Rey Perez: Abandoned no more
By Rich Mazon
01 Aug 2015
The last time Rey Perez fought outside of the Philippines, he was a one man army – literally. Perez was by his lonesome when he fought and lost via TKO to unbeaten Mexican fighter, Edivaldo Ortega of Tijuana, Mexico in Ortega’s hometown last year.
See story here: (http://philboxing.com/news/story-98289.html)
Perez was without a trainer, a cut man or anyone in his corner on that disastrous night. He does not even have hand wraps or bandages for that bout. His hand wraps was donated to him by fellow Filipino and boxing trainer Marvin Somodio who had a fighter fighting in the same venue and card. He was aided in the corner by a fellow Filipino boxer who happened to be watching the bout.
This Saturday, the 20-6 (5 KOs) fighter from Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte in the Philippines will be fighting his first overseas fight after that incident in Mexico.
Perez will be fighting late replacement, Chris Avalos (25-3, 19 KOs) at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, Texas, some 25 miles from the downtown Dallas area.
The fight is a headliner of a Top Rank event which will be shown live on Unimas Saturday night as part of its ‘Solo Boxeo Tecate’ series.
This time, Perez would not be by his lonesome. He will be coached by Las Vegas based trainer and retired Filipino world champ, Morris East.
“Iba talaga kapag me kasama ka. Kasi, may mag-assist sa iyo. Iba talaga.” Perez told Philboxing.com.
(It is really different if you have someone with you. There will be someone assisting you. It really makes a difference.)
East, who has helped in the training of world champions like Nonito Donaire Jr., Zab Judah and Chad Dawson, hooked up with Perez in Dallas last week and he brought his team with from his gym in Las Vegas.
“Lahat kompleto ito. Meron akong cut man, meron akong team. Meron akong sariling team para sa kanya.”
(We have everything. I have a cut man, I have a team. I have my own team to assist him.)
East, the former WBA Junior Welterweight champion of the world turned trainer, admitted to Philboxing.com that he was not looking for additional fighters to train but he cannot say no to a fellow- Pinoy.
“Sa ngayon, ayaw ko nga muna mag-train, pero dumating itong si Rey.“
(As of now, I don’t want to train anyone, but Rey came.)
East is encouraging Perez to try to knock Avalos out, as he is fearful of a biased decision against them.
“Ang focus namin, sinabi ko kay Rey, kailangan naming manalo rito ng knockout, kapag decision- hindi tayo mananalo.” said East.
(Our focus on this fight, I told Rey that we need to win by knockout, we will never win if the judges decide.)
But that won’t be an easy task for Perez. Avalos, whose alias is ‘The Hitman’, has a 68 percent KO rate in his career. He has prevailed by KO or TKO in 19 of his 25 wins. He won over two Filipino fighters of late, a TKO of Roy Lunas in the 3rd round in 2013 and he prevailed by UD over Drian Francisco in the same year.
Perez though is undaunted.
“Hindi ako natatakot dun. Ako ang unang Pinoy na makakatalo sa kanya.”
(I am not scared of him. I will be the first Pinoy that will defeat him.)
There was a confidence in Perez’ voice this time, a far cry from his ill-fated night in Tijuana last year. Perhaps, the presence of a team to look after him has something to do with it.
You can reach the author at email@example.com and @Freemazon910.
Photo: Rey Perez (L) with former Filipino world champion and trainer Morris East.
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