuniga’s distance. What should also be noted is that he was unable to ever hurt Zuniga. In a fight where Perez landed three to four punch combinations the entire fight, Zuniga never seemed discouraged from coming forward. Maybe in Perez’s move up to 140 lbs, the power is not going to translate. Zuniga was knocked out by prospect Daquan Arnett, so the possibility that he has an amazing chin is unlikely. Perez does have a bright future and really has potential to be a star, but there are a lot of questions to be answered and defensive work to do.
The main event was a fight in which Brooklyn’s own Sadam Ali, got the special treat of fighting in front of his hometown fans in the Barclay Center. His opponent, Jay Krupp an extremely awkward fighter, managed to use that awkwardness in the first round to lure Ali into his left hook, and put him on the canvas. Ali, who is a former Olympian with great hand speed and a fundamentally good puncher, answered back in the third round with a right hand that buckled Krupp’s legs. He followed that with another right hand and a hard left hook to drop Krupp. Ali had not fought in a year and showed some ring rust, but managed to find his composure as the fight continued. He put an exclamation point on his unanimous decision victory over Krupp by putting him on the canvas with a stiff right hand counter.
Golden Boy’s Fight Night was a huge success, again. Viewers learned there are three prospects to keep their eyes on. Marcus Brown moves to 7-0 and has finally been tested. Mike Perez has the biggest upside of them all. If he works hard on his flaws, we will see him on HBO or Showtime very soon. Sadam Ali seems to have fought through the rust and continues undefeated. Lets see what direction all of their careers go from here.
Hector “El Torito” Gomez @hector_gomez810