Lynn’s James Perkins made his professional boxing debut at Encore Boston Harbor, recording a majority draw after a tough toe-to-toe battle with Boston’s Aaron Trecell Smith, who also making his debut as a pro.
Perkins, whose nickname is “Pit Bull,” landed several powerful shots throughout the four-round cruiserweight bout but Smith was able to respond to the barrage and land some good shots of his own.
Perkins, a 2011 graduate of St. Mary’s High School, had a large contingent of Lynn fans in the audience, including St. Mary’s Trustee Michael Reddy, his former hockey coach, Mark Lee, and hockey linemate Brendan Mageary. James’s mother, Lisa Cadigan, was also at ringside.
Mageary was impressed by Perkins’ boxing skills.
“James put on a great show,” said Mageary, son of Lynn Police Chief Michael Mageary. “He had a lot of support here and I thought he made a great debut. I played high school hockey with James and he’s always been a great kid. A couple of years ago I watched one of his amateur fights and tonight I was glad to watch him in his pro debut.”
Perkins received praise from boxing fans for his rugged debut in an exciting bout. One judge scored it 39-37 in his favor, while the other two judges had it 38-38, resulting in a draw for both fighter and respective 0-0-1 records.
“It was a hard fight,” said Perkins, whose amateur record was 5-1 with two knockouts.“My opponent was tough. I felt I could have done better but it is what it is.”
Perkins was a center iceman for Mark Lee’s Spartans, helping to lead the team to the Division 1 state semifinals two years in a row.
Perkins’ home gym is JR13 Boxing in Saugus. His trainer is Joey Riccardi.