Perozzi suffers painful loss
Teresa Perozzi’s dreams of capturing the vacant IBA world middleweight title ended in tears after a third-round stoppage against a relentless Kali Reis at The Fairmont Southampton last night.
Perozzi was pounded throughout the one-sided bout, with Reis dropping the Bermudian twice with a well-timed left hook in the first round before sending her careering to the canvas again in the second after a vicious right uppercut-left hook combination.
Reis, who lived up to her “KO” moniker with a convincing display of accuracy and aggression, continued to inflict more damage on her clearly-disorientated opponent during the third round, with Steve Smoger, the referee, deciding enough was enough after a brave Perozzi failed to answer a flurry of ferocious blows.
It was a sad end to Perozzi’s first bout in more than 18 months, having taken a break from boxing after giving birth to her second son, Gabriel, just eight months ago, and must now leave huge question marks over the 40-year-old’s future.
Although Perozzi looked aesthetically in impressive shape, she appeared heavy on her feet and lacked lateral movement, too often a stationary target for Reis, who was ultimately too quick and too young for her southpaw adversary.
A devastated Perozzi, however, insisted that her age played no part in her painful defeat, admitting that Reis was simply the better boxer on the night.
“I feel like I’m not even here right now, like this didn’t just happen,” Perozzi said. “I can’t explain it and I don’t know where I went wrong — she was just the better fighter tonight.”
Perozzi, who had a slight knee injury, revealed that a rematch clause had been included in the contract, but said it was too soon to make a decision on her next move.
“I need to make the right decision for my long-term future,” said Perozzi, whose previous two bouts against American Tori Nelson for the vacant WBC world middleweight title in October 2012 and February 2013, ended in draws.
“If I’m not 100 per cent, then there’s no point in trying to fight for a belt.
“I don’t think age had anything to do with it; I don’t think having a baby had anything to do with it.”
For Reis, 28, it was a case of mission accomplished.
“I went in there and gave it my all and I executed the game plan,” said the Rhode Islander. “I wanted to see what [Perozzi’s] energy was like and she seemed a little timid, so I just did what I had to do and didn’t stop throwing punches until the referee came in.”
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