On Thursday, November 30, 2017, Lamont Roach Jr. (15-0, 6 KOs) headlined a Golden Boy Promotions on ESPN fight card in his backyard at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD as he took on tough Filipino and Los Angeles resident, Rey Perez (21-8, 6 KOs).
Roach Jr., coming off a first-round stoppage win against Luis Hinojosa on October 21 in Verona, New York, was fighting in front a partisan crowd who was vocally behind him from the opening bell.
Roach Jr. came out patient, working behind a stiff jab as he looked to counter and catch Perez coming in.
Roach Jr., who at times has been criticized for perhaps thinking too much and being too patient, picked up the pace a bit in Round 2 until Perez landed a well-placed hook to the body which caused him to back pedal for the last portion of the round.
Perez didn’t throw everything he had at Roach Jr., but he knew he had gotten Roach Jr.’s attention and did follow up with some solid blows to take the round.
The brief success Perez had in Round 2 did not carry over into the third as Roach Jr. woke up and began landing meaningful power punches of his own.
A beautiful left hook upstairs brought the pro-Roach Jr. crowd to their feet in Round 3 as Roach Jr. began to find his range.
Roach Jr. continued to find success in Round 6 as Perez began to show some swelling, a product of the flush shots Roach Jr. was landing throughout the bout.
As Roach Jr. began opening up offensively in Round 7, chants of “Boogaloo” filled the arena, an ode to Roach Jr.’s cousin and long-time head trainer Bernard “Boogaloo” Roach who recently passed away and was well respected in the Washington DC community.
As Round 7 ended, Roach Jr. landed his best combination of the fight, wobbling Perez in the center of the ring.
Roach Jr. closed the show with some powerful combinations in Round 10 that brought the crowd to their feet once again.
“I appreciate everybody who came out, we’ll do it bigger and better the next time,” said Roach Jr. who felt the support from the fans.
All in all, Roach Jr. showed off many of the attributes that make world champions–including patience, the ability to overcome adversity and respectable power.
Roach Jr. officially took home the victory by unanimous decision with scores of 99-91 three times.
With a successful fight night at home now behind him, Roach Jr. has his eyes set on big things in 2018.
“Hopefully either in title contention or for the title,” said Roach Jr. “I’m coming for the best, I want to be the best so every fight is going to be a step up so hopefully we’ll get one of the top 15 or 10.”
Header photo by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions
Alejandro "Alex" Burgos is a former Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Round By Round Boxing. He is a professional blogger, SEO Consultant and Marketing Director at Capital Practice Consulting in Washington, DC.