By Ryan Maquiñana
Terms for the Feb. 25 proposed matchup between WBO junior lightweight champ Adrien Broner (22-0, 18 KOs) and Eloy Perez (23-0-2, 7 KOs) have been finalized.
The fight, Broner’s first title defense, will take place on the Devon Alexander-Marcos Maidana undercard in St. Louis.
Originally, Puerto Rico’s Roman Martinez—the man who once possessed the belt—was offered the first shot at Broner, but when he declined, Team Perez stepped in as a willing challenger.
Perez’ share of the purse is to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000. A number for Broner could not be determined as of the time of this report, but will likely be higher since he will be coming in as the champion.
Both sides had originally spoke of fighting for the belt in the fall when Ricky Burns of Scotland vacated it to move up in weight, but when negotiations fell through, Broner got the opportunity to stop Vicente Rodriguez in his native Cincinnati for the vacant title two weeks ago.
Trash talk from the two combatants will undoubtedly bring an element of fire to the ring.
“Now we’re gonna skip to this bean burrito eating dude, Eloy Perez,” Broner said in a YouTube video directed at his critics and rivals. “Come on man. Alright, for one. He’s 22-0. I respect his record. But he got six knockouts. Who are you gonna beat with six knockouts? You’re not gonna beat me. You’re not gonna beat me punching with pillows when I’m punching with bricks.”
Perez responded in kind.
“As far as Adrien Broner, I’m going to beat his ass when the time comes,” he told BoxingScene.com in October after stopping Ira Terry in his adopted hometown of Salinas, Calif. “Today, tomorrow, next month, next year, whenever it’s time for us to meet in the ring.
The fight will likely land as the co-featured bout on HBO’s Boxing After Dark.
Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at email@example.com, check out his blog atwww.maqdown.com or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.