J’Leon Love Underwhelms in Decision Victory Over Periban


In the opening bout of the Mayweather vs. Maidana pay-per-view broadcast, J’Leon Love (17-0, 10 knockouts) took on Marco Antonio Periban (20-1-1, 13 knockouts) in a ten-round super middleweight contest. Ever since earning a controversial decision victory over Gabe Rosado, and failing a post-fight drug test in 2013, Love has been determined to redeem himself in the eyes of the fans. Thanks to a recent penchant for fighting rather weak opposition this may prove to be a goal that will take much longer to reach than anticipated; and if his performance against Periban was any indicator, it may remain a goal that goes unfulfilled.

As the opening bell signaled the start of the bout, there were no surprises early. Love is known as a bit of a slow-starter and this allowed Periban to attack early and establish his gameplan. As Periban focused on offense, Love’s defense became the focal point of the fight early. With fluid footwork and rather well-timed head movement, Love was able to weave in and out of Periban’s range to implement his own attack.

By round three, both fighters had become set in their ways. Periban relied on sheer determination and aggression while Love relief on superior boxing technique and defense. As the round came closer and closer to a close it was apparent that Periban was increasing his punch output in hopes that his power would make up for his lack of hand speed.

As frustrating as it may have been for Periban at first, things began to pay off by round five when he successfully managed to hurt Love with a quick barrage of punches. Periban was relentless in his attack and pursued Love along the ropes. Sensing victory, Periban continued his assault before Love managed to start clinching up, forcing the referee to break them up.

The crowd immediately rained down “boo”s upon the referee’s actions knowing that it very well spared Love from his first loss, and robbed Periban of a much needed victory. Love made it back to his corner badly hurt, but came forward in the following rounds with a certain ferocity that was absent before.

Both fighters managed to give and take each others best shots, but thanks to the mid-round flurry, Periban grew fatigued. This allowed Love to once again slow the pace as well as the ability to control the fight with a stiff jab that kept Periban at bay.

Periban seemed content with his fate until the tenth round in which he opened with a volley of blows to Love’s head and body. It did little to ultimately change the outcome of the fight as it had become clear that Love would walk away with the decision win. The judges awarded J’Leon Love the unanimous decision victory on scores of (95-93), (97-92), and (96-93).

The bout and its outcome will undboutedly be remembered as controversial thanks to the referee’s sudden and rather unnecessary intervention in round 5, but in the end it was just another necessary win for Love in his quest towards legitimacy; and just like any good quest, it goes on…