Cuban heavyweight Mike Perez had a big debut on HBO a couple of months back when he beat Magomed Abdusalamov in a heavyweight rumble of epic proportions, but tonight in Montreal, he didn't look himself, and was lucky to escape with a draw against underdog veteran Carlos Takam.
One has to wonder whether or not Perez (20-0-1, 12 KO) has shaken the mental effects of his fight with Abdusalamov, who wound up in a medically-induced coma that ended his career after that bout. And perhaps overlooked because of that is the physical damage that Perez also took in that fight -- he absorbed plenty of shots that night himself, and a two-month turnaround may have simply been too soon.
Takam (29-1-1, 23 KO) really took over starting in round six, as he planted his feet inside and was able to work Perez over. The Cuban's arms got heavier and heavier as the fight went on, and he didn't seem to have his usual snap or speed tonight. Takam didn't have a special performance or anything, but he saw an opening and took it.
BLH had the fight 97-93 for Takam, giving him rounds six through ten after a 3-2 start in Perez's favor. Official scores were 96-94 (Michael Buffer did not announce who got that card) and 95-95 two times for the majority draw.