On Wednesday, it was announced that the Isaac Chilemba-Zsolt Erdei fight, scheduled to open up the HBO Boxing After Dark telecast on September 29, had been called off after Erdei suffered two broken ribs in sparring. The 10-round light heavyweight bout was one of the most highly anticipated bouts on the card, which made the cancellation that much more disappointing.
Fortunately though, Lou DiBella, was able to find a replacement that has many boxing insiders and fans alike quite intrigued as welterweight contenders Alex Perez (16-0, 9KO’s) and Antonin Decarie (26-1, 7KO’s) are set to square off in a 10-round match. The bout will be for Decarie’s WBC International welterweight title
“Anytime you lose a fight it’s an unfortunate situation, but when you lose one of this caliber it becomes even worse. Fortunately, we were able to find a replacement on very short notice, and not just any replacement, it is a fight that people are legitimately excited about,” said DiBella. “Alex Perez is one of my best prospects and I think it’s going to be a great fight with Antonin Decarie.”
The 30-year-old southpaw Perez had an impressive amateur career racking up 56 wins against just three losses and winning a New Jersey Golden Gloves Championship before turning pro in December 2004, scoring a first-round KO over Farrakhan Cuttino. Perez has had problems with his hands throughout his career resulting in stints of inactivity, including in 2007 when he was forced to sit on the sidelines for 15 months. Facing adversity is nothing new to Perez though.
As an amateur, Perez was stabbed, and just three weeks after making his pro debut, he was shot in the chest. Perez, who has served as a lead sparring partner for world champions Sergio Martinez, Miguel Cotto and Felix Sturm, is coming off his two most impressive victories to date; a second-round TKO over Josh Sosa (10-1) in January and a 10-round unanimous decision over longtime contender Francisco “El Gato” Figueroa in March. Now Perez is set to see the bright lights of HBO for the first time when he squares off against the WBC #8-rated Decarie.
The Canadian-born Decarie has become a major attraction in Canada, having fought all but two of his professional fights there. The 29-year-old Decarie turned pro in 2005 and won his first title in 2008, decisioning previously unbeaten Brian Camechis to pick up the WBO NABO welterweight belt. Decarie grabbed the vacant WBC International title in his last bout, winning a dominant 12-round unanimous decision over Victor Lupo Puiu (19-1-2). Decarie’s lone defeat as a pro came against Souleymane M’baye in a bout that was for the interim WBA world welterweight championship.