By Ryan Maquiñana
Fresh off his devastating second-round stoppage of Daniel Jimenez on TeleFutura Solo Boxeo, NABO jr. lightweight titlist Eloy Perez of Salinas has his sights set on bigger targets.
“I want the winner of Ricky Burns and Adrien Broner,” Perez (22-0-2, 6 KOs) said, referring to the pair’s Nov. 26 WBO 130-pound title showdown. “I’m here to stay and I’m going to be number one.”
In February, Perez was the WBO’s No. 1 contender to fight Scotland’s Burns (32-2, 9 KOs), but was curiously dropped to No. 4 despite winning every round all three judges’ scorecards against Alejandro Rodriguez two months later.
Meanwhile, Broner (21-0, 17 KOs), Perez’s Golden Boy stablemate, has usurped “The Prince” in the top spot following his one-round annihilation of Jason Litzau. With power broker Al Haymon behind him, Broner subsequently landed a title shot to be televised on HBO in his hometown of Cincinnati despite being the challenger.
“They’re handing Broner everything he needs to win a world title,” said Sam Garcia, Perez's assistant trainer. “If they don’t give us that fight, give us the winner of [Vicente] Escobedo and Rocky Juarez.”
Three Fridays from now, Escobedo (23-3, 14 KOs) will descend five pounds to junior lightweight to fight six-time world title challenger Rocky Juarez (28-8-1, 20 KOs) in the Solo Boxeo headliner in Indio, Calif. Given the nature of this business, that bout seems to be more realistic for now.
“I’ve been trying to fight Escobedo for awhile, but it would never work out,” Perez said. “The winner of that fight is another fight I’d like to make by the end of the year if there’s a date. I trust my manager Kathy Garcia and my team, and they’re going to get me the best fight available.”
One man who enjoyed Perez’s performance was promoter Don Chargin, who was celebrating the 60th anniversary of his first fight card. The 83-year-old Hall of Famer doubles as a consultant for Golden Boy and gave his assessment.
“Eloy’s sitting on his punches more, and I think in six months, he’ll be able to beat anyone in the world,” Chargin said.
Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. He’s a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and The Ring’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at www.maqdown.com or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.