Paris Coasts To Easy Theft Over Perez In Detroit
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Paris Coasts To Easy Theft Over Perez In Detroit
By Jason Petock, Doghouse Boxing (May 11, 2013)

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The Grand Masonic Temple in Detroit, Michigan was the setting on Friday, May 10, 2013 for another televised main event on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, and openly public robbery involving Junior Welterweights Vernon “Ice Man” Paris (28-1/16 KOs) of Detroit, Michigan and Manuel Perez (19-9-1/4 KOs) out of Denver, Colorado via Honolulu, Hawaii in a 10 rounder. Paris came into the bout 4-1 in his last 5 fights. In his home state of Michigan, Paris has gone 21-0 (this stinker included), with 3 NC’s tacked on to his record for failing drug tests while popping positive for marijuana. Prior to the mugging in the ring on FNF, hometown kid Vernon said that he had “no respect for Perez”. After a big loss by TKO to Brooklyn’s own “Super” Zab Judah (42-8/29 KOs) in 2012, Paris reflected on that defeat by saying, “I thanked Zab for not taking me lightly and for putting that ass whooping on me. I knew at the weigh-in that I wasn’t going to win. I didn’t know what to do in that fight”. Against Perez it looked like the one thing he didn’t know how to do prior to the match up was train in the gym.

Paris appeared very sluggish, lackadaisical and just not physically or mentally in the ring at all. His opponent, Manuel, was the busier more active fighter all night, landing the cleaner most effective scoring blows of the evening. The Hawaii native had gone 3-1 in his last 4 fights leading up to his most recent raw deal versus Vernon Paris. A huge underdog prior to this fight, Manuel Perez said that he would, “Work on my jab and showcase it tonight”. He didn’t throw many jabs, but even if he did the judges wouldn’t have given him any chance at all for a fair shake or judgment during the contest anyway. As the fight progressed the clear cut winner was indeed Perez, and not Paris, by any stretch of the imagination. “The Motor City” was definitely reeking of something on Friday and it wasn’t leaking motor oil by any means and it stunk. The following is an abbreviated round by round breakdown of what sadly happened between the determined fighter in Perez and one Vernon Paris, who basically just showed up for the most part to get an early Christmas present.


With his speed and power being hyped up to an all-time high by Teddy Atlas, Paris began the fight in the center of the ring with his dance partner. He pecked light feeler jabs to Perez’ head and body with neither being tellingly powerful or exceptionally fast. The only significant punch he landed was a left hook to the body of Perez. Perez appeared tentative with short jabs shot to the body of Paris that missed at first until he found his rhythm and started to connect effectively. Manuel was reaching a little too much with the right hand but applied consistent, steady pressure throughout the round and stayed composed enough to outscore his opponent. Vernon didn’t do much of anything to start off with. Round went to Perez.


Both fighters remained in the center of the ring. Perez dug punches to Paris’ midsection and landed crisp, tight left hooks to the body and head. He found a home for his left hooks, catching Detroit’s homeboy on more than one occasion, just not with enough power to make Vernon fight honestly unfortunately. Paris missed a big left hook that looked like it had some power attached to it, even though he continued to fight like someone who was sleepwalking, or very blazed on some good cush. Both boxers covered up with solid defense, but Vernon decided to let his handed hang down probably because he was tired and didn’t train properly for the bout. Sluggish and not doing much in this round either he pretty much gave the round away to Perez’s body work and constant forward momentum. Round went to Perez.


The hometown kid, Paris, popped some light, range finder type jabs at Perez. Missed a massive left uppercut that left Manuel feeling the breeze. Landed a few nice down-the-pipe jabs that started to bang up and bloody Perez’s face, more so due to him having heavier hands then actually doing any damage or winning the fight thus far. Perez stayed planted in the center of the ring as Paris circled around him. With his earmuffs on, Manuel continued to press a lazy Vernon on the ropes and landed a good right hand off the side of his dome that contorted his mug. Nice pressure and body work again by Perez. Round went to Perez.


Vernon Paris opened up the round by trying to be looser with his punches. Doing a wind up with a missing jab, his attempt at entertaining the crowd even with it being his hometown wasn’t that impressive. Perez kept in Paris’ wheelhouse and stayed inside, digging the body and firing off his left hooks successfully. The power was still a factor as Perez is known as a boxer and not a puncher, but his punches did score on Paris and made the lethargic fighter look bad, even during a robbery. Manuel’s right hand was still there and targeting the head of Vernon during the round. Round went to Perez.


Paris did a better job this round in continuing to bust up the grill of Perez, but at no time did he hurt the pressing fighter. Threw a light flurry to try and show off but was sloppy and with no power. Perez dropped a nice, clean left to the body to set up his right hand up top, something that he did all night long against Vernon. Paris fired a hard punch finally, right hand over the top that hit Perez flush, who nodded in agreement with actually getting hit by something telling for once. Both boxers traded right hands at the end of the round. Round went to Paris.


Paris tried to pick up the tempo more in this round. He was somewhat busier yet that wasn’t saying much, as throughout the bout he didn’t do much of anything, relying instead on hometown cooking and not much of a genuine work rate to get him the nod fairly. Perez covered up effectively, putting on his handcuffs a few times to protect himself in the event of another actual hard right hand finding its mark. Paris attempted a quick combo that bounced off of the gloves of the more defensive minded Manuel in this round. Perez kept pressing the action to the body and tapping the midsection of Vernon successfully. The more scoring blows were made by Perez, who dug to the body and stayed in the pocket. Round went to Perez.


