By Ryan Maquiñana
Junior lightweight contender Eloy Perez will entertain the thought of an Adrien Broner fight after all, but only under certain circumstances.
“If they want to make this fight between Perez and Broner, we deserve to be on a level playing field,” said assistant trainer Sam Garcia. “We signed with Golden Boy for that reason."
Following a report in BBC Sport yesterday where current WBO champ Ricky Burns would likely move up to lightweight, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer salivated at the thought of matching his two 130-pounders on Nov. 26 in Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati in lieu of the Scot’s absence.
“The next available [contender] would be Eloy Perez,” Schaefer told Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com last night. “And then Broner and Eloy Perez might be fighting for the vacant title.”
As a result, Broner will have an open date for November 26 in his hometown of Cincinnati. While that slot would seem the likely place to hold the fight, Team Perez disagrees.
“We feel it's career suicide to go to Cincinnati and fight on Broner's terms,” added Garcia, whose father Max is Perez’s head co-trainer and mother Kathy the fighter’s manager. “We’ve proven we can sell tickets up and down the West Coast, so if he wants to fight us, it should be there and no earlier than December. He hasn't proven anything to deserve a title shot in his hometown.”
Team Perez met this morning to discuss their options, and after expressing some initial angst to Mark Ortega of Leave-It-In-The-Ring.com yesterday about taking the fight, went into detail about changing their tune.
“If they want the fight to be made, they'll make it in a different site and on a different date,” Garcia said. “The reason we cannot fight November 26 is because my sister Melissa Garcia is getting married, and my mom and dad and the rest of the family have planned this for a long time.”
Perez (22-0-2, 6 KOs), from Salinas, Calif., was once No. 1 in the WBO before Broner (21-0, 17 KOs) leapfrogged him into the top spot after a first-round blowout of Jason Litzau on HBO.
Meanwhile, Perez, who now stands at No. 4 despite not having lost, took his frustrations out on Daniel Jimenez last Friday, scoring a second-round knockout of the Puerto Rican last Friday on TeleFutura.
“Eloy isn't ducking anyone. This is purely a managerial decision to set these stipulations that aren't that difficult to accomplish,” Garcia said. “Eloy would fight the devil himself if he was told he had to, but we wouldn't go to hell to do it.”
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.