On The Beak – Admin
Ireland-based Cubans Luis Garcia (11-0-0, 9ko) and Mike Perez (17-0-0, 12ko) promise a double dose of seasons beatings when they make their US debuts on the undercard of Jermain Taylor’s return at the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa in California, December 30, on ShoBox: The New Generation. Garcia fights fellow undefeated prospect Alexander Johnson (12-0-0, 5ko) in a 175lb test while Perez boxes Friday Ahunanya (24-8-13, 8ko) in a ten round heavyweight duel.
(Embedded video above credit – Youtube – BrianPetersBoxing)
Garcia and Perez are two thirds of a Central American trident who defected from Cuba to Cork in order to develop as professionals and have their obvious talent further nurtured. Along with Alexei Collado (15-0-0, 14ko), they made their names in the amateur ranks having all picked up World Junior Championship gongs prior to their pro launchpad in Ireland.
Perez has already wowed crowds outside of Ireland when he took part in the exciting Prizefighter franchise, promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sports. Perez was the last man standing in the eight-man tournament, having knocked out every single one of his three opponents en route to the one-night competition final. Six months later he took on renowned trial-horse Zack Page and obtained a one-sided eight-round decision with his blatant power a key factor in the result.
In order to ready himself for American opposition, Perez has sparred Olympic bronze medalist Deontay Wilder, but has his sights firmly on one of the Klitschko brothers, Wladimir or Vitali: “The Klitschko’s are easily the best guys out there right now at heavyweight but there is no serious competition for them out there and I want to change that.
“They are excellent boxers but they are not the most entertaining to watch. The only fireworks during their fights are during the ring entrances and I can guarantee when I fight them there will be fireworks. A lot of guys just want to fight the Klitschko’s for a big payday. They don’t come to win but I will. For now I’m just concentrating on this next fight but I would love the opportunity to take on either of the Klitschkos.”
Garcia, meanwhile, is hoping to provide Stateside audiences with a memorable display. “I’m excited to give US fight fans a chance to show what I am about and to prove that I am ready for anyone in the light heavyweight division.
“I have had a few fights fall through this year because it’s very difficult to find opponents for me in Europe. Johnson has accepted the challenge, he’s unbeaten and ambitious so it’s a good fight for the fans and the winner will definitely be part of the New Generation. It’s an important fight for me and I am determined to make the most of the opportunity,” he said.
“My fiancee is expecting our first child just a few days after the fight so it is tough to leave her at home while I go the US for this fight but I am making the sacrifice for my family’s future and hopefully I will be back home in Cork in time for the birth.”
Regarding their former nation, new fighting destination and adopted boxing home, Perez said: “Cuba is always in our hearts but Ireland is our home now said Perez. We all have family and friends here now, I have a little baby daughter and an Irish fiancee so I’m proud to fight with the Irish and Cuban flags. We have been made very welcome here and have great support from the Irish fans.”
Related article: Fight Photo – Perez in most recent victory
Ibrahim Harb – Birmingham
The likelihood of a Sergio Martinez and Floyd Mayweather Jr match-up in the first half of 2012 has been quashed with the emergent news that Irish pressure fighter Matthew Macklin will “get the go-ahead” for an examination against in-form and unorthodox middleweight ‘Maravilla’ Martinez on March 17 – St Patrick’s Day – at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Promoter Lou DiBella confirmed that he is “absolutely certain” the fight will be made.
“It’s a natural fight and one I’m absolutely certain will get the go-ahead,” said DiBella, as quoted by Express.
Macklin (28-3-0, 19ko) fought just once in 2011 yet it was against a pugilist who has reigned as champion for almost a decade. His performance against Felix Sturm, the holder of the WBA belt, was exemplary.
Under the guidance of busy head coach Joe Gallagher, Macklin followed a ruthless gameplan of constant pressure and heavy leather… a seek and destroy mission that had been successful according to On The Beak‘s unofficial card, a vocal majority inside the Lanxess-Arena in Cologne, together with British and German television, however, two of the ringside judges scored a victory for Sturm and so the German-based prizefighter was awarded a split decision.
Since the Sturm victory, Macklin signed terms with New York representation – DiBella Entertainment – and became a stablemate of DiBella’s most skillful pugilist; Martinez (48-2-2, 27ko). A match-up was a foregone conclusion and one that Macklin may now be a part of, on a highly sellable date considering his blood-line, inside one of boxing’s most historic arenas.
DiBella continued: “Martinez’s people are keen for it to happen and so am I and so, more importantly, is Matthew.” He added: “I really believe in him and I believe he will be the world middleweight champion. Martinez is a great fighter, but small for a middleweight while Matthew is much bigger. Matthew is stronger whereas Sergio would have the edge in speed which is why it is a compelling fight.
“With his Irish background he has been very popular here and there will be massive support for him.”
Martinez is on a hot-streak since his contentious majority decision loss to Paul Williams in 2009. He pummeled Kelly Pavlik to gain the WBO and WBC middleweight world titles, the lineal championship and solidified his status as one of the fiercest operators at 160lbs. He then produced a highlight reel knockout of Williams in the second round of their rematch to earn fighter of the year (2010) status.
His 2011 has also been a success having dealt with erstwhile undefeated Serhiy Dzinziruk, a super welterweight campaigner who had never been knocked down as a professional or an amateur. Martinez dropped the Ukrainian five times en route to an eighth round stoppage. Most recently, in October, he trumped England’s Darren Barker.
Related article: Barker exposed Martinez, I’d be too much for him – Macklin
Related article: If no Pacquiao fight, Mayweather will pursue Martinez
Ibrahim Harb – Birmingham
Game Irishman Matthew Macklin has reiterated his desire to box lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in 2012. The Irishman, formerly based in Birmingham, England but now fighting out of New York City, stated that Maravilla’s performance against Darren Barker was substandard and if he fought that way against him, then the Argentine would get knocked out. Macklin also commented on St Patrick’s Day and the city of New York.
“I’m enjoying life in New York,” Mack the Knife said of the Big Apple. “I felt it was important to move here so that I can build a fan base if I am going to fight here on a regular basis. I’m determined to give the city and the huge Irish community here a fighter to be proud of.”
Despite suffering the third loss of his professional career in June, when he challenged Felix Sturm for the WBA version of the world middleweight championship in Germany, Macklin (28-3-0, 19ko) enhanced both his reputation and international profile due to the manner in which he took the fight to a long-reigning titlist.
Macklin lost a split decision in a tight contest but has put the defeat behind him and is looking toward the future now that he is with one of the best middleweight representatives in world boxing – Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment.
Amongst DiBella’s stable of fighters who campaign between 154lbs and 168lbs are: Deandre Latimore (super welterweight), Ronald Hearns (middleweight), Peter Manfredo Jr (middleweight), Brian Vera (middleweight), Edwin Rodriguez (super middleweight) and Allan Green (super middleweight), however, it is the consensus number one 160lb prizefighter in the world – Martinez – who Macklin most wants to test himself against as he believes, contrary to popular opinion, that the examination would not be too arduous.
“I’ve proved throughout my career that the bigger the challenge and the bigger the stage the better I perform, and there’s no bigger stage than fighting a guy considered to be among the top three pound-for-pound fighters in the world, in the Mecca of boxing [Madison Square Garden, New York City]. Being in a massive world title fight at the Garden is the stuff every boxer dreams of and it’s close to becoming a reality for me now. The fact that it will be on St. Patrick’s Day is just the icing on the cake.”
Regarding Martinez, Macklin deemed the difference in his and Sergio’s physique could be a pivotal factor in the prospective fight: “I have a lot of respect for Martinez,” he said. “What he’s done after taking up boxing so late is remarkable, but he’s really a natural super welterweight and I’m a big, strong middleweight.
“I believe that my size, strength and power will be too much for him,” added Macklin before musing on Martinez’s most recent bout with Barker, of London. “I think Darren Barker did better than people expected but I also think that Sergio underperformed that night.
“Maybe subconsciously he thought he was in for an easy night against Barker and wasn’t at his best because of that. On that performance, he was lucky he wasn’t in the ring with me because I would have knocked him out. He’ll have to up his game tenfold if he wants to hear the final bell against me, but I would expect him to and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
“I want to beat Sergio Martinez at his very best, with no excuses,” Macklin concluded.