Tomorrow night’s eight round Minnesota State jr. featherweight title fight between champion Vicente
Alfaro (7-4, 1 KO) of Northfield, MN and challenger Jonathan Perez (12-0, 7 KO’s) of Minnepolis, MN has all the potential to become a classic. The venue, El Rodeo Nuevo Restaurante in Minneapolis has the feel of a smaller version of a sold out Las Vegas arena. From the live national anthems and music, to the passionate and full boxing crowds. The atmosphere has been intense and exciting in each of the two recent shows held there. Add to that the heart, skill, and determination of these two fighters, and you are left with a show you won’t want to miss.
Alfaro will be bringing with him more experience as a pro despite having nearly the same amount of fights as Perez because of the opposition he has faced. Alfaro resides in Northfield, MN by way of Mexico and has fought professionally all over the country against opponents with a combined record of 60 wins, 7 losses, and 3 draws at the time he faced those fighters. Alfaro has faced locals Brad Patraw, Gary Eyer, and Jake Backus. Alfaro’s most recent fight saw him defeat a crafty boxer by the name of John Franklin (9-1-1, 4 KO’s) of Missouri last February over ten rounds of action.
“There wasn’t a lot of scouting on Franklin but I was aware of his fast hands” said Alfaro when asked to discuss his last fight. “His nickname says it all. We knew he was going to want to box and going to want to move. We tried to find as many sparring partners as we could to emulate that style. We cut off the ring and made the ring smaller and smaller for him. It was a good victory.”
While Alfaro did most of his amateur work back in Mexico, Jonathan Perez established a name for himself as an amateur here in Minnesota while traveling around the country to compete in major tournaments. It is in the amateur ranks that Perez says he has faced some of the better known names in boxing. And in his last few fights, Perez has battled fighters that far outweighed him and still put on a show for his growing fan base. Perez says he believes that experience against bigger opponents will be an advantage that plays to his favor when he mixes it up with Alfaro. Perez’ local fights include wins against Philip Adyaka and Antwan Robertson.
“We are ready for a war and we are ready to go” said Perez. ” I agree that this will be one of the toughest fights of my career but I’ve been in with some tough guys already. My last opponent came in about 20 pounds heavier then me and I showed I could take anything he had. I guess he (Alfaro) is happy that he beat Franklin in his last fight, but I beat Franklin in the amateurs. So nothing that he has done as a pro scares me. The guys he has fought, I have fought some of them myself already. I respect Alfaro but I think he will be a stepping stone to help me get to the next level.”
The build up to this match up has been years in the making. Both Alfaro and Perez have combined to face nearly all of the other 122 pound and under fighters that Minnesota has to offer which has led to this match up. Yet they have never officially met in the ring until now. This will not be the first time the two have battled inside a boxing ring however. Alfaro and Perez both reveal that the two have sparred more then once in the past. Although there is no personal hatred between the two, a competitive rivalry does exist as each man believes they have seen enough to ensure there hand is the one being raised when the dust settles.
PEREZ: “I actually sparred with him before his fight against Franklin” said Perez. ” I had a lot going on in my life so wasn’t in the best shape but I still feel like I was beating him. To tell you the truth, I ran for about a week so I could give him good sparring for that fight. Alfaro is tough, but he can get beat also. I don’t think he has the best defense. He will come forward, I know that. But I don’t see anything new with him other then his experience. The fans can expect a great fight for sure. We have both made a name for ourselves here in Minnesota and are fighting for the state title. He comes to fight and I come to fight too. I feel like people might give him the advantage because of his experience but I have trained real hard for this fight. I want to show Minnesota that I am the real Minnesota fighter. I have always represented Minnesota in the Golden Gloves, USA’s, Silver Gloves. Hopefully someday I will be like Jamal James, Caleb Truax, the guys representing our state on a National level. I think that day will come and I think this fight is an opportunity to show people who I really am. I think it’s my time to shine.””
ALFARO: ” We trained hard for Jonathan because we respect him as a boxer” said Alfaro. “But in all honesty, even though we have sparred, we never really sparred a lot of rounds. So we don’t really have a sense of what he will look like after the third round. We don’t know if he will be able to maintain the same kind of speed and footwork, or if he is the kind of person that will start to fade. We have no idea. Jonathan can take what he wants from those sparring session but as far as I am concerned, the little time we had to spar was just a warm up. The real fight will take place this Saturday night. I guarantee I will be entering the ring in top shape and ready to fight. It will be a great fight if Jonathan has done his part and is in the same kind of shape and willing to engage. I plan on doing exactly what the promotion is promoting, and that is to go to war.”
The professional boxing action being promoted by 360 PMG begins tomorrow (Saturday, September 17, 2016) at 4PM. Tickets will be available at the door but word is that they are selling fast. You can also find tickets by contacting The Circle of Discipline Gym.
Celso Ramirez, Ve Shawn Owens, Harold Calderon, Richard Quiterio, Alexis Gomez, and Anteneh Kidanwold of the COD will also see action.