Welterweight contender Sadam Ali won a hard-fought 10 round unanimous decision over Johan Perez late Saturday night at the Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona.
With the victory, Ali improves to 25-1, with 14 knockouts. Perez, who hails from Caracas, Venezuela, falls to 22-4-2, with 15 KOs.
Ali scored a knockdown of Perez in round three. The Brooklyn, N.Y. fighter landed the more-effective punches throughout the fight, countering Perez to the head.
Sensing he was down late in the fight, Perez attempted to walk Ali down, but the former world title challenger utilized his speed and athleticism to counter Perez.
Scores were 97-92, 97-92, and 98-91 for Ali, who has now won his last three bouts.
"I give myself a '6,'" said Ali after the fight. I felt off. Perez was tough, very tall, and awkward. I was able to see that I have a lot to work on. I'm not too happy with my performance. I don't want to make excuses, but my performance wasn't as good as I expected. Now it's time to go back to the gym and work on things I need to work on.That's how I'll get better."
In the co-feature, Alejandro Barrera survived a knockdown to win a 10 round split decision over Eddie Gomez.
Barrera improves to 29-3, with 18 KOs, while Gomez drops to 20-3, with 11 KOs.
Gomez dropped Barrera with a counter left hook to the head, but Barrera was able to utilize his height, reach, and higher punch output late in the fight to grind out a decision.
One judge scored the bout 95-94 for Gomez, while the other two judges scored the bout 96-93 in favor of Barrera, who hails from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
In junior middleweight action, Patrick Teixeira (27-1, with 22 KOs) of Brazil won an eight round unanimous decision over Andrew Hernandez (19-6-1, with 9 KOs). Scores were 80-72, 80-72, and 79-73 for Teixeira.
Middleweight Daquen Arnett won a one-sided eight round decision over Jorge Silva (22-14-2, with 18 KOs). All three judges scored the bout 80-71 in favor of Arnett, who improves to 16-1, with 9 KOs. Silva was deducted a point for holding in round six.
Francisco A. Salazar has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing