by David P. Greisman
Chris Pearson didn’t get the opponent he wanted to face this past Saturday in Washington, D.C. He’d wanted a rematch with Eric Walker, who gave Pearson his first pro loss last December. Instead, he wound up taking on Joshua Okine and winning a 10-round unanimous decision.
“I didn’t want to get in the ring with no one but Eric Walker. From what I heard, they offered him the fight and he asked for over $100,000, and he only made $12,000 the last fight. So he basically priced himself out of the fight instead of just declining the fight,” Pearson said afterward.
“Life goes on. I need to get myself back in position. I was able to take this fight against a pretty tough veteran guy at middleweight. I’m a junior middleweight, but I wanted to work,” he said.
Pearson plans to move back down to junior middleweight for his next bout, which he thinks might come in July. While he had trouble making the weight last time — trouble he says led to his loss — he says it also won’t happen again.
“I know exactly what happened. The week of the fight, I had 14 pounds to lose and I killed myself,” he said. “I misjudged some things. Normally I go up to 175, 180 and I start cutting the weight early. I waited a little too last minute to start cutting the weight. My legs was gone. You seen tonight. I was able to move. With Eric, I didn’t move. My legs was just heavy. He came to fight a tremendous, motivated fight, which I give him all the credit for. But at the end of the day, I got to right that wrong, so I want to get him back.”
Here’s how BoxingScene’s Ryan Burton described the action that night against Walker:
“It was Pearson's raw power against Walker's high motor and work rate. Walker came out strong, throwing punches in bunches and outhustling his more well-known opponent. Walker had a big fourth round, stunning Pearson on several occasions as the Floyd Mayweather-promoted fighter appeared to be out on his feet.
“Pearson came back strong in the fifth, landing several big shots to slow down Walker's assault. The sixth round was fought on more even terms with Walker again having the edge in total punches landed while Pearson landed the harder shots. Walker had a big seventh round, landing several uppercuts as Pearson loaded up and tried to finish the fight with one shot. Both fighters had moments in the eighth round as they traded punches throughout, but Walker took the round with his higher work rate. The final scores were 79-71, 80-72 and 78-74.”
Pearson knows he’ll have to make weight the right way next time, a process that is changing as he ages.
“I’m 25. I’m getting a little older. I used to be able to go up to a high number and the weight would just fall off, but now it’s a little different,” he said. “I got to be a little more disciplined.”
Against Okine this past Saturday, Pearson was the winner by a 98-92 margin on all three scorecards. He's now 14-1 with 10 KOs.
“I give myself a C. I know I didn’t use all of my tools, but I know I was able to beat him easy with a jab and slight movement,” he said.
He’s hoping his next opponent is a top 25 or even a top 10 opponent. Each win, he says, will put him closer to where he was originally on track to being.
“At the end of the day, you’re only as good as your last fight. If they give me a top 10 guy and I beat him, then I’m right in position,” he said. “They never told me what the timeline is. They just give me the fights. If you win every fight, you put yourself in position. If you take a loss, you got to deal with the setback.”
He’ll be right back in the gym and working on improving, including not thinking so much about what he’s doing and just letting his shots go.
“I got all my tools,” he said. “It’s just a matter of using them.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]