By Will Alenjandro – THE RING MAGAZINE: Every so often, one comes across a fight so well-matched that it will produce pulse-pounding action no matter how many times it takes place. Here’s hoping that Wilky Campfort versus Decarlo Perez will become a series, for their eight rounds of pulse-pounding action was a treat that should be experienced again and again.
For a fight that featured no knockdowns or violent shifts of momentum, Campfort-Perez was as good as boxing gets. The stylistic battle lines were drawn immediately – Perez the boxer and Campfort the slugger – but what made this fight special was the combination of high-octane pace and excellent technique. Their exceptionally fast punches were delivered in tight, highly disciplined arcs and despite the incredible punishment each man absorbed they somehow managed to amp up the pace in the late rounds.
Like Mchunu-Durodola, Campfort-Perez managed to defy conventional and statistical wisdom. First, Campfort, a Florida-based Haitian, emerged with the split decision victory over the local fighter. And second, Campfort prevailed despite throwing fewer punches (646-725 overall) and landing far fewer (237 to 300 overall, 14-62 jabs and 223-238 power).
So how did Campfort raise his record to 16-1(9) while dropping Perez’s to 11-3-1 (4)? Effective aggression and heavier punching.
By plowing forward every second of every round, Campfort made Perez look as if he was swimming upstream even though more of his punches were getting through. That counts in closely contested rounds that require judgments beyond the usual, obvious ones. Campfort’s thumping punches trumped Perez’s scientific sharpshooting in the eyes of two judges while Perez’s more diversified attack impressed one of the jurists.
The CompuBox statistics further illustrated how good a fight this was. The normal junior middleweight averages 58.2 punches and 17.9 connects per round. Campfort averaged 80.8 and 29.7 while Perez averaged 90.7 and 37.5. The typical 154-pounder uncorks 33.6 power punches and 12.5 power connects per round and again they far exceeded those thresholds (62.6 and 27.9 for Campfort, 58.1 and 29.8 for Perez). Despite their elevated activity levels, they also were exceptionally accurate. Perez landed 41 percent of his total punches to Campfort’s 37 percent and 51 percent of his power shots to Campfort’s 45 percent.
This fight shattered several established CompuBox axioms: Perez lost the fight despite throwing more punches, landing more punches and exceeding the 50 percent mark in power connects while taking less than 50 percent of his opponent’s hooks, crosses and uppercuts.
Finally, as punishing as the pace had been in the first six rounds they improbably kicked it up in the final six minutes. Perez, who had been averaging of 36 of 88 overall in the first six rounds, went 42 of 98 in rounds seven and eight while Campfort (26 of 74 over the first six) surged to 38 of 95 in round seven and 44 of 109 in round eight, the latter of which were his highs for the fight in both categories. Moreover, in rounds seven and eight Perez went 72 of 143 (50.3 percent) In power punches while Campfort was 78 of 162 (48.2 percent). In that category, Perez and Campfort did more in two rounds than Mchunu (69 of 142) and Durodola (58 of 178) achieved in their entire 10 rounder.