Newark, NJ–The place to be Friday night was the luxurious Robert Treat Hotel in Newark’s downtown metro center for an evening of thrilling grit and brazen brawlers.
Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna’s Rising Star Promotions hosted the Brick City Fight Night Series with an impressive card and main event that was undoubtedly a battle to the finish.
Brick city’s own Mikey “Artist” Perez (25-3-2) went toe to toe with Front Royal, VA’s Juan De La Cruz Rodriguez (10-17-1) in a junior welterweight eight round bout that almost went the distance with the Golden Gloves champ reigning victory.
In the first two rounds, both contenders came in strong sizing each other. Rodriguez landed a cross and a few jabs attempting to keep his stance only to heighten the beast in Perez working the body of Rodriguez with hard blows to the face and head.
The brawl intensified in rounds three and four with each fighter exchanging hard body shots and combos that drove the roaring crowd to its feet resulting in pairing eye swellings.
Though Perez sported visible cuts to both eyes and briefly went down in what was ruled as a slip, Rodriguez’s swelling to his left eye worsened weakening his vision in later rounds giving “The Artist” an advantage to take control.
By round six, what seemed to start off as a haymaker fest between two tenacious competitors ended with Rodriguez hitting the canvas losing his drive, not able to recover. Perez went in for the kill cornering Rodriguez on the ropes landing relentless punches causing referee Harvey Dock to stop the bout with 1:57 into round seven declaring Perez the winner by TKO.
The Newark native stepped out of the ring embracing the love of his hometown with his family and friends shouting celebratory chants while his team proudly waved his Puerto Rican flag. With three East Coast titles on his resume and another win under wraps, there’s no telling what the future holds for this fearless Orthodox fighter. One things for certain he gives boxing fans what they love most, a match well worth seeing.