The opening bout of Showtime’s Championship Broadcast proved to be a good one as super middleweights Sakio Bika (32-5-2, 21 knockouts) and Marco Antonio Periban (20-1, 13 knockouts) engaged in a competitive and exciting 12-round fight.
From the opening to the closing bell, Bika and Periban engaged in a bout that seemed just about even the entire way through. Aside from a first round that saw both fighters rather tentative and respectful of their opponents skills, the bout turned into the type of brawl where the only clear winner was the audience. Both fighter’s relied on a stiff and seemingly constant jab, but both used them for very different reasons. Bika used his jab to set up a lunging offense against the much more agile Periban, while Periban was content to keep Bika at bay with the jab and counter him any time he lunged forward.
This rinse and repeat style of fighting lent itself to a competitive bout that proved to be an absolute nightmare to score. With both fighters managing to land their most significant shots with some consistency, arguments could be made for either of the fighters winning rounds. As close as it seemed however, many seemed to agree that Bika was winning the fight. Although it was close, it was easy to see that Bika’s awkward style of movement and punching was frustrating the ultra determined Periban.
Still, Periban would manage to stay in the fight and make his case for walking away with the WBC championship. The back and forth nature of the bout ultimately led to a 12th round where all the excitement hit a fever pitch. Sensing how close the fight probably is on the scorecards and both fighters absolutely overcome with exhaustion, Bika and Periban decided to abandon all technique and tactics as they traded bombs in hopes of stealing the fight. It was an exciting end to a competitive fight, but it certainly didn’t make the bout any easier to score.
The judges scorecards reflected just how close the contest really was, but the victor was still clear. Sakio Bika was awarded the majority decision victory on scores of (114-114), (116-112), and (115-113). With the victory, Bika finally won the major title he’s always worked for and there are talks that he may have earned the rematch with Andre Ward that he so desires. As for Periban, he has proved to be a very real threat in a rather shallow super middleweight division. Although the argument can be made that he won the bout, Periban can’t be ashamed coming out the loser in a bout like this. It’s safe to say both fighter’s may be a fixture in broadcasts to come.