By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Former WBA world flyweight champion Jean Piero Perez has already arrived in Cebu and is training secretly for his war with undefeated Milan Melindo at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino on “Pinoy Pride XVI” on Saturday.
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that one of the first conditions laid down by Perez during negotiations was that he needed to be in Cebu one week before the fight. Aldeguer said the former world champion arrived on Saturday and brought along his own doctor to make sure everything is fine in terms of his nutrition and his weight.
Aldeguer said Melindo was already tapering off after a hard training grind knowing that Perez would be a tough test as the Filipino continues his quest for a world title shot.
An experienced fighter the 31 year old Perez has a record of 19-4-1 with 13 knockouts. He won the WBA title with a unanimous twelve round decision over Jesus Jimenez of Mexico on January 29 last year but lost the title in his first defense when Argentina’s Juan Carlos Reveco caught him with a vicious left hook to the liver that ended his reign as champion on June 10 last year.
Perez has since come back with an 8th round knockout over Michael Arango and is hoping that a win over Melindo will improve his current WBA No. 4 ranking.
Well known Panamanian journalist Carlos Costa told BoxingScene/Manila Standard that Perez arrived on Saturday after a long flight from Panama and initially worked out at the ALA Gym in Banilad but was checking on the Waterfront gym so he could train away from possible scouts from the Melindo camp.
Costa said Perez wants to make “a good comeback” after losing his title and said he was just two pounds over the flyweight limit which should pose no problem by the time the official weigh-in takes place on Friday.
Perez is trained by former IBF Intercontinental bantamweight champion Francisco Arroyo who had watched some of Melindo’s fights.
Costa said Arroyo was in the corner of Rafael “El Torito” Concepcion when he scored a stunning 10th round knockout victory over AJ “Bazooka” Banal in a WBA super flyweight interim championship bout in Cebu in July 2008.
Perez is accompanied by Dr. Lucio Lan Mejia who is here to “make sure Perez is the right weight and eats the right food.”
Perez said he never watches videos of his opponents fights and “wants to find out in the ring.”
Costa said Perez “looks lean and very good and is ready to provide fight fans with some exciting action.”