“Chop-Chop” a 19-year pro veteran, entered the ring area in a white and red mask to parry Nery’s mask. Referee Rockye Burke inexplicably allowed both fighters to maintain this absurd charade while giving them final instructions.
He had previously tapped Nery on the shoulder, to come to ring center. But the flamboyant one, was already into his pre fight dance routine and moving with one of the Ring Girls.
When the action started, Chop Chop used his height and reach advantage, sticking out the southpaw right lead. Nery cupped his gloves and took few blows to the head, although his visibly brushed off some rib ticklers.
Referee Burke did well to separate both fighters at the end of round three when there was a furious exchange leading up to the bell and tempers were fraying.
Unfazed by Nery’s unique style, Chop Chop was admonished, but not point deducted in round six for a lethargic back-hander.
Nery closed the distance and used hand speed to land to head and body as the fight wore on. But on the several occasions he made a palpable breakthrough, he maddeningly paused to admire his handiwork and preen – which increasingly irked the crowd.
Judges Francisco Flores and Humberto Manjarrez scored 115-113, while Jerry Benzor scored 115-114, all in favor of Nery Saguilan, who after the bout ended challenged local Miguel “Micky” Roman to a showdown.
Nery had predicted a victory would be his US visa to the big time. A more focused and less patchy performance is going to be needed!