Underdog Jesus Perez outworks unhappy Joseph Diaz

Jesus Ricky” Perez has become a somebody in boxing.

After three unsuccessful fights in the United States, he defeated 2012 US Olympian and former IBF super featherweight champion Joseph Diaz.

After 10 rounds at super lightweight at the Commerce Casino, in Commerce, California, the three ringside judges scored 96-94, 99-90 and 94-95 in his favour.

Perez, 26, started fast. He built an early lead, capitalising on Diaz waiting until the third round to start to press. 

In the fourth the pattern of the fight evolved to involve body punching – something that remained consistent until the final bell. Both attempted huge body punches. Diaz appeared more determined to pressure Perez, and had some success, but Perez landed a huge, eye-catching uppercut. 

Diaz occasionally struggled with Perez’s advantage in size, and his frustration contributed to him throwing Perez to the canvas in the fifth round, when the referee Thomas Taylor then deducted him a point.

Perez trapped Diaz towards the ropes in the seventh round and attempted to land combinations. If Diaz landing the more accurate punches, Perez outworked him. 

Heading into the 10th it remained unclear who was in the lead, but Diaz, 31, hurt his opponent, and finished on top by again landing the more accurate punches. 

Confirmation of the scores represented the second time in three fights that Diaz has lost a disputed split-decision. In March 2023 he also lost to Mercito Gesta.

Eric Tudor earlier rebounded from his first career loss to earn an eight-round unanimous decision over Luis Ramos, at light middleweight.

Ramos pressed forward but failed to be effective. Tudor jabbed effectively and kept the fight at distance, and Ramos’ strategy of walking forward in straight lines was too one-dimensional to succeed.

Tudor landed more combinations from the fifth round, but nothing notable, and also held Ramos when he got inside, ultimately resetting to fight at range.

Despite questions about his power all three judges scored 80-72 in his favour. 

Jorge Chavez had by then outpointed Diuhl Olguin over six at featherweight, after recovering from a first-round knockdown. Chavez regained his momentum to outpoint his late-replacement opponent, but he was forced to work hard for the scores of 59-54, 58-55 and 58-55.

At lightweight Joshua Garcia stopped Eric Lozada in the opening round by landing a right hand that halted the contest after 105 seconds.

On his professional debut the middleweight Sasha Tudor narrowly avoided a near-disaster against Josias Gonzalez when they fought to a draw, via scores of 39-37, 37-39 and 38-38.