In this round Paris did much of the same from the beginning of the fight. With his hands down and mouth open, the Detroit fighter only showed a different look when he used his legs to get out of range for part of the fight against Perez. His failed attempt at being a “poor man’s Mayweather” looked shoddy at best and wasn’t at all a display of any kind of slick boxing or movement. The body work of Perez seemed to remain his bread-and-butter, and he scored with it as he pushed the action still to Vernon’s sides and stomach in an effort to win on the scorecards against a hometown fighter. Perez also landed a few thudding but powerless hooks to the dome of Paris. Good output by Perez. Round went to Perez.


Appearing to know that he couldn’t lose at home by now, Paris continued to coast along with a weak performance against a durable and determined but lighter punching Perez. Every punch was felt during their bout of course, but had Perez had true lead in his fists a sluggish performing Paris would have tasted the canvas with ease. Perez had his earmuffs on during the round; covering up the cuts that his face had been marked up with by Paris’ harder jabs that did connect during the bout. Vernon tapped out his jab lazily and fought “very controlled”, which was a description that was more of an excuse made by Teddy Atlas than an actual truth. By controlled he meant in a nice way that Vernon Paris was not doing much of anything and definitely not enough to win, although it is easy to fool an unassuming and uneducated boxing public these days. Colorful words make a shit sandwich sound like steak. But when you bite into it, it still fucking stinks. Paris did land a right hand and Perez pushed him up against the ropes and ripped at his core. Round went to Perez.


Paris got on his bicycle by this time in the fight, choosing to stay on the outside but still not doing much. Atlas said of him pedaling that he was starting to “See a change, a little separation,” and that Paris, “Hadn’t landed a lot of significant blows”. Funny how a guy could not land many significant blows or even decisively scoring blows but still win a fight hands down by separation. Not so funny though when the fighter is fighting at home, and although losing still manages to be scraping out a win. There’s a little swelling around the left eye of Perez but he remains as determined and focused as he had been since the opening bell and continues to apply the same level of pressure and consistency throughout the entire fight for all 10 rounds. He comes forward with lots of body punching and effective aggressiveness and scoring blows. Round went to Perez.


Vernon Paris continued to do what he had through the whole fight, a whole lot of nothing. By putting a little space between himself and Manuel Perez he tried to not get hit as much but still got outscored regardless of what the Compubox numbers told. Anyone watching this fight knows that Perez had the much higher output and connect percentage just from what they saw with their own two eyes. Sorry, but a computer can’t tell you that, no matter how advanced it may be. Paris stayed on the ropes as Paris nailed him with a sharp overhand right that caught him square on the face and then followed it up with another right after that which also landed. Paris closed the end of the round by pedaling it out for the last 1 minute of the fight and then stepping to the center of the ring and trying to steal the round by exchanging with Perez in the closing seconds. Round went to Perez.

So there you have it. In my humble and modest opinion, now I’m no “expert” here, Perez effectively and honestly won that fight against Paris, 9 rounds to 1. Vernon Paris drifted to a bullshit hometown decision to maintain his padded record as he climbs back up the boxing ladder and pushes his name into the arena once more. The judges all scored it as a UD for Paris with 97-93, 96-94, and 98-92. What the public was just force-fed was straight, unadulterated bullshit. It stunk and it is decisions like this that only continue to drive people away that are not knowledgeable enough about boxing to know what really transpired. Some might say, “Well what does it matter? At least Perez got a payday”. While a “payday” is obviously needed in our greed based economy, where does fairness and sportsmanship fit it? Does it even have a place in boxing anymore?

What is even more disheartening when watching the fight between Paris and Perez is some of the viewpoints offered up by Teddy Atlas. Now Atlas has always been a welcome fixture and respected figure in the boxing world for some time now. Many people may even regard him as the go-to guy when it comes to boxing, even more so than the all-knowing and all wise Dan Rafael of ESPN, who if you didn’t know it would think that he was a Championship level professional boxer with multiple division titles and defenses in his own right. That’s what happens when you’re an “expert”. Anyway, Atlas said of Perez that, “That face of Perez doesn’t look like the face of a possible winner”. Really Teddy? I mean, Gatti, Corrales, and even the legendary Rocky Marciano (who had his nose split and hanging) just to name a few looked a hell of a lot worse in several of their victories but none of the commentators of their fights sold them that short straight out the box. Then he went on to say that the bout was a draw. Seriously?

All fighters deserve respect and the utmost admiration for what they do. It’s a tough, punishing sport and you can get injured or even die in the ring, no question. Credit is due to Manuel Perez for fighting a good fight and doing enough for those who actually watched the fight to win. Granted it wasn’t the most entertaining or thrilling fight to watch, and the commentators had to work with what they had, but that wasn’t Perez’s fault. He came to win and should have been given the nod. He punched effectively to the body, landed nice overhand right hands and pushed the action against a fighter who stood there and didn’t do much of anything but play with a lazy jab like a cat with a ball of string. Paris’ efforts weren’t top notch or even dedicated on any level of the discipline and it wasn’t because he out-boxed Perez. Had Perez had any pop in his punches it would have been an earlier night than the 10 arduous rounds that the fighter had to face against Vernon Paris in a fight that he pretty much carried and fought by himself.

Shame on ESPN for lying to the public and to the judges for stinking up Detroit with their garbage decision. The outcome of this fight may not mean much to many of you out there, as those involved aren’t the typical “fan boy” names that you know and love so much in the sport of boxing, but you can be assured that it meant something to Perez. And that’s all that matters.
Jason Petock responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to Jason at:

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