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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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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Report: Magomed Abdusalamov has come out of medically induced coma

Heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov of Russia has been taken out of a medically induced coma and is expected to be moved out of the intensive care unit at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, ESPN.com reported.

Abdusalamov sustained a serious brain during his Nov. 2 loss to fellow contender Mike Perez of Cuba at Madison Square Garden. He underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain and was put into a medically induced coma, during which time he also suffered a stroke.

Abdusalamov’s promoter, Nathan Lewkowicz, told ESPN.com that Abdusalamov is unable to speak, but is aware of his surroundings.

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Mike Perez issues statement regarding hospitalized Magomed Abdusalamov

Mike Perez of Cuba on Monday issued a statement regarding Magomed Abdusalamov of Russia. Perez defeated Abdusalamov in a brutal 10-round heavyweight bout underneath the middleweight title fight between Gennady Golovkin and Curtis Stevens on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Abdusalamov afterward went to Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, where a blood clot on his brain was discovered. Abdusalamov had surgery to remove it and has been kept in a medically induced coma.

“‘Mago’ is in my thoughts and prayers and I hope he recovers quickly,” Perez said. “He fought like a true warrior. I’m happy to be victorious, but my main concern is for his health.”

Abdusalamov is 32. He lost for the first time after knocking out his first 18 opponents. His bout with Perez was televised live by HBO.

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Magomed Abdusalamov in medically induced coma following brain surgery

Magomed Abdusalamov of Russia on Sunday remained in a medically induced coma after undergoing surgery to have a blood clot removed from his brain following Saturday night’s loss to Mike Perez of Cuba in a heavyweight fight at Madison Square Garden, according to several news reports. The fight was televised live on HBO on the undercard of the Gennady Golovkin-Curtis Stevens middleweight championship.

Abdusalamov showed incredible courage while absorbing a lot of punishment during his 10-round decision loss. The left side of his face was swollen throughout most of the fight, suggesting he may have had a fracture in there.

Ken Hershman, president of HBO Sports, released a statement Sunday evening.

“The thoughts and prayers of all of us at HBO Sports are with Magomed Abdusalamov,” he said. ” We are grateful for the medical care he is receiving here in New York City and out of respect for Magomed and his family, we will wait for any official updates on his condition before making any further statements.”

Abdusalamov, 32, is 18-1 with 18 knockouts.

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Mike Perez of Cuba gets biggest win of career over Magomed Abdusalamov

Mike Perez of Cuba earned the biggest victory of his career when he took a unanimous decision over top 10-ranked Magomed Abdusalamov of Russia in the heavyweight semi-main event Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Perez won by scores of 97-92, 95-94, 97-92.

The bout was contested on the undercard of the middleweight title fight between champion Gennady Golovkin and Curtis Stevens (on HBO).

Abdusalamov (18-1), who these days hails from Hallandale, Fla., came in having knocked out all 18 of his previous opponents. He fought most of the 10 rounds with a very swollen left cheek, suggesting he may have a broken bone in there somewhere. He was cut on the left eye lid, too.

The 28-year-old Perez, who lives in Ireland, is now 20-0.

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