March 27, 2004
By Trinidad Guzman at ringside
In the only other women’s bout of the night, Olivia Gerula Periera 5-6-2 (1) was forced to go six hard rounds against Betty Stephens 2-1 (0) en route to the unanimous decision win.
Periera enjoyed the height and reach advantage over the stout Stephens and used it to her advantage by popping the shorter fighter with thudding left jabs and right hands as Stephens looked to force her way on the inside and turn the bout into a brawl.
The early rounds showcased Stephens rushing in towards Periera with little regard for any type of defense. With such an easy target in front of her she would have been forced to try really hard not to land flush on her advancing foe, and land flush she did, and did it often, snapping back the head of Stephens with devastating right hands that quickly reddened the face of the game brawler.
The few times that Stephens was able to rush in and get inside on her opponent she found some success with looping wide shots to the head and body, but the counter punching ability of Periera combined with the face first defensive style of Stephens was a recipe for disaster for the previously undefeated fighter.
By the third round, the amount of flush shots that Stephens had been taking for the entire bout began to take their toll and she started to fade badly in the fight.
From this point on she was left with little in the gas tank and was forced to try to sit on the outside until she could regain a burst of energy and once again push forward. In the meantime, Periera was going to work with crisp, clean, right hands that pushed Stephens back, forcing her to become even more dormant with her offense production.
Sensing that she had her opponent where she wanted her, Periera began to incorporate respectable bodywork that took away any hope of a late rally by Stephens.
In the end, the punch output and overall better polished boxing skills, allowed Periera to come away with the hard fought unanimous decision win by scores of 60-54, 60-54 and 60-54