"My manager told me the guy is scared." Efe Ajagba reflects on his bizarre victory by disqualification over Curtis Harper on August 24th.
On August 24th, PBC on FS1 presented a three-hour telecast from The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The opening bout featured fast-rising prospect Eimantas Stanionis earning a unanimous decision win over veteran Levan Ghvamichava in an eight-round welterweight matchup. Then, Dominican Republic’s Jeison Rosario handed welterweight prospect Jamontay Clark his first setback as a pro. Rosario scored a knockdown in round three that sent Clark tumbling out of the ring. Clark beat the 20-second count, but Rosario continued his onslaught to score a unanimous decision victory.
In the co-main event middleweight contender Willie Monroe Jr. boxed his way to a unanimous decision against Javier Francisco Maciel. Monore dominated the fight, winning all but one of the rounds on the scorecards. And in the main event, welterweight contender Jamal James put on a show for his hometown crowd in Minneapolis. James sent Montes to the canvas in the second round with a big left hook to the body, scoring a highlight-reel KO of Montes and his fourth-straight win.
But the night’s main storyline came from a scheduled heavyweight bout that ended before it ever began. Unbeaten heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba was scheduled to face Curtis Harper in a six-round bout, but Harper had other plans. Harper exited the ring immediately after the opening bell rang, opting not to face Ajagba. Ajagba was declared the winner by disqualification. Joining us this week to reflect on the bizarre victory is the 2016 Olympian from Nigerian himself.
That’s all for this episode of PBC Jabs. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time as we continue to bring you the best in boxing!
Cuban welterweight breaks down his Sept. 8 WBC title eliminator against Argentine Cesar Barrionuevo.
BROOKLYN — There is no looking ahead to future fights for top 147-pound contenders Yordenis Ugas of Cuba and Cesar Barrionuevo of Argentina as the two sluggers prepare for their WBC title eliminator matchup on Saturday, September 8 live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™ and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The SHOWTIME main event will pit two of the division's biggest names against each other as former 147-pound champions Danny "Swift" Garcia and "Showtime" Shawn Porter square off for the vacant WBC Welterweight World Championship. The winner of Ugas vs. Barrionuevo earns the WBC's second mandatory position to the winner of Garcia vs. Porter.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, in association with DSG Promotions, start at $50 and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Here is what the 32-year-old Ugas had to say about his September 8 matchup:
Overall, how is your training going in Las Vegas and who have you sparred with?
"We have been training at Fernando Vargas' gym, the Feroz Fight Factory gym. We've been sparring with Jose Benavidez Jr. and Diego Magdaleno, and a few other locals. Nothing is really different with this camp compared to others. I'm 100 percent committed to training for this fight."
What are the advantages of training in Las Vegas?
"I've been in Las Vegas for the past two and a half years. This place has changed my life. I came out here and started training with Ismael Salas, who has trained many of the best Cuban boxers. There is such good sparring out here, and there's also mountains. I love running up Mount Charleston. This is just a perfect place for a fighter to train."
How are you preparing to face a southpaw like Cesar Barrionuevo?
"We are sparring with lefties and trying to mirror exactly what we think we'll see. The Argentine fighters always come to fight and are well prepared. They always go to war. Luckily I like to go to war too. So I think we have good styles that will give the fans a great fight."
What else do you know about your opponent?
"I've seen some footage and that's it. It's not really about what he does or brings, it's all about staying focused on what I do best. I don't take much time off so I'm always in the gym training. I did go down to Miami a few weeks ago and actually trained in Barrionuevo's gym and met some guys he works with, but we never crossed paths."
You are returning to fight on SHOWTIME for a second time. Does that give you an advantage?
"Everyone who knows boxing knows I'm the more experienced fighter. This is one of his first times he's fighting outside Argentina. I know he's a big deal there, but he's never seen a stage like this, with all the bright lights. I'm going to be prepared for the best Argentine fighter that shows up that night."
What is your prediction of the Garcia-Porter fight?
"I think they are two great fighters and whoever is the most prepared on that night will win the fight. Because this is a WBC eliminator, I know there's a chance I could fight one of them if I win my fight. I would love to fight either of them."
Garcia vs Porter Round by Round Fight Summary. Rounds are displayed numerically as columns. Each row will display one of the following: W for win, L for loss, KO for knockout, or TKO for technical knock out. An empty column means that data
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Shawn Porter wins second world title via unanimous decision over Danny Garcia
Shawn Porter became WBC Welterweight World Champion Saturday night as he earned a narrow unanimous decision victory over Danny Garcia in a hotly contested fight live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
All three judges scored the fight in favor of Porter (116-112, 115-113, 115-113) in an electrifying fight in front of 13,058 fans at the 30th professional boxing event at Barclays Center.
Porter earned the belt that Keith Thurman, who previously defeated Porter and Garcia, was forced to vacate due to an injury.
In an anticipated title fight that was widely regarded as a 50-50 contest in boxing’s deepest division, Garcia vs. Porter played out as advertised. The difference in total power punches landed throughout the 12-round battle was just five, with Garcia holding the narrow advantage.
In a matchup of accuracy vs. activity, Porter looked to outwork Garcia. He was relentless in his attack and threw 742 total punches and 544 power punches, landing 25 percent. Garcia, on the other hand, was the more precise fighter, landing the higher percentage and more meaningful punches. He connected on 46 percent of the 304 power punches he threw. Due to the contrasting styles, the three judges were only able to all agree on four rounds.
“I made a prediction and a hard one to live up to,” said Porter. “I said I wasn’t leaving New York without this belt and I’m not leaving New York without this belt.
“I knew he was going to be accurate. The game plan for me was to be accurate from the outside and show I could beat him without roughing him up on the ropes.”
A disappointed Garcia clearly disagreed with the judges’ scorecards.
“He was throwing a lot,” said Garcia, who falls to 7-2 in world title fights. “I had my defense tight, so I wasn’t feeling his punches. I thought I landed the clearer shots and won this fight.
“I have to sit back, relax and see what’s next for me.”
While it might take a little longer to fill the championship shoes of his older brother Gary Russell Jr., Antonio had no problem picking up a new skill with his hands—teaching himself sign language over the past month.
Among the six fighting Russell brothers—all southpaws named after their father and trainer, Gary Sr. — Antonio's the one who taught himself sign language over the past month, gently plaits his two daughters’ hair into salon-worthy braids, and most aggressively pursues knockouts with those same hands balled tightly into fists.
Nicknamed “Another” Russell, the slender 5-foot-6 Antonio is also the lone sibling competing on tonight's PBC on FS1 card (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) at The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in pursuit of his fifth straight stoppage against Nick Otieno (31-14, 13 KOs). Russell's fight is part of a special 90-minute prelims telecast that kicks off the show at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.
But the 25-year-old Russell (11-0, 9 KOs) won’t be without his family: On hand with Gary Sr. will be WBC 126-pound champion Gary “Mr.” Russell Jr., undefeated 140-pound Gary Antuanne, and assistant trainer, Gary Allan III.
“Antuanne and Gary’s styles are similar, hitting guys with real sharp, real fast, five, six or seven-punch combinations. With me, I’m a no-nonsense fighter whose foot’s on the gas the entire fight. I wanna go in there, get the job done and get it over with,” said Antonio.
“The first round, I’m always looking to take my guys out. The quicker we take him out, the less damage we have to take, or possible damage that can happen – head butts, low blows, whatever. If he makes it through the first round, we’re gonna season him up, but the entire fight I’m looking for a shot or several shots that will end my opponent.”
“Gary and Antuanne will go on the prowl to hurt you, but with Antonio, there is a totally different mental aspect to his aggression,” Gary Sr. said. “Antonio is more the guy who can get you out of there with exceptional punching power in either of his hands. Plus, Antonio’s big for 118, so he can go to 122 or 126 and still be a nice size for that division and carry his power with him into the higher weights.”
It was a repeat of a family affair of a year earlier on May 20 at the MGM Grand on Gary Sr.’s 58th birthday. Gary Sr., Gary Jr. and Allan worked the siblings’ corners.
“ Gary’s opened the door, creating an awesome legacy and some big shoes to fill, and Antuanne and I have the skills and abilities and embrace the opportunity to walk through it. ”Gary Antonio Russell, younger brother of Featherweight Champ Gary Russell Jr.
“I draw energy and motivation from my Dad and my brothers—all of which goes into the ring where you’re never just fighting me. Gary’s opened the door, creating an awesome legacy and some big shoes to fill, and Antuanne and I have the skills and abilities and embrace the opportunity to walk through it,” said Antonio, who considers Gary Jr. his boxing role model.
“So the only difference in being the only one fighting in Minnesota is that I can’t drive right back to my house after the fight. I also hear it’s pretty cold out there, so I’ll bundle up. Other than that, I’ll go out there, get the ‘W,’ and come back home. Once all three of us get title belts, we can bring them home and defend them at MGM. As far as making a name for myself, that’s something that will happen as long as I continue to beat up my opponents.”
Admittedly the most “anti-social” of the brothers, Antonio spent a recent afternoon training in the isolation of The Enigma facility. Sweating profusely following a session of repeatedly banging a sledgehammer against an oversized tire, he spoke of a heightened irritability and desire for solitude as the fight nears.
“I’ve been ready to fight since last week, staying to myself, even with my family, which I love,” Antonio said. “I like my circle to stay small, that way, you don’t have to worry about nothing creating cancer in your circle.”
Playing nearby amid the various boxing equipment and apparatus were Antonio’s daughters, Nylah-Love, 6, and Geniya, 4, their father having neatly and delicately queued their hair into rows.
Antonio’s also learned to use his hands in another way toward expanding his fan base.
“I’ve picked up sign language,” Antonio said. “It’s a different way to reach out to my fans who are hearing impaired. I’m self-taught for over a month, and I’m almost fluent in it.”
For proof, Antonio mimes, to a visitor, his assessment of his father’s career guidance as well as his view on his own progression toward joining “Mr. Russell” as a world champion.
“I’m happy with how my Dad’s helped me along the way,” Antonio said. “I’ll say in five or six more fights. I’ll be ready for a title shot against anybody. I really don’t know. But I hope it’s soon.”
"I can tell you that the rumors are true."
This week on PBC Jabs, former featherweight champ Carl Frampton returns to the ring this Saturday, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder checks in before he heads over to Belfast, Northern Ireland, for some ringside commentating and we preview our August 24th FS1 show!
Former two-division champ Carl Frampton returns home to face Australia’s undefeated Luke Jackson at Windsor Park in an interim WBO 126-pound bout presented by Showtime Sports. Frampton is the current interim WBO title holder and with a win over Jackson there could be some big fights in line for him. But, there’s another big name who will be ringside for Frampton’s fight: WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder.
Wilder will provide live ringside commentary for the broadcast—which features a fight with fellow heavyweight and former unified champion Tyson Fury—streaming live on Showtime Boxing’s Facebook page and Showtime Sports’ Youtube channel which begins at 3:30pm ET/12:30pm PT. Wilder joins us this week in an exclusive interview to discuss his upcoming trip to Belfast and to address the rumors around a possible fight with Fury.
On August 24th PBC on FS1 returns from The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota as welterweight contender Jamal James headlines in his hometown to challenge Mexico’s Mahonry Montes. And in the co-feature middleweight contenders Willie Monroe Jr. and Immanuwel Aleem will square off. The broadcast start at 8pm ET / 5pm PT, live on FS1.
That's it for this week's PBC Jabs. Thanks for watching and we'll see you next time as we continue to bring you the best in boxing.
With his August 4th victory over Devon Alexander, Andre Berto likely put his name back on the radar of the top fighters in the welterweight division.
On August 4th PBC delivered plenty of boxing action on FOX and FS2. The night began on FS2 with a welterweight bout between former champion Luis Collazo and prospect Bryant Perrella. Collazo dominated the fight and had Perrella hurt in the later rounds. Perrella managed to tough it out and go the distance, but it was Collazo who pulled off the majority decision victory. Then, light heavyweight contender and Staten Island native Marcus Browne faced Dominican Lenin Castillo. Despite a 5th-round knockdown by Castillo, Browne used his speed and jab to control the bout and went on to win by unanimous decision.
The action continued on FOX with a co-main event featuring former middleweight champ Peter Quillin facing top contender J’Leon Love. Quillin delivered a higher output of punches and landed the bigger shots throughout the fight earning himself a decisive UD win. And in the main event, former welterweight world champs Andre Berto and Devon Alexander met in a 12-round bout. Alexander started the fight off strong scoring a third-round knockdown, but as the fight went into the later rounds Berto began his comeback and ultimately pulled out a narrow split decision. And joining us this week to reflect on his fight with Alexander is Berto himself.
In case you missed it, on August 4th, unbeaten light heavyweight Eleider Alvarez scored the biggest win of his career over Sergey Kovalev. Alvarez trailed on all three scorecards heading into the seventh-round, but the Canada-based Colombian knocked Kovalev down three times, resulting in the ref waiving the fight off and Alvarez claiming the WBO’s 175-pound title. Click here to read Alvarez’s reaction to the big win.
That’s all for this episode of PBC Jabs. Thank you for watching and we’ll see you next time as we continue to bring you the best in boxing!
Super lightweights Sharif Bogere and Juan Heraldez each score UD victories on a PBC on Bounce card from Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas.
Ladarius Miller holds off Dennis Galarza in a battle of lightweight prospects on a PBC on Bounce card on August 3, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Nabeel Ahmad/ Premier Boxing Champions)
Ladarius Miller and Dennis Galarza entered Friday night’s PBC on Bounce main event at a crossroads, two lightweights trying to make a name for themselves. After the end of 10 closely competitive rounds at Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas, it was Miller who walked away with the victory.
Miller (17-1, 5 knockouts) earned a unanimous decision, by way too wide scores of 99-91, 97-93, and a fair 96-94 margin. There wasn’t much to separate the two, but perhaps the judges favored the stiff left hook that Miller landed regularly.
“I fought a tough opponent but I felt like I went in there and did what I was supposed to do,” Miller said. “I thought I controlled the fight the way I wanted to, but it wasn’t my best performance. I know that I can come back even better.”
The two 135 pounders fought at a frigid pace mostly off their back foot. Miller took the lead more often than Galarza (16-4, 9 KOs), who seemed content to try and fight on the outside for much of the bout.
Miller dug some good left hooks to the body of Galarza and seemed to build an early lead, but Galarza came on in the middle rounds once he began to time his opponent's offense. Still, Galarza rarely strung together combinations, trying to win rounds by landing one big punch here and there.
Galarza popped a good jab, but was still out-jabbed by Miller, who had an edge in handspeed. Miller also hid behind his shoulder and flashed good head movement that made him a difficult target to hit.
“Galarza’s height was definitely difficult to deal with and I had to really work to get on the inside,” Miller said. “He tried to use his range and I had to make adjustments. I tried to keep him off balance and fight my fight.”
Miller was tripped to the canvas in the ninth round but it was correctly ruled a slip. There was quite a bit of holding throughout, making for an ugly fight at times.
Galarza’s level of activity made it hard to find rounds to score in his favor, but Miller wasn’t that much more effective. Still, it’s Miller who steps closer towards serious contention whereas Galarza has now dropped two straight fights.
One of the proteges of his promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miller has now won eight straight fights dating back to a six-round decision loss to Rolando Chinea in February 2016 in the same location as Friday night's fight—Sam’s Town.
The win puts Miller in the mix for a bigger fight in a crowded 135-pound division. Time is on Miller’s side as he just celebrated his 25th birthday a few weeks ago.
Before the fight, Miller was clamoring that he was going to put the lightweight division on notice. Instead, he may realize he’s still a couple fights away from being ready to fight for a world title.
“I’m ready to keep testing myself and move forward,” said Miller. “I’m ready for any opportunity that comes my way against the best of the division.”
Former super lightweight title challenger Sharif Bogere scores a UD win over Chile's Oscar Bravo on a PBC on Bounce card on August 3, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Nabeel Ahmad/ Premier Boxing Champions)
Super lightweights Sharif Bogere and Juan Heraldez each score UD victories
Bogere showed off an impressive arsenal, stinging Bravo early with a check left hook and combination punching that left his opponent bleeding from his left eye from the early rounds. Bravo pushed forward and tried to trap Bogere against the ropes while throwing power punches, despite the impairment.
Even with the 10-round onslaught from Bravo, Bogere was able to consistently counter and hurt Bravo, never allowing the Chilean fighter to put him in any real danger. The judges all saw the fight for Bogere with scores of 99-91 and 100-90 twice.
In the opening bout of the telecast, unbeaten Juan Heraldez (14-0, 8 KOs) rode a first-round knockdown and impressive combination punching on his way to a unanimous decision victory over Kevin Watts (11-3, 4 KOs) in their 10-round super lightweight matchup.
Heraldez delivered a thundering counter left uppercut that sent Watts to the canvas in the opening frame of the fight. Watts was able to survive the round but it set the tone for what was to come, as Heraldez was consistently landed the cleaner and more powerful punches.
Watts attempted to get back in the fight leading with a power left hook but Heraldez was able to keep him at bay and deliver his own offense to earn the victory by scores of 100-89 and 98-91 twice.
Pair of former welterweight world champions are facing a must-win situation to secure 147-pound relevancy when they meet in the main of event of PBC on FOX tomorrow night in New York.
Once considered elite-level welterweights, Devon Alexander and Andre Berto were brought down by injuries, health issues, and personal setbacks. Their individual battles to re-establish themselves as elite players in the white-hot 147-pound division have now led to a crossing of paths and a true “do or die” showdown.
Alexander (27-4-1, 14 KOs) is coming off a controversial draw with Victor Ortiz in February that many felt should’ve gone his way and a unanimous decision win over Walter Castillo three months before that.
Prior to the Castillo bout, though, Alexander battled an addiction to painkillers that saw the talented southpaw lose 25 months to inactivity. In the two years prior to his layoff and rehabilitation, the former two-division world champ had lost three of four.
The Alexander who returned last November against Castillo, however, looked refreshed and renewed, fighting like the Alexander who had beaten the likes of Junior Witter, Lucas Matthysse, and Marcos Maidana.
The 31-year-old has the tools to fight at a distance, but is at his best when sitting in the pocket, using angles to make opponents miss and setting subtle traps to draw foes off balance. Alexander also utilizes a sharp jab as a positioning tool to set up fast, accurate follow-ups.
The main criticism regarding the former welterweight and junior welterweight titlist is that he sometimes gets caught up in his own cuteness and does just enough to win rounds when he could push to completely close the show.
But Alexander knows the importance of this upcoming clash and realizes that if he’s going to get to the top again, he can’t hold back.
“This fight can catapult us to a world title shot and that’s my goal…and that’s what I’m focusing on,” Alexander said. “I’m hungry. I just turned 31…and I feel refreshed, I feel vibrant, and I just want to show people that I’m still one of the elite welterweights in the division.”
“ This fight can catapult us to a world title shot and that’s my goal. I’m hungry. I just want to show people that I’m still one of the elite welterweights in the division. ”Former two-division Champion Devon Alexander
Berto (31-5, 24 KOs), meanwhile, is in the exact same place as Alexander, working towards getting back to the top and fully aware of the fact that time is not on his side. He’s also conscious of the fact that his opponent on Saturday will be competing under similar pressure.
“I believe that Devon Alexander is going to be at his best,” Berto said. “I know Kevin Cunningham [Alexander’s trainer]. He’s a great coach…He’s going to let him know that this is a do-or-die opportunity for him…So it’s going to be up to Devon if he’s going to rise up to the occasion, and the same thing on my end…I need to come out with a win.”
The 34-year-old Floridian and former two-time welterweight champ is a bull of a fighter, gifted with all-around good physical tools.
A Berto firing on all cylinders has a thudding jab, fast hands, and a propensity for delivering good action fights with his aggressive mindset and willingness to go to war.
Coming up as a welterweight in the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao era, Berto suffered through some unfair disregard in his prime, but his resume is solid with entertaining wins over Luis Collazo, Carlos Quintana, and Josesito Lopez.
Berto also doesn’t go down easy, as evidenced by his all-out Fight of the Year war with Victor Ortiz in 2011 (later avenged via fourth-round TKO), and his valiant losing efforts, battling through injury against Robert Guerrero and Jesus Soto Karass.
In his most recent fights, Berto’s TKO of Ortiz is sandwiched between a decision loss to Mayweather in 2015 and a stoppage loss to Shawn Porter in a headbutt-heavy brawl back in April of last year.
If Berto is to be successful against Alexander, he’ll need to be healthy and sharp, imposing his physicality on Alexander while avoiding the traps set to disrupt his timing and positioning. His brutal right uppercut—maybe the strongest punch in his arsenal—will be the best weapon against his southpaw opponent.
Alexander, on the other hand, will have to be his usual self in dealing with a fighter like Berto who is carrying a real chip on his shoulder. He will need to put doubt in Berto’s mind by using angles and utilizing the jab to keep him from getting full leverage on his punches.
Simply put—in a bout between veterans whose dreams of career rebirth end with a loss, the battle to impose one’s will on the other should be monumental. Do or die.
James vs Montes Round by Round Fight Summary. Rounds are displayed numerically as columns. Each row will display one of the following: W for win, L for loss, KO for knockout, or TKO for technical knock out. An empty column means that data
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MINNEAPOLIS — Welterweight contender Jamal James (24-1, 11 KOs )gave his hometown crowd a treat as he sent Mahonry Montes (35-8-1, 24 KOs) to the canvas for a second round knockout in the main event of a jam-packed three-hour night of Premier Boxing Champions action Friday fromthe Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
"I came out here to make a statement and I'm even happier to be able to do it right here at home," said James. "The support in Minnesota is amazing and it gave me the extra motivation to get the job done in spectacular fashion. Everyone knows I attack the body and tonight I was able to use it to get the finish"
In his second straight fight at the Armory, James made a statement by quickly dispatching Mexico's Montes with a punishing left hook to the body that left his opponent crumpled on the canvas.
James broke through in the last 30 seconds of the second round, landing numerous unanswered right hands that put Montes in immediate trouble. James finished the show with the devastating body shot that eventually forced referee Mark Nelson to halt the bout at 2:58 of the round.
"I feel like I'm ready for the elite welterweights and tonight proved it again," said James. "I'm going to keep working hard and taking down anyone they put in front of me. It's time for me to make my mark in the division."
A battle between former welterweight world champion Luis Collazo and contender Bryant Perrella is the type of match that some would consider a show stealer. Tucked underneath a stacked PBC on FOX card that is headlined by former 147-pound world champions Andre Berto and Devon Alexander, Collazo-Perrella pits two boxers with the same temperament and styles – aggressive, high-action southpaws.
The 37-year-old Collazo (37-7, 20 KOs) is highly experienced and has faced some of the best boxers of the past decade. The Brooklyn native has lost decisions—most of them close—to the likes of Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton, and Berto. Collazo possesses an underrated ring IQ that can come only from years of facing quality opposition and hundreds of rounds fought.
In his last bout, Collazo stopped top prospect and fellow southpaw Sammy Vasquez in the sixth round with a short right hand to the chin. By the time Collazo steps into the ring with Perrella on Saturday, he’ll have been out of the ring for 18 months. The New Yorker had surgery last August to repair a torn left biceps tendon, and the lengthy layoff may result in some ring rust for Collazo.
One of the benefits, though, of experience like Collazo’s is that he’s seen it all before. He’s had lengthy layoffs in the past, he’s dealt with injuries, he’s been hurt during a match, and he’s been knocked down. Through it all, Collazo’s enormous heart and willpower has prevailed, even in defeat. When he’s victorious, it’s often his craftiness that has earned him the win. He has a way of lulling his opponents into a sense of comfort and then snatching the victory out from under them.
Collazo is a world level fighter. He has a great 1-2, utilizing his right jab to set up a straight left hand. His balance is on point, which enables him to land his punches with more ferocity during exchanges, or in the late rounds, than his opponents sometimes do.
Perrella (15-1, 13 KOs) is a 29-year-old Florida native looking to establish himself in the welterweight division. The southpaw had an impressive amateur career, having defeated super lightweight world champion Regis Prograis in the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials. As a pro, he worked his way up and knocked out fellow prospect David Grayton in the second round in June 2016.
Perrella has only lost to the best the division has to offer just like Collazo. That single loss in September of 2016 was to Yordenis Ugas. Aside from having to deal with Ugas’ remarkable ring intelligence and fundamentals, Perrella was suffering from a right leg injury sustained during training camp. After a 14-month layoff to recover, Perrella was last seen in December 2017 when he defeated top prospect Alex Martin by unanimous decision.
Perrella stands 6’1” tall, a four-inch advantage over Collazo. While Perrella doesn’t typically utilize his height to full effect, his length does give him great leverage on his punches. A potential problem for Perrella is that he often drops his lead right hand, which could leave him open for Collazo’s straight left.
His awkwardness and unorthodox style is perhaps his strongest asset. Perrella shows his opponents different looks consistently and has his own solid 1-2. His southpaw right hook, when he finds an opening for it, is quick and devastating—as he illustrated when he dropped Martin with it last December. His 81% knockout ratio speaks for itself.
Does Collazo still have enough left in the tank to defeat a young, hungry, and tricky fighter? Is Perrella ready for a gritty and experienced veteran like Collazo?
This battle of lefties at dramatically different stages of their careers is a classic match-up of youth versus experience, and which will prevail is anyone’s guess. What isn’t hard to determine, though, is what we’ll see in the ring on fight night: two welterweights with no fear of letting their hands go, each of whom knows he needs to win in order to move on to bigger things and perhaps face the winner of the main event.