Alejandro Perez jump-started his stagnating career with a shocking one-punch KO of former featherweight contender Antonio Escalante in the main event of a Telefutura-televised card from Fairfield, Calif., on Friday.
After exchanging hard body shots for much of the round, Perez (15-2-1, 10 knockouts) clipped Escalante with a short overhand right 10 seconds before the bell. The perfectly timed shot knocked Escalante sideways and flat on his back where referee Edward Collantes waved the fight off midway through his 10 count at 2:57 of the round.
The Solo Boxeo Tecate main event was a must win fight for both fighters. Perez, of Salinas, Calif., lost his last bout, an eight-round unanimous decision to junior featherweight prospect Rico Ramos in 2009. The 24-year-old prospect, who trains at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., was inactive in 2010.
Escalante (23-4, 15 KOs), of El Paso by way of Juarez, Mexico, was coming off a third-round KO loss to former 122-pound titleholder Daniel Ponce de Leon last September. His second consecutive KO loss may have signaled the end of his career as a contender.
However, the surprising quick-stoppage victory for Perez, who has spent his career at junior featherweight and featherweight, may have earned him prospect status in the junior lightweight division, where Friday's bout took place.
A future showdown with unbeaten 130-pound prospect Eloy Perez (no relation), who has adopted Salinas as his hometown, would probably be a big draw in Northern California.
On the Perez-Escalante undercard, junior featherweight prospect Manuel Avila, of Vacaville, Calif., stopped FRank Gutierrez, of San Bernadino, Calif., in the second round of their scheduled four rounder.
Avila (3-0, 2 KOs) scored three knockdowns while exhibiting impressive poise and technique for an 18-year-old boxer. He dropped Gutierrez (2-9-1, 1 KO) with a series of hooks at the end of the first and then twice floored the older fighter with short counter right hands as the journeyman lunged forward in teh second round. The bout was waved off 59 seconds into the second round.