Abel Sanchez: Cuban heavyweight Mike Perez didn’t have same fire for Carlos Takam

Heavyweight contender Mike Perez of Cuba this past Saturday fought to a 10-round majority draw with Carlos Takam of Cameroon in Montreal (on HBO). He was expected to defeat Takam, but his trainer – Abel Sanchez – said Perez didn’t seem to have the same fire he had in his previous fight. Perhaps, for good reason.

On Nov. 2, Perez won a 10-round decision over Magomed Abdusalamov, who afterward was hospitalized with a serious brain injury. Abdusalamov survived, but he will never fight again.

According to Sanchez, Perez (20-0-1, 12 KOs) answered way more questions about Abdusalamov and his injury ahead of Saturday’s fight with Takam, than he did about the fight with Takam. Sanchez said that in one interview with ESPN that was centered heavily on the fight with Abdusalamov, Perez became teary-eyed and had to ask for a break.

“All those things that kept it fresh in his mind,” Sanchez said Wednesday. “Being that preoccupied, he wasn’t focused on the task at hand, which was Carlos Takam.”

Sanchez said that before his fight with Abdusalamov, Perez was chomping at the bit to get in the ring.

“When we were warming up, he was animated, pounding the gloves,” Sanchez said.

Not Saturday, though.

“He just seemed to be dead in the dressing room,” Sanchez said. “And at the weigh-in, he seemed so far out.”


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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez says loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. was difficult to take

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez really thought he was going to be the one to hand Floyd Mayweather Jr. his first loss. Instead, Mayweather gave Alvarez his first setback this past September at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Alvarez, along with fellow Mexican Alfredo Angulo, on Tuesday first played host to a conference call, then to a news conference in Los Angeles formally announcing their fight for March 8 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view).

One reporter asked Alvarez how difficult it was to overcome his initial defeat. To his credit, the 23-year-old was very candid about it.

“It was hard, and it hurt my honor,” said Alvarez, who lost his junior middleweight title to Mayweather. “It’s very tough. Nobody ever wants to lose.”

But you know what they say, it’s not whether one loses, it’s how one responds to it. From the sound of it, Alvarez is responding well.

“But I don’t see it as a loss, I see it as a learning experience,” he said, “and I’m going to take the best out of it.”

Alvarez is 42-1-1 with 30 knockouts. Angulo, 31, is 22-3 with 18 knockouts.

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Shane Mosley Jr., David Mijares victorious on first day of USA Boxing Elite Nationals

Shane Mosley Jr. of Upland and David Mijares of Pasadena won their respective bouts Monday at the USA Boxing Elite National Championships in Spokane, Wash.

Mosley defeated Jason Taylor of Houma, La. 3-0 in the 165-pound division. Mijares took a 2-1 decision over Joel Ibarra of Hawaii at 141 pounds.

Mosley and Mijares will box again Wednesday in the quarterfinals. Mosley could be in tough because he’ll be taking on Jonathan Esquivel of Anaheim. He stopped Travis Jerig of Ohio in the third round.

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‘Canelo’ Alvarez, ‘Perro’ Angulo play host to L.A. news conference; public invited

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico and countryman Alfredo “Perro” Angulo on Tuesday at 1 p.m. will play host to a news conference formally announcing their junior middleweight fight slated for March 8 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view).

The proceedings will take place outdoors near the Cafe Pinot Restaurant by the Los Angeles Central Public Library in downtown Los Angeles.

Former champion Alvarez, just 23, is 42-1-1 with 30 knockouts. Angulo, 31, is 22-3 with 18 knockouts.

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‘Canelo’ Alvarez, ‘Perro’ Angulo looking forward to their March 8 clash at MGM Grand

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico and countryman Alfredo “Perro” Angulo recently signed to fight each other March 8 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view).

Alvarez (42-1-1, 30 KOs) is coming off his first setback, a majority-decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September, and it sounds like he’s really aching to lace up the gloves again.

“This is a great fight for me and for the fans and I can’t wait to get back in the ring on March 8,” said Alvarez, a former junior middleweight champion who lost his title to Mayweather. “Angulo is a true warrior and I have to be alert every second of every round when I fight him. I expect that we will put on a fight no one will ever forget.”

Angulo, 22-3 with 18 knockouts, is never in a dull fight.

“‘Canelo’ is a great young fighter who has earned his way to the top,” Angulo said. “That being said, I know I’m hungrier than he is right now and I will take him to places he’s never been. Our fans in Mexico and around the world will see what we’re all about when we fight.”

