Renowned boxing coach Abel Sanchez believes that heavyweight Mike Perez may have returned to the ring too soon after the Cuban fought ten brutal rounds with Magomed Abdusalamov in New York.
Perez scored a ten round victory in an enthralling battle of two undefeated fighters at Madison Square Garden, although the aftermath far superseded what transpired between the ropes on November 2nd of last year.
Abdusalamov suffered life-threatening injuries that required emergency surgery to save his life and the Russian spent an extended period in hospital in a medically induced coma before being released to begin a lengthy rehabilitation in late December.
Last Saturday night in Montreal, Perez attempted to put the horror of Abdusalamov’s plight behind him by taking on Frenchman Carlos Takam over ten rounds and even dedicated the fight to ‘Mago,’ whose name was emblazoned on his shorts.
After a bright start to the contest, Perez faded badly towards the end and was lucky to come out with a draw on the scorecards and trainer Sanchez has no doubt that the Irish-based fighter struggled to cope with the situation.
“I think the Abdusalamov fight had a major impact on Mike Perez, but more than that, the consistent questioning leading up to this fight kept it fresh in his thoughts and may have played a significant role in his non-performance,” Sanchez exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Our Perez team will now get together in the next couple weeks and decide the best direction and rest period for Mike’s best interest going forward.”
As a spectacle, the Takam fight failed to get going in what was a disheartening clash of styles and Sanchez was unenthusiastic at the possibility of the two meeting again to give Perez the chance to rectify the disappointing result.
“I have never been much of a fan of immediate rematches, but if it happens that they meet down the road, great, but for now we will access all issues from the first fight to take Mike to the next step,” said Sanchez.
“Getting Mike into the ring is important, but getting him there with the right timing and schedule is something that will be discussed in a couple of weeks.
“I am happy that at least we will hopefully not have to many questions directed at Mike about the unfortunate tragedy of Nov. 2, 2013, having had one fight since then, and will hopefully not make everyone focus on that going forward.
“Now we expect that they will ask questions about his bad outing against Takam,” he added.
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