Whilst fans may be talking about how shot both Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal are we're sad to report that we think we've seen the best that Cuba's Mike Perez (20-0-1, 12) has to offer. Fighting for the first time since his brilliant but tragic bout with Magomed Abdusalamov, Perez looked a shadow of his self as he went through the motions for 4 or 5 rounds before being out worked, out landed and generally dominated by Carlos Takam (29-1-1, 23) in a bout that was scored a draw. The bout, the first big Heavyweight one of the new year, started so slow that fans were clearly uninterested after 4 rounds though the final 5 rounds, which saw Takam coming on strong and arguably doing enough to take the victory.
The Perez/Takam bout was the biggest of the night in terms of Heavyweight bouts, but on the same card fans got a chance to see the return of Canadian based Colombian Oscar Rivas (13-0, 8). Rivas, AKA "Kaboom", had been out of the ring for more than a year before returning to defeat former Cruiserweight title challenger Shawn Cox (17-5, 16) in 3 rounds. Cox has now been stopped in 4 of his last 5 and although the victory can look pointless when you look at it in that way it was all about just getting Rivas back in to the ring following a number of medical issues.
On a seperate card, on that took place in Florida, fans got to see American based Greek Thanasis Michaloudis (8-0, 6) stop the more experienced Willie Chisolm (7-21, 4) in 3 rounds whilst Chaen Chess (4-1, 2) took a decision over Hector Hodge (1-2) in a low level contest. Whilst we're looking forward to seeing Michaloudis in action we can't help but think that he's a long way from being in a televised bout.
Outside of North America fans got to see a predictable results as Jean Francois Traore (5-18, 2) took a decision over the win-less Costantin Marian Armenga (0-11) in a bout that we imagine no one outside of the fighters own relatives really had an interest in.