Colombia’s Darley Perez has officially signed to face former featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa in a battle of unbeatens on June 8 at Bell Centre in Montreal on HBO, Perez’s promoter, Gary Shaw, announced on Monday.
“You have to understand that we’ve been waiting on an opportunity like this for Perez to make his mark. Some may feel like it is Darley’s chance to pull off the shocking upset, but I see it as more of a coming out party,” said Shaw, who handles Perez with Thompson Boxing Promotions.
“We’ve had him caged in waiting for the chance to unleash the beast and we could have pulled the trigger a couple fights back, and then the world would be aware of his chances in this fight. But because we knew that an opportunity like this was only a matter of time, we waited, and now he will show he’s been a top contender all along.”
The 29-year-old Perez is 28-0 with 19 knockouts.
“I wouldn’t dare take Gamboa lightly. I’ll train hard for a tough fight and he’d be well-advised to do the same because I’m a top fighter,” said Perez.
“I will prove to everyone that I am a world-class fighter and the rest of the world will figure out what I already know after June 8.”
In his last fight in December on the undercard of Juan Manuel Marquez’s sixth-round knockout of Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas, Gamboa (22-0, 16 KOs) rose from a ninth-round knockdown after scoring one each in the second and seventh to secure a unanimous decision for the WBA’s interim junior lightweight belt over Michael Farenas.
The victory had Gamboa, 31, in the ring for the first time since September of 2011, when he he decisioned former titleholder Daniel Ponce de Leon.
“I keep looking to prove my worth, and will now do so in trying to win a fourth world title in a third weight class, the lightweight division,” said Gamboa. “I like challenging myself. On June 8, I plan on showing my best yet again.”
Gamboa’s promoter is rapper-turned-promoter Curtis Jackson, aka 50 Cent.
“The fight on June 8 between Yuriorkis Gamboa and Darley Perez is going to be very exciting,” said Jackson.
“Gamboa has been training really hard, and his fighting style is aggressive, while Perez showcases a calmer demeanor in the ring, which will make for a very competitive showing.”
The co-feature will match RING and WBC 175-pound champion Chad Dawson (31-2, 17 KOs) against hard-punching super middleweight contender Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (20-1, 17 KOs) in a clash of southpaws that is being co-promoted by Shaw and Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM), who handles Stevenson.
Dawson is coming off September’s 10th-round stoppage loss to RING super middleweight champ Andre Ward, who floored Dawson three times.
Stevenson is coming off last month’s sixth-round stoppage of Darnell Boone, with his seventh straight knockout win avenging his second-round stoppage loss to Boone in April of 2010.
SERGEI KOVALEV-CORNELIUS WHITE TO BE AN IBF ELIMINATOR
The IBF recently sanctioned a June 14 bout between Russian light heavyweight Sergei Kovalev and Houston’s Cornelius White as the eliminator for the No. 1 position in its rankings behind mandatory challenger Karo Murat of Germany, who will face titleholder Bernard Hopkins on July 13 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Kovalev (20-0-1, 18 KOs) will meet White (21-1, 16 KOs) as part of a tripleheader to be televised on NBC’s Fight Night from the the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa., that will include Philadelphia heavyweight Bryant Jennings (16-0, 8 KOs) against Russian Andrey Fedosov (24-2, 19 KOs).
Also on the June 14 card will be Puerto Rican welterweight Ronald Cruz (17-1, 12 KOs) against Jaime Herrera (10-2, 5 KOs), of Franklin, Ill. The event is being promoted by Main Events and Russell Peltz.
Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) defeated Tarvoris Cloud to win the title last month, extending the 48-year-old’s own record as the oldest man to win a significant crown.
The Philadelphian originally set the mark by outpointing Jean Pascal to win the WBC light heavyweight belt at 46 in May of last year. Murat is 25-1-1 with 15 knockouts.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER WELCOMS FEMALE FILIPINO FIGHTER ANA JULATON
During the weeks leading up to his May 4 unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero in defense of his WBC welterweight belt, RING No. 1-rated pound-for-pound and 147-pound champion, Floyd Mayweather Jr., accomodated one the Philippines’ most popular sports figures in female junior featherweight Ana Julaton (12-3-1, 2 KOs).
Thanks to a mutual friend who coaches at UNLV, Julaton was permitted by Mayweather to train at his Las Vegas-based gym.
“At first, I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure how he would interact with me, because I was, like, the only Filipino person in the gym. I’m just sitting there watching, and with me being Filipino, in our culture, we’re always thinking about Manny Pacquiao,” said Julaton, a resident of Daly City, Calif..
“Every time we think of Manny Pacquiao, we’re always thinking of Floyd Mayweather. So, I wasn’t sure how the mindset would be of everyone in the gym, like, ‘Is she going to ask about Manny Pacquiao,’ or, ‘Is she going to do this or do that.’ But I didn’t get any of that. Floyd was just really accommodating. He was really cool. It was really nice. He doesn’t call me, ‘Ana,’ he calls me ‘Champ.’ “
Julaton said she was impressed with Mayweather’s training regimen.
“I’m thinking I was there for about six weeks. It might have been about two months. I was going back and forth from here in Las Vegas, to Reno, to San Francisco and back. But what you watch on video is only a small fraction of what he actually does on a daily basis,” said Julaton.
“For me, I appreciate that. He would hardly take any breaks. It blew me away. It was really refreshing to see first-hand. It was pretty cool seeing Floyd in action. He’s a really cool guy. For him to be at the level he was, training for an important fight, he was always very, very cool withe me.”
Photo by Stacey Verbeek
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]