From the Temecula, CA, Pechanga Resort and Casino, Golden Boy Promotions in association with Ringside Ticket Inc., and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, presented “Solo Boxeo Tecate” in front of a sold out crowd. In the 10-round main event Scottish sensation Craig McEwan (19-0, 10KO), won a not so popular split decision over Carlsbad fighter Danny Perez (34-8, 17KO), in a very entertaining competitive contest.
Prior to the fighter entrances for the main event, the Pechanga Resort and Casino ballroom was filled to capacity and electric in anticipation for the brawl that was about to ensue. To begin the fight Danny Perez came out very confident and aggressive taking control of the ring while McEwan was light on his feet dancing around the ring to avoid Perez’ big power. Perez was unloading heavy shots as McEwan was moving and boxing trying to use his height and reach advantage to keep Perez at bay.
Perez attacked the body right away landing a combination to the mid-section while McEwan was against the ropes, and follwed it up with a left-hook to the side of his head that momentarily knocked McEwan off balance. McEwan’s hands were very low and it cost him at 2:16 of the first round when Perez landed a lead left-hook upstairs that wobbled and slightly buzzed McEwan causing him to hold Danny. Perez came forward looking to hurt his opponent and landed another left-hook up top that stumbled McEwan, making it the third hard left-hook Perez landed off the opening stanza that did damage. The scrap started off with a bang for the hometown fighter Danny Perez, and when the bell rang ending the first round the crowd applauded with delight for the California native.
McEwan came out in the second looking to right the ship and was busier landing rights and lefts to the body floating his jab out there to set those punches up. Towards the end of the round the Scottish fighter began to mix it up between the head and body landing his shots while moving better and making it hard for Perez to get any punches off. There wasn’t a whole lot of mustard on McEwans punches but like Joe Calzaghe that is McEwans style, boxing beautifully with lots of movement and punches in bunches overwhelming his opponent. Like the Welsh fighter McEwan also has okay power that he unleashes periodically trying to catch his opponent off guard not expecting it, but a fighter with a great chin like Perez had no problem with Craig’s power.
At the end of the second an accidental clash of heads opened a cut above the right eye of McEwan, when Perez saw the blood he attacked and began holding his hands in the air in a challenge to McEwan. McEwan moved well though and avoided most of the punches winning the round. The third saw the Scottish fighter pick up the pace and he began to pop shot Perez to the head and body with both hands, as Perez kept nodding his head that it didn’t hurt, but not landing much himself. The fight became more physical at this point, there was a lot of holding and hitting, most of the holding was being initiated by McEwan after he would throw a combination. Perez landed some hard shots in the second and third but it was too few compared to McEwans high output.
To start the fourth Perez landed a huge right-hand to the jaw that dropped McEwan, but because he fell into Perez it looked like Perez pushed him to the mat, and the referee did not rule it a knock down which it was. Once he got up Perez couldn’t get to him quick enough and landed a hard right-hand left-hook to McEwans head prompting him to hold. McEwan recovered and went right back to moving and landing punches including a six punch combo to Perez’ face. But the tide changed again when Perez landed a hard right-hand up top and some hard body shots, in a big round for Perez.
In the mid rounds McEwan began to take Perez’ big punches better, they were not doing as much damage when they landed. Craig frequently spun Perez around by the shoulder taking his back then landing when Perez turned to face him. Perez began landing more to the body in the middle of the contest digging into both sides of McEwan while still landing up top, the problem was that McEwan was still landing more.
Perez had a good sixth landing hard straight rights and left-hooks upstairs and down low while basically abandoning the jab. “Dynamite” Danny was getting frustrated as the fight progressed often complaining to referee Ray Corona when McEwan would jump in and hold. In frustration he began to push the top of his head into McEwans chin and chest pushing him back. Whenever the fight was in the middle of the ring McEwan would dominate with slick boxing, and Perez would open up and dominate when he had McEwans back against the ropes. McEwan seemed to win rounds seven and eight with accuracy and output.
In the ninth both fighters had a good round and McEwan chose to fight on the inside and trade with Perez, both combatants landed hard combinations up top and it was a hard round to call. In the tenth and final round as the fighters were locked up and the third man in the ring Ray Corona went to break it up he took a light right-hook on the chin for his troubles from McEwan. Round ten saw them trade in a close round which was like the whole fight, Perez landed harder, McEwan landed more and won a controversial split decision on the score cards with scores of 95-95, and 97-93 twice. McEwan improves to 19-0, 10KO), and is one step closer to challenging for a world title.
Being at the event I can see how it would appear to fans that their hometown fighter won the fight, due to the hard loud punches he was landing. But McEwan landed many more punches and though he doesn’t carry the power of Perez, he does throw nice crisp clean punches. In the second half of the fight Perez’ punches weren’t causing the kind of damage they were in the first half, and he slowed his work rate, while McEwan stayed consistent all night throwing a billion punches from all different angles looking flashy. Still Perez landed lots of huge punches in the fight and did way more damage, so I could have seen it going either way depending on what judges like.