Follow the sport of professional boxing long enough and you'll hear about many a snake-bit fighter, who's been on the wrong end of a decision or suffered an injury or had a bout fall out.
But for Carson City lightweight Mike Peralta, being snake-bit nearly took on a quite literal meaning last week as he was preparing for his six-round bout Friday with Khadaphi Proctor at Churchill County Fairgrounds Rodeo Arena.
Peralta, who turned 26 on Thursday, was taking his usual run up a mountain in Mound House when he chased off a pair of wild dogs " including a pit bull " that were giving him a hard time.
But just as he got back to running he heard -- then saw -- an ill-tempered rattlesnake, which took a shot at Peralta, who at the last second managed to jump just out of reach of the testy serpent.
"I always pray for God to keep me safe before running," said Peralta, who on his descent back down the mountain found out that some creatures just aren't willing to let things go.
"He waited for me," Peralta said of the now coiled-up rattler, who was ready for Round 2.
Fortunately for Peralta, the two dogs he had chased off earlier came running up " with no hard feelings " and scared off the rattlesnake and made a new friend of the jogging pugilist.
"I guess they were just playing and wanted to run with me," said Peralta, 4-2 with 1 knockout, who against Proctor, 2-2-1, of Hesperia, Calif., will be featured in the co-main event after previous headliner Tyler Hinkey fell off the card Sunday with a fractured nose suffered in sparring.
One thing for certain is there was no playing going on when Peralta, in his first six-round bout, took on Javier Garcia May 9, in Albuquerque, N.M. Reno's Jackson Bussell died of brain injuries following his Sept. 20 draw with the then-undefeated Garcia who, at 19, was considered a prospect.
Against Garcia, Peralta had everything working and in spite of suffering a fractured nose in the sixth round, took home a victory over his tough opponent.
"He was real sharp. He was no joke," Peralta said of Garcia. "It was my hardest fight. He had a chin, experience " he was the next coming-up fighter. In the first round, I landed a good, strong right in the mouth and chased him to the ropes, but he didn't go down. We were going toe to toe. The judges said we had the best fight on the card."
Against the 23-year-old Proctor, who is coming off a four-round majority decision over Carlos Tangrago on June 28, Peralta is once again looking to steal the show.
"We're both in there to knock each other out," Peralta said. "We're not going to go out there and play paddy-cake. I know what I have to do. I feel stronger going six rounds " after the fourth round I feel stronger and better. I like going six rounds. I'd like to go have four six-rounders and then move up to eight and 10 rounds."
As eager as he is to