Perez punches way to 41-second win

THE punching power of Mike “The Rebel” Perez was manifested in just 41 seconds of brilliance at the UL Arena on Saturday as he disposed of the Hungarian heavyweight, Sandor Baloghs, with just two punches.

The first came in the opening seconds when he dropped his opponent to his knees with a short left hook to the head that earned a standing count. When he delivered a looping right to the head after the resumption referee Paul McCullagh called a halt to proceedings. A week earlier the 22-year-old Cuban stopped Latvian Jevgenjis Stamburskis in 95 seconds when he made his professional debut at Neptune Stadium in Cork.

And the former world junior light heavyweight champion has already attracted worldwide attention since joining Gary Hyde in Cork.

“We have had an invitation from the IBF world heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko, to join him for sparring, but we will put that on the back burner for the time being,” Hyde said.

“He will be pretty busy over the coming weeks. We have spars coming from England and Marty Rogan, Scott Belshaw, Stephan Reynolds, Ian Timms and Declan Timlin are coming to Cork for a sparring session.”

Light welterweight Paul McCloskey claimed a substantial scalp when he outpointed Mexican, Manuel Garnica, and may be in line for a shot at either the European or British title.

Garnica, a 33-year-old from Guadalajara, had beaten two world champions and lost highly disputed decisions to two others but was no match for the 28-year-old Dungiven southpaw who dazzled en route to a 15th successive victory.

Jason McKay from Banbridge, who lost to Andy Lee last time out, got back on the winning trail with an emphatic victory over Martin Kukuls from Latvia in a super-middleweight six rounder. But there was an upset when Belfast light-middleweight Ciaran Healy lost to Kukuls’ compatriot Pavel Lotah while Ballinrobe cruiserweight Michael Sweeney made it three from three by outpointing Remigijus Ziausys from Lithuania.

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