Ringside Report: Peralta and Hernandez Steal the Show in Anaheim

Barbara Pinnella

Barbara lives in USA and tries to cover as many fights as she can – which is never enough! She has been writing about boxing since the first series of The Contender, where she interviewed the loser of each match each week, and then the winner of the final bout and has been covering boxing ever since.

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The Honda Center in Anaheim, California, was the host of the Premier Boxing Champions fight card. They did not play to a completely full house, but those in attendance were not afraid to loudly cheer their favorite fighters or boo when they felt the need.

Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (33-5-1, 18 KOs) went up against the Argentinean, David Peralta (26-2-1, 14 KOs) in the main event of the evening. The fight was scheduled to go 12 rounds.

The first round had to be advantage Guerrero. Robert was the faster and more dominate fighter in the opener. It appeared that Peralta wanted to feel the round out, but Ghost would have none of it. Peralta decided to jump right into the fray in the second, and met Guerrero in the middle of the ring, throwing punches and applying pressure.

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There was no lack of action in the third from either fighter. Each of them decided to go to war, much to the pleasure of the crowd. Robert landed some huge left hands in the fourth round that were not answered by David. But just when it seemed as if Guerrero was learning how to read his opponent, Peralta would bounce right back and confuse the issue. He did not make the trip from Argentina to just show up.

The fifth round was a bit slower from each fighter, but they heated it back up in the sixth. Peralta was able to land some combinations, while Guerreiro would jump in and land one, and then jump back out. The seventh was not much different, but one thing was for sure – this was not a visually pleasing fight. While the men were throwing punches, they were also running around and holding a lot, so it was often not pretty.

The ninth saw a giant right hand by Peralta appear to put Guerrero down, but the ropes held him up and it was not ruled a knockdown. David landed two more huge right hand shots in the round that was by far his strongest of the fight. That does not mean he had not been winning rounds, but he was really showing off in this one.

While he did not land another big shot on his opponent, the tenth was also a pretty good round for Peralta. Right at the end though, Robert connected with a good punch.

In the eleventh the two fighters did nothing remarkable to the other. In the twelfth and final Peralta landed some more really good punches but was never able to put Guerrero away. It was time to go to the scorecards. The first judge saw it 115-113 for Peralta, the second had it 115-113 in favor of Guerrero, and the third judge saw the fight 116-112, giving the split decision victory to Peralta. David will now have to deal with being known as the latest “Ghostbuster”.

Photo credit: Andy Samuelson/PBC

Photo credit: Andy Samuelson/PBC

An emotional Peralta said after the fight, “I was a cab driver, driving cabs in Argentina. I was offered a chance to fight in the U.S. and came away victorious. I came to fight and I knew I would win. He is a very good fighter but I hit him with the harder shots.”

David had alluded to fighting once more and then retiring, but that idea has changed since his victory.

“Yes, I want to fight bigger names now, no way I’m going to retire now. I’ll be ready again to fight soon, this was no joke and I can beat a lot of great fighters.”

Understandably frustrated, Guerrero said, “I thought I clearly won the fight. For the judge to say I lost eight rounds sounds crazy to me. Peralta was very awkward but I felt I won. This is very disappointing, but I’ll be back, that you can count on.”

Almost a year to the day of his last fight, Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo (24-6, 20 KOs) returned to face off against another Mexican fighter, and one whose last fight was exactly one year ago today, Freddy Hernandez (34-8, 20 KOs). This fight was in the super middleweight division and was scheduled to go 10 rounds.

Hernandez came out very fast, and with his very big reach advantage was able to land some leather on Angulo. Nothing really hard and damaging, but he made his presence known in this first round. In round two, Freddy was still the faster man and landing punches at a three-to-one margin. Alfredo was able to get in a couple of power shots, but could not dampen the speed that was Hernandez.

Angulo was able to land a few more hard shots in this third round, but his face was also showing the work that Hernandez was doing. Throughout the fight, Alfredo was having trouble finding his range to land a big shot on Freddy, and the fourth was no exception. He would wind up and swing, but miss. Hernandez was still doing better with his rapid fire style.

The fifth was the best by far for Perro. He did his first significant damage to Freddy as the blood began to flow by the left eye, so now we would see just how Hernandez would be able to handle it. It turned out he handled it just fine, coming back to form and using his combinations to his advantage again. But Alfredo was no longer backing down, and was connecting more. This continued into the sixth.

Angulo was still on the attack in the seventh. The face of Hernandez had been bleeding for a few rounds now, and the blood was visible from the time he would walk out of his corner. In the eighth, we saw a more even round. Alfredo had definitely turned it up and Freddy seemed to be running out of gas just a bit as the rounds ticked off. In the ninth, Hernandez had some good moments.

Then tenth and final was a good one. During the entire fight the “Freddy” and “Perro” chants were constant, and it was no different at the end. We went to the scorecards. One judge saw it 98-92, while the other two had it 97-93, a unanimous decision for Hernandez. Angulo was just way too slow to be of any threat to Freddy tonight.

“I felt great, I know I clearly won the fight,” Hernandez said. “This weight is too big for me; I’m not a super middleweight or a middleweight. He still punches hard but I hit him harder tonight. I have a great deal of respect for Alfredo. Tonight the people saw two real Mexican warriors.”

The first televised fight of the night pitted the unbeaten Terrell Gausha (19-0, 9 KOs) against Steve Martinez (16-3, 13 KOs) in a bout scheduled for 10 rounds in the welterweight division. The first round was a bit of a feeling out round. Both men threw some punches, but nothing of much significance.

The second was a very strong one of Martinez. He displayed great body work and put a lot of pressure on Gausha, making it hard for Terrell to do any work at all. The third round was another super one for Steve. He continued to keep applying the pressure, and Gausha’s punches were kept to a minimum.

Steve kept impressing us with his shots to the body, as he was constantly taking it to Terrell. So far through four, Martinez was showing that he is the real deal. Steven not only had those powerful punches to the body, but he would then go to the head of Gausha.

In what was the slowest round of the fight thus far, Steve slowed down his punches a bit. Still and all, Gausha has had to grab and hold many times during this fight. As the rounds ticked by, Martinez still appeared to be in control. Terrell would show a flash of brilliance, but he would be taken right down, though not literally, by Steve.

Martinez seemed to be running out of steam a bit in the eighth. He had not fought since back in November, and that was perhaps now taking a bit of a toll. But Steve seemed to catch a bit of a second wind in the ninth and began landing his punches again. We moved into the last three minutes of the fight.

Both men came out with as much as they had in the final round. There was no real damage done in the tenth, and we went to the judges’ scorecards. One judge saw the fight a 95-95 draw, while the other two had it 97-93 for Gausha. There were many boos when those two scores were announced, and Terrell left the ring to those boos. When Martinez was lifted up by his corner the fans cheered. He lost the fight, but definitely won over the crowd. Remember his name, Steve Martinez!

In a fight that took place after the three television bouts, Luis Bello (8-4, 4 KOs) took on Omar Reyes (2-4) in a fight that was scheduled for six rounds in the super lightweight division. It didn’t take that long however, as Bello was in control throughout. In the third round Reyes was put down and stayed there. Luis got a knockout victory at 2:58 seconds of the third round.

Heavyweights took to the ring as the undefeated Steven Shaw (8-0, 5 KOs) stood across the ring from Jonathan Rice (4-2-1, 2 KOs). This fight was to go a scheduled six rounds and it did so, but there was not a lot of action in here. Shaw was expected by many to get his victory via knockout, but that didn’t happen.

Jabs were the order of the rounds, and there was nothing very exciting in any of six that were fought. I wish there was more to say, but there really isn’t. The three judges saw the fight the same. All of them saw the winner to be Shaw, with scores of 60-54.

In another fight scheduled for four rounds, Daniel Gonzalez made his professional debut against Javier Cepeda (0-2). Gonzalez was the huge fan favorite in this one. These two were fighting in the featherweight division. Both men came out strong in the first, but Cepeda probably surprised some as he went on the offensive faster. But Gonzalez, though waiting for his spots, got in some shots as well.

A much faster second round for Daniel, as he came out working from the outset. He and Javier had a pretty even round in the second. The third was a good one for Gonzales, and we went into the fourth and final. These two had an exciting final round, with Cepeda landing some of his best punches of the fight.

We went to the scorecards. All the judges saw the fight the same, 40-36, all for Gonzales. He got his first pro win in a big way. Many felt it was too big a way, as there was a general consensus that Cepeda won the last round for sure, and maybe another one.

Floyd Mayweather, et al, was here for this fight to cheer on his fighter, Gonzalez. After the fight the entire contingent left the building. It sure looked empty in that section when they all filed out.

It was time for featherweights, and this fight saw Victor Morales, Jr. making his professional debut against Erick Lainez (1-2) in a fight scheduled to go four rounds. Morales was on fire, and while he was not able to drop Lainez in the opener, he landed some really solid punches that did a lot of damage.

Victor came out fast again, but slowed down mid-round, perhaps punching himself out a bit. Still, he continued to prove he was the much stronger fighter thus far. The third round was much of the same, as was the fourth. We went to the scorecards, which were not hard to figure out. All three judges had the fight the same, 40-36, all for Morales.

This was a good pro debut for Victor, as he showed he has some power in both hands. He just needs more ring time to develop his skills.

We saw super lightweights next, as Neri Romero (3-0, 3 KOs) went up against Luis Silva (2-9, 1 KO), in a scheduled four round bout. Within the opening three seconds of the fight Romero dropped Silva, but Luis got up and fought on. He tasted the canvas again in the second, but managed to get out of that round, too. But Silva took too much punishment, and this fight was stopped at the end of the second round on the advice of the ringside physician.

To open up the evening we saw two welterweight fighters make their professional debut in this one, as Abraham Martinez took on Phillip Percy in a scheduled four-rounder. Both men came out fast, but Martinez was way more accurate, and dropped Percy near the end of the first round. How Phillip made it out of the first was amazing, but he moved on to the second.

Abraham continued to dominate in round two, but Percy was able to stay on his feet for the three minutes. That did him no good in the end, as the fight was stopped at the end of the round by referee Jack Reiss. Martinez gets his first win as a pro.

This was an interesting night, with several surprise wins and some new fighters to watch. As is common, the talk swirling around the media was about retirement for both Angulo and Guerrero. Of course, it remains to be seen what those two men decide to do. But the winners of those two match-ups did win, make no mistake about it.

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