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Cardona Gets Technical KO of Perez

February 27, 1999

LEDYARD, Conn. (AP) _ Israel ``Pito″ Cardona held onto his USBA and NABF lightweight titles when Joel Perez failed to come out of his corner for the eighth round Friday night at the Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Perez’s left eye was nearly swollen shut when his corner and Dr. Joseph Charpentieri decided that Perez (24-3-2) could not continue.

Cardona was credited with a technical knockout victory in the seventh round. Cardona (31-2) was comfortably ahead on all three judges’ scorecards when the bout was stopped.

Cardona dominated the fight with power punching, landing several good combinations to the head of Perez.

Perez got the better of some exchanges, particularly in the fourth round, but his punches weakened as the fight wore on.

There were no knockdowns in the fight.

Cardona is ranked the No. 1 contender by the IBF. He is ranked No. 4 by the World Boxing Association and No. 10 by the World Boxing Council.

Unbeaten IBF lightweight champion Shane Mosley must make a mandatory title defense against Cardona by June, but Mosley may move up to the 140-pound weight division before then.

Cardona hopes to fight for the WBA lightweight title against champion Jean Baptiste Mendy. Promoter Frank Gelb said he hopes to match Cardona against Mendy in late spring or early summer.

Cardona has won six straight fights since losing to Charles ``The Natural″ Murray by decision in a non-title bout on May 25, 1997.

Perez has one win in his last six fights, including two losses to James Leija in NABF title fights. He has also had two technical draws in his last six fights, including one with current WBC lightweight champion Cesar Bazan.

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