Never judge a fighter by his size.
Though Eloy “The Prince” Perez normally enters each and every fight with a height disadvantage, the revved up junior lightweight with ties to Oaxaca, Rochester, Washington and Salinas, California has yet to be tamed.
All he asks is “who’s next?”
Stepping up to face undefeated NABO junior lightweight titleholder Perez (22-0-2, 6 KOs) will be hard-hitting Ira Terry (24-6, 14 KOs) of Memphis, Tenn. The regional title match takes place at the Sherwood Inn, at Salinas on Friday Oct. 28. It will be televised on Telefutura.
Ever since Perez entered his pro career in 2005 the ever critical boxing media ignored the quick punching boxer because of a lack of knockouts on his record. Because fans prefer KOs to decisions, the Salinas boxer seemed to be overlooked by many.
Wins over Roger “Speedy” Gonzalez, David Rodela and Derrick Campos who are all dangerous fighters seemed to matter little to the boxing media. Even a win over the ultra-fast and powerful Dominic Salcido did not convince many that Perez was a show-stopper.
“Dominic is a great fighter. He can be great. He’s got skills, he’s fast he’s strong,” said Perez of his former foe Salcido who tested him all 10 rounds to win by majority decision last year. “I just told myself I can’t lose.”
Despite that impressive win the accolades did not come.
Last month, against the extremely dangerous Daniel “Azuquita” Jimenez, the pride of Salinas let loose with a blistering barrage of blows that dropped the Puerto Rican bomber twice before he could say “round one.” Round two ended even quicker for a dominating knockout win for Perez.
Perhaps expecting a power advantage, Jimenez seemed to casually enter the fight looking for the knockout but was tagged with left hooks and right hands that had his own head spinning. Jimenez looked up from the mat as if Joe Frazier had hit him.
“I had told Golden Boy Promotions that Perez was hitting much harder in the gym. He’s starting to sit down on his punches now,” said promoter Don Chargin who is one of several promoters staging the fight card on Friday. “He reminds me of Raul Rojas.”
Rojas was a big punching featherweight from the San Pedro area who was blessed with big power and learned to box. Chargin was matchmaking at the Olympic Auditorium when Rojas captured the WBA featherweight title in 1968.
“The difference is that Eloy Perez is a boxer that has learned to punch,” said Chargin who’s seen thousands of boxers pass through the professional ranks. “He started out not much of a puncher. But oh boy he can punch now.”
Barely one month has passed since the impressive knock out of Jimenez but Perez is anxious to step back in the ring against elite competition like Adrien Broner, Vicente Escobedo or Juan Carlos Salgado.
“I want to fight the best, it’s just how I am,” explains Perez who played football, wrestled, played soccer and baseball in high school. “I don’t talk mess, but when I get in the ring, its game time. I’ll fight any of those dudes.”
Chargin chuckles a bit when he hears about Perez’s eagerness.
“Maybe early next year,” says Chargin who’s guided many a fighter’s career. “He’s about two fights away from fighting the best. He has the talent, he just needs a little more.”
Bennie Georgino, who promoted Perez’s first two professional fights in 2005, said he remembered a little of the quick-punching kid who fought as if his dinner was at stake.
“I remember saying if he keeps himself out of trouble he’s going to be a champion some day,” said Georgino, who managed former world champions Jaime Garza, Danny “Little Red” Lopez and Alberto Davila. “He’s a good prospect.”
Perez loves to fight and wants a world title.
“I’m not a trouble maker but I just love competition,” Perez says, adding that a world title is the ultimate goal.
Chargin patiently hears about Perez’s ambitions and pauses a second before commenting “it’s not about fighting for the world title, it’s about winning a world title.”
Big or small that’s the ultimate goal for Perez.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV