Pair of welterweight prospects face off in a must-win fight tomorrow night on FS1.
For the first time as a professional promising welterweight Bryant Perrella will enter the ring with a blemish on his record. How Perrella responds to fellow welterweight Alex Martin could determine if a run toward a title shot is in his future.
The two young welterweights will meet Friday on an FS1-televised card (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) at Hialeah Park in Miami, Florida.
After putting together an impressive 14-0 mark, Perrella suffered the first loss of his career—a fourth-round TKO loss in September 2016 to Yordenis Ugas. So confident was Perrella heading into that bout that he refused to call it off despite an injury to his right leg suffered during a pre-fight sparring session.
“I didn't know the extent of the injury until after the Ugas fight,” Perrella said. “I was struggling to find good sparring and ended up sparring a heavyweight. He hit me in my (right) leg with an uppercut.”
The pain was apparent, but Perrella never considered pulling out of the fight. Besides, he was confident the injury wouldn’t significantly impact his performance. He was wrong. Perrella struggled with his movement and could not avoid punches he saw coming and had almost nothing on the punches he landed against Ugas.
He later learned that he had fought with Myositis Ossificans—a disorder that develops when bone forms inside the muscle.
“I wasn’t physically strong at all,” Perrella said. “I felt like a shell of myself. I couldn’t move my legs. But it is what it is.”
Perrella lost to Ugas long before they stepped into the ring. But he makes no excuses. The better man won that night “period,” according to Perrella.
It was a valuable lesson learned, a mistake never to be repeated.
“ You’re going to see a monster in this fight. It’ll be something you’ve never seen in previous fights. Perella 2.0. ” Welterweight prospect Bryant Perrella
Perrella better be 100 percent Friday night, because Martin is just as confident and determined to get back on the winning track. Like Perrella, Martin also has suffered a loss in his most recent outing. The difference, however, is that he has dropped two straight—unfortunately to the same opponent, Miguel Cruz.
Despite a split decision loss, Martin strongly believes he won the first meeting with Cruz in January 2016. Martin also came out on the short end of the rematch, a unanimous decision loss in June of last year.
Back-to-back decision losses to the same opponent have left a nasty taste in Martin’s mouth. He has a chip on his shoulder and refuses to let judges determine his future.
While Perrella—who has stopped 13 of his 14 opponents—is commonly known as a power puncher, Martin intends to prove that there’s also significant pop in his punches.
“I don’t know about the power advantage he is supposed to have in this fight,” said Martin, who is 13-2-0 with five knockouts. “My power is underrated. In my first fight with Miguel, I hurt him a couple of times.”
Martin will have the hand speed edge in this showdown and plans to utilize it. Both fighters are southpaws, but Martin says that is not an issue for him: “I face southpaws often in training camp.”
One key for Martin will be to limit Perrella’s height and reach. He is well versed at controlling distance and delivering accurate counter-punches.
In addition, Perrella warns that he’s made the most of his year long hiatus.
“Being off a year it’s not going to matter at all,” he said. “It’s not like there’s going to be any ring rust because I’ve been steadily working the whole time.
“I’ve been developing my skills, getting better the entire time. I don’t believe in ring rust as long as I stay in the gym working it’s really no problem.”
Perrella vows to leave the ring victorious and says nothing will be left in the locker room. All of his skills will be available to him inside the ring. He intends to leave an impression on viewers.
“You’re going to see a monster in this fight,” Perrella said. “It’ll be something you’ve never seen in previous fights. Perella 2.0. Winning is important, but I want a spectacular win.”
It is a sentiment shared by Martin. He knows what he wants to accomplish and who he wants after this fight. And vows to let nothing or no one derail his goal.
“This win will put me where I was before fighting Miguel,” Martin said. “My plan is to fight Miguel a third time, a trilogy. But I’m not looking past Bryant. It’s one fight at a time.”
For complete coverage of Perrella vs Martin, visit our fight page.