A total of four fights will make up the pay-per-view portion of this Golden Boy Promotions card. The other big one will see Leo Santa Cruz (27-0-1, 15 KOs) of Lincoln Heights defending his super bantamweight belt against Cristian Mijares (49-7-2, 24 KOs) of Mexico.

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Jose Sulaiman, longtime president of the WBC, has died at the age of 82

Several outlets are reporting that Jose Sulaiman, the longtime president of the World Boxing Council, has died at the age of 82.

According to one story on BoxingScene.com, Sulaiman had some kind of operation on his heart in October and appeared to be showing improvement. His son, Mauricio, said his father then took a turn for the worse.

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Super featherweight Juan Funez of Reseda spending time with big boys in Big Bear

Juan Funez of Reseda is what we call a prospect. The super featherweight is 3-0 with one knockout, he is talented and he is a southpaw. He’s trained by his uncle, Ricky Funez, with an assist from world-class trainer Joe Goossen out of Goossen’s gym in Van Nuys.

Funez and his team have gone up to Big Bear to finish training for Funez’s fight Jan. 24 against Marcello Gallardo (3-0) at Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Wash. on the undercard of the light heavyweight main event between Thomas Williams and Cornelius White (on ESPN2).

It seems Team Funez wanted to get its young fighter some time with some world-class fighters. Since the training in Big Bear is being done at Abel Sanchez’s gym, that means Funez is spending time with middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and heavyweight contender Mike Perez, both of whom are trained by West Covina’s Sanchez.

“It has given me a whole different perspective of what training is really like when you’re a world champion,” Juan Funez said.  “My uncle and Joe talk to me all of the time of what it takes to be a world champion and how you have to live boxing every minute of every day. But to see it with Gennady and Mike up here in the mountains just pumped me up that much more.”

Among other things, Funez has been running the mountains with Golovkin and Perez.

“I believe Juan has the tools to become an exciting world-class fighter and Joe and I are prepared to do everything to make sure he reaches his goals,” Ricky Funez said.

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It’s good to see that Bryan Vera is getting another shot at Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Monday’s news that a rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Bryan Vera is a done deal for March 1 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas (on HBO) was good.

The two tangled Sept. 28 at StubHub Center in Carson with Chavez coming away with an unpopular unanimous decision. Vera fought the fight of his life, and Chavez was taken to task in a big way. Vera was the busier of the two, Chavez landed the harder blows.

What really steamed many was two scorecards that seemed well out of line. Carla Caiz had Chavez winning 96-94. But Marty Denkin and Gwen Adair had Chavez winning by scores of 97-93 and 98-92, respectively.

This was on the heels of Chavez being so unprofessional as to tell his camp the week of the fight that he could not make the 168-pound limit. Just like magic, Chavez and his team – including co-promoters- Bob Arum and Fernando Beltran – came up a new weight of 173. (Only in boxing, right?). Vera did make extra cash for agreeing to the change. But whatever joy he might have gotten from that quickly turned to misery when the scorecards were read following his gallant effort.

Glad this rematch is happening because Vera deserves it. By the way, the contracted weight for this fight is again 168, the super middleweight limit. Let’s see if Chavez, the former middleweight champion from Mexico, can train hard enough so we don’t have to see boxing embarrassed again when he comes up with another new weight.

Vera, 32, is from Austin, Texas. He is 27-3 with 14 knockouts. Chavez, 27, is 47-1-1 with 32 knockouts.

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Julian Ramirez, Dominic Breazeale on the undercard Jan. 24 on Fox Sports 1

Dynamic featherweight Julian Ramirez of Pasadena and heavyweight Dominic Breazeale – a 2012 U.S. Olympian from Alhambra – will fight on the Jan. 24 Golden Boy Promotions card at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio (on Fox Sports 1).

Ramirez (9-0, 6 KOs), a real whirlwind in the ring, will square off against Derrick Wilson (10-5-2, 3 KOs) of Fort Myers, Fla., in the eight-round co-feature.

Breazeale (8-0, 8 KOs) will go against Homero Fonseca (10-6-3, 3 KOs) of Driscoll, Texas. It is also scheduled for eight rounds.

Undefeated junior welterweight Antonio Orozco (18-0, 14 KOs) of San Diego will take on Miguel Angel Huerta (27-11-1, 18 KOs) of Mexico in the 10-round main event.

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