Team Eloy Perez Moves Camp To SoCal In Prep For Adrien Broner
With just three weeks to go before they make their arrival on the big stage, Team Eloy Perez has relocated their training camp to Oxnard from Oakland, Calif., according to assistant trainer Sam Garcia. The move is in preparation for his HBO debut against WBO 130-pound beltholder Adrien Broner, set for Feb 25 in St. Louis, Mo. in the co-feature to the intriguing welterweight scrap between Devon Alexander and Marcos Maidana. Perez and company have been working at King’s Gym in Oakland for the past few weeks with Virgil Hunter and his growing stable of fighters, including junior welterweight Mike Dallas Jr. and lightweight Stan Martyniouk. Perez will now be down in Oxnard at Robert Garcia’s gym to spar with undefeated former WBA 135-pound titlist Brandon Rios as well as fellow junior lightweight Argenis Mendez.
The Perez camp will bring along with them budding junior welterweight Keandre Gibson down to Southern California with them to work. The 21-year old Gibson was brought into the fold by Fresno, Calif. based manager Repo Ric, and he has found quite a niche amongst more experienced fighters at King’s Gym in Oakland.
Mike Dallas, Jr. Nabs Headlining Fight On ESPN2, John Molina-Marvin Quintero Off
Bakersfield, Calif. import Mike Dallas, Jr. will find himself in tough for the third straight fight, as he takes on Cleveland, Ohio’s Miguel Gonzalez in the 10-round main event of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights on Feb. 17, according to Goossen-Tutor matchmaker Tom Brown. Initially not slated to be on the card, Dallas Jr. (17-2-1, 7 KOs) found himself in a headlining role when the projected main event between lightweights John Molina and Marvin Quintero fell apart over “unforeseen reasons” according to Brown.
Dallas has been working with Northern California trainer Hunter, who recently received the honor of Trainer of the Year from the Boxing Writers Association of America. Hunter will travel with the 25-year-old, who technically hails from the Central Valley but has found himself in the Bay Area a majority of the past 12 months. Dallas is coming off two consecutive losses, the most recent being highly controversial as he lost a decision to Mauricio Herrera on ESPN last June.
Against Gonzalez (20-2, 15 KOs), Dallas will be getting a southpaw slickster on just two weeks notice. Gonzalez fought eight times in 2011, with his most notable wins coming in his last two bouts against trialhorses Humberto Toledo and Tyrone Harris. Against Harris, Gonzalez was down in the 7th round.
“He’s a slick lefty who fights at a slow pace,” said Dallas after sparring eight rounds in King’s on Friday. “I’m not going to let him fight at that pace, I’m going to make him fight at my pace and I am going to break him down.”
Both fighters are in desperate need of a win. For Dallas, a win is required to change the trajectory of his career while for Gonzalez a win is needed to legitimize his. The bout serves as quite an intriguing crossroads fight as a late replacement for a televised main event.
Former Pittsburg Star Out of Jail, In The Gym
For former 147-pound titlist James Page, success was harder to sustain than it was to achieve. The Pittsburg, Calif. native earned the WBA welterweight crown in October 1998 when he traveled to France and defeated Andrey Pestryaev for the vacant title, defending it successfully three times on a small scale before being stripped in 2000 for failing to show up for his mandatory defense against #1 contender Andrew Lewis. Page eventually lost to Lewis in a scrap for the vacant belt the following year and 10 months later found himself arrested for robbing a Bank of America in Atlanta, Ga. Page had already robbed another bank and attempted a third. Page already had been convicted previously for robbery and drug charges.
Now ten years later, the 40-year old Page has been seen by several people at King’s Gym, the gym in which his image can be found all over the walls. For the past few years, Page and his management team have clamoured that Page will return to the ring and lift a world title again. Though those hopes are more than a bit far-fetched, Page is ripped and in shape and hopes to fight at 154 pounds if and when he gets the chance to return to the ring.
For now, Page’s story is a sad one of what might have been. A beltholder at the same time Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, Pernell Whitaker, and Shane Mosley shared the same division, Page never got the opportunity to earn real big dollars or show where he really fit amongst his counterparts. Rumor has it that Page was let go from a De La Hoya training camp when he dropped the “Golden Boy” in sparring. As he turns 41 this April, not a lot can be expected from a fighter who hasn’t seen a professional ring in a decade. Still, it remains interesting to see what kind of life could be breathed into a once-promising career.
Mark Ortega can be reached via e-mail or followed via Twitter at @MarkEOrtega. Mark also contributes to notable British boxing publication Boxing Monthly as well as Ring Magazine.