About an hour after winning the IBF 115-pound title last night at D.C. Armory, Luis Perez was taken to George Washington University Medical Center after telling ringside physicians he "didn't feel well all over."
Fight organizers said Perez was awake and alert when he left the Armory via ambulance and a hospital official later said the injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
Perez, 24, a native of Nicaragua, won a hard-fought decision over Felix Machado, claiming Machado's title and closing the champion's right eye in the process with a punishing left hand that dictated the fight.
Perez (21-1) won two judges' scorecards, 115-112 and 114-113, but lost on another, 117-110.
"I definitely thought that I won the decision," Perez said. "But I was a little worried because he is a tough champion and it was a very physical fight."
By the start of the seventh round, a sizeable welt had formed under Machado's right eye, and Perez moved quickly to finish Machado (22-4-1). But despite pinning Machado on the ropes several times, Perez was unable to avoid being tied up repeatedly as Machado regained his balance and avoided a stoppage. In the 10th, Perez wobbled Machado and almost completely shut his right eye by the end of the round.
"One thing I felt for sure was that the fight should have been stopped after the eighth or ninth round," Perez said. "I could tell he couldn't see, but he fought on like a true champion."