Ryan Songalia

Perez stops Cruz in two rounds in Solo Boxeo main event

Upstart lightweight Michael Angelo Perez showed no lingering effects from his first career defeat six months ago as he stopped Eric Cruz in two rounds at the Coliseo Roger L. Mendoza in Caguas, Puerto Rico on Saturday night. The bout headlined a Solo Boxeo on the Spanish language network Telefutura.

Perez (16-1-1, 10 knockouts), of Newark, N.J., scored a knockdown on Cruz (13-10-3, 13 KOs), of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, towards the end of round one, concealing a perfect-formed right cross behind a left uppercut. Perez, 22, showed exceptional poise and discipline, boxing behind his jab after building an image as an all-out warrior earlier in his career.

Cruz developed a cut on the bridge of his nose that seemed to bleed without yield. Towards the end of the second round, Cruz took another combination from Perez and turned away in surrender. The time of stoppage was 2:50.

Perez was coming off a TKO defeat to Omar Figueroa in January on Shobox, the result of a corner stoppage.

Leading off the telecast, Jeffrey Fontanez (8-0, 7 KOs) of Caguas, Puerto Rico stopped Pedro Hernandez (6-6-1, 2 KOs) of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico at 2:31 of the first round. Fontanez, who is from the same town that produced his promoter and former three-division titleholder Miguel Cotto, damaged his foe with body work before scoring the stoppage.

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