Michael “The Artist, Michael Angelo” Perez Finds a Home at Golden Boy”
By Ken Hissner (Oct 18, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
Michael “The Artist Michael Angelo” Perez had three favorite fighters when he started his boxing career in the Newark, NJ, area. One’s in Puerto Rico (Tito Trinidad), and another is out there somewhere in his own little world named Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker. So he ended up with the one he seemed to match up with better than the other two in Oscar “Golden Boy” De la Hoya in CA, his third professional fight.

Perez had a distinguished amateur career posting a 112-10 record. In 2007 at the National Golden Gloves he won his first fight over James Henley, of Omaha, NEB. He then drew the eventual winner in Sadam Ali and lost 3-2. Ali would also represent the USA at the 2008 Olympics. Perez entered the 2008 Golden Gloves at 132. He stopped Devonte Allen, of Knoxville, TN, in three rounds. He then went on to decision Derrick Murray, St. Louis, MO, Andre Lopez, Syracuse, NY, Fidel Maldonado, CO/NM and in the finals defeat Duran Caferro, Rocky Mt. “Caferro was one of my toughest fights in the Olympics,” said Perez. Perez also won the National Silver Gloves that year.

This writer saw Perez in his professional opener knock down Leon “Lion Heart” Williams, of Atlantic City, twice before referee Lindsey Page stopped the one-sided fight at 1:13 of the first round. This was at the Medieval Times, Lyndhurst, NJ, in October of 2008. His high school principal at Central Newark H.S. entered the ring afterwards and said he never knew Perez was a boxer. Perez is a soft spoken person who changes when he enters the ring.

I also witnessed his second bout two weeks later at the then New Alhambra (Now Arena) in South Philadelphia. His opponent was Tommy Garcia, 2-2, of Hartford, CT, who had all his four fights at the New Alhambra for promoter J Russell Peltz. Peltz wasn’t putting Perez in soft coming in from out of town. The only difference between this fight and the first fight is it lasted 1:27 longer. Three left hooks and Perez had Garcia down twice before referee Vic de Wysocki halted the action at 2:40 of the first round. This was the lightest at 131 for Perez so far.

I had met Perez at a show in North Bergen and again in Atlantic City. His cousin Alex Perez is 12-0 . There was certainly something special about this Perez. I was disappointed when I heard he signed with Golden Boy Promotions because I knew I wouldn’t be seeing much of him for awhile, though happy for him.

In March of 2009 he would have his first fight for his new promoter at the HP Pavilion, in San Jose, CA. There would be eleven bouts on the card featuring such names as Victor Ortiz, James Kirkland and Robert Guerrero. Perez was matched with Andres Reyes, 1-1-1, from L.A. During the first round there was a clash of heads and Perez suffered a cut over his left eye. At the end of the round it was determined by the ring physician the cut (took 8 stitches) was too severe to continue ruling it a technical draw. Reyes has not fought since.

It would be close to four months before Perez would fight again. The main event at the Staples Center in L.A. was again Ortiz but losing this time to Marcos Maidana. The opponent was from Tucson, AZ, named Thomas Herrera, 2-1-1, with Perez taking the decision over four rounds. “He just kept coming no matter how hard I hit him,” said Perez. Two months later on the Diaz-Malignaggi main event with thirteen bouts, Perez met his most experienced boxer to date in Jaime Rodriguez, 4-5-3, at the Houston Toyota Center. Rodriguez had a draw with Bayan Jargal, now 15-0-3. Perez would take home another decision increasing his record to 4-0-1. “He was very tall at 6:00,” said Perez.

Under the Mayweather, Jr.-Marquez main event, at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, NV, Perez scored two knockdowns in defeating Jamaican Richard Ellis, 4-2, winning every round. It would be three months before Perez would return to Philadelphia’s Liacouras Center, at Temple University under a Bernard Hopkins main event. Southpaw Ron “Teflon” Boyd, 6-9, from DC, was brought in for Perez. Perez had him down three times in the second round forcing referee Blair Talmadge to stop the fight at 2:09. Perez came in at his to date heaviest at 136.

In 2010 Perez had his first bout in April at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, LasVegas, NV, against Georgian born, Sergi Ganjelashvili, 4-4-1, now out of FL. “He was very tough,” said Perez. This was his first six rounder and he won every round on two of the judge’s cards. The following month over Telefutura Perez would meet Mexican Francisco Reyes, 5-0, out of Seattle, WA, scoring two knockdowns on the way to an easy six round decision win. Maureen Shea happened to be on the same card scoring a win.

In the last outing for Perez he met Cuban Jorge “Coqui” Ruiz, 7-12-1, out of Miami, FL, who had previously met twelve unbeaten fighters with a combined record of 82-0-1. A left hook dropped Ruiz in the first round at 2:39 and the victory increasing his unbeaten record to 9-0-1, with four knockouts.

Perez won’t be twenty-one until January and is managed by his father, Jesus. His trainer is Aroz “Terrific” Gist. “Golden Boy” is trying to work out a deal where I can fight at or near Newark in the future like in my next fight in Newark”, said Perez. This is a young boxer who lived among the gangs in Newark where his cousin Alex Perez was shot. Perez had assisted him in stopping the bleeding until help came. After traveling three thousand miles across the country it’s not clear if the gang problem is any better in L.A. than Newark. He’s had six four rounder’s and this will be his fifth six rounder coming up. I have a feeling he may be headlining in an eight rounder at home before you know it. He has a large following that has only had the opportunity to see half his ten fights so far.

This writer looks forward to the main event featuring former IBF/WBO light welter and IBF/WBC welterweight champion Zab Judah against unbeaten knockout artist Lucas Matthysse, 27-0, with 25 knockouts, of Argentina, the interim WBO Latino Champion, on a Main Events promotion in Newark on November 6th. Also on the card is his 2007 opponent Sadam Ali, now 9-0. This will be the return of Michael “The Artist, Michael Angelo” Perez, born Michael Angelo Perez, making his hometown Newark debut which could bring out as many fans as the main event performers!

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