At 9:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Alfonso Perez finally figured out former two-time world champion Greg Haugen.
Unfortunately for Perez, his fight against Haugen had ended at 9:40 p.m., and until the moment after the eighth round when referee Robert Byrd mercifully halted the one-sided beating, Perez knew as much about how to fight Haugen as Moe, Larry or Curly knew about jet propulsion.
Haugen, 31, seeking a big-money fight against Hector Camacho or Julio Cesar Chavez next year, stepped back in time and into the tiny (900-seat) Reseda Country Club and hammered Perez decisively in the super lightweight bout, closing Perez's left eye, cutting the right one and sending blood pouring from his nose and mouth.
Moments after the bout ended, Perez offered this assessment:
"He was too strong for me. I knew he was a world champion and I was a little scared even before the fight."
Haugen started slowly, peppering Perez only with left jabs for two rounds. In the third, his right hand joined the festivities, thumping regularly against Perez's face for the remainder of the fight.
After the bell ending the eighth, Byrd informed Perez that his face could take the rest of the night off. There was no objection.
"I felt OK, but my knee hurt," Haugen said. He injured the left knee five weeks ago, stepping into a hole while on a training run. "After the fifth round, it really bothered me."
Haugen (29-4-1), who earned $1.2 million in his last bout, a 12-round loss to Camacho in May, said he will fight one more time at the Country Club before seeking another big-money bout. He weighed 143, seven pounds over the lightweight limit.
He won the International Boxing Federation lightweight title in 1986, lost it a year later in a bloody brawl against Vinny Pazienza but regained the title in 1988 with a decision in a rematch against Pazienza. Haugen is the only fighter to beat Camacho. He accomplished that in February in a 12-round decision before losing in the rematch in May.
Perez, 21, weighed 142 1/2. He is 13-9. And very impressed with Haugen.
In the second bloodiest fight of the night, heavyweight Rocky Pepeli of Burbank scored a technical knockout over Bobby Quarry of Bakersfield at 2 minutes 6 seconds of the fifth round in a scheduled eight-round bout.
A quick left hook ripped open a deep cut under Quarry's right eye, and seconds later, when another left hook sent Quarry's mouthpiece skidding across the canvas, ringside physician Robert Karn halted the fight. Pepeli (227) is 13-3-1. Quarry (221) is 10-10-2. He is the brother of 1970s heavyweight contender Jerry Quarry.
In an earlier heavyweight bout, Lionel Butler of Venice stopped Don Askew of Los Angeles at 2:06 of the first round.
In a four-round junior middleweight bout, Benny Barrentos (158) of San Fernando scored a split decision in his pro debut against Harout Ter Panoshian (159) of Glendale. Panoshian is 2-1. In the first bout, middleweight William Krijnen of Chino Hills scored a unanimous decision over Mario Vaca of Guadalajara.