By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Tucson, Arizona (January 23rd, 2016)– Middleweight Rob Brant, 19-0 knocked out Decarlo Perez on Friday evening, January 22, 2015, as Casino Del Sol, in Tucson, Arizona, at 0:38 of round four with a perfectly timed right hand over the lowered left guard of Perez, which briefly offered a perfect open target to close the show out on ShoBox: The New Generation on USA Showtime. Also down in the third round, Perez could not win a round here, winding up draped over the middle ropes unconscious, slipping to the canvas knocked out. But was it a good matchup? No it was not.
Having been ringside for Decarlo Perez for a number of his fights, including his wins over Jessie Nicklow and Shamone Alvarez, this writer saw good potential for the rising fighter. Despite two losses early in his career, Perez appeared to be a rising fighter on the rise.
The issue with Perez was division, not ability and potential. Perez began his career as a junior welterweight and welterweight. He wound up at middleweight in his last six fights, including a fifth round stoppage of washed up onetime knockout artist Tyrone Brunson. Perez fought his last two bouts against fighters with a combined record of 41-0. Perez won a ten round decision at super middleweight over Juan Ubaldo Cabrera of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, who had a 23-0 record. However, Dominican Republic padded records are often suspect.
Perez showed good stamina, good heart, and improved conditioning, factors which while important, do not always tell the story when a fighter steps up to the ‘A’ level of competition, has to bring his boxing game up one notch. Perez, while focused, had holes in his fighting style, the best known of which was his lazy left hand which he often holds low. Considering he was stopped in the second round by Rafael Montalvo in Atlantic City in 2012, a fighter who lost four of his last five bouts, one would think Perez would have corrected his style mistakes before entering into a title fight of any kind.
There is a significant loss of power when a fighter goes up in weight. One cannot compare the Roberto Duran of the lightweight division to the Duran who fought in the middleweight division, fame notwithstanding. Perez appeared to be a fine emerging welterweight and decent light middleweight. He did not appear, however, to be the next middleweight Saul Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Andre Ward, Carl Froch, Gerald McClellan, Miguel Cotto, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Carlos Monzon, or Daniel Jacobs.
Training and sparring are not enough. Going from junior welterweight / welterweight to middleweight / super middleweight when you are only 24 years old is too big a jump. Wherever Perez fights next, whatever his career aspirations at this point, he needs to give heavy consideration to the weight class he wishes to fight in. The middleweight division is not the place for Decarlo Perez, though he is still a fighter with good potential.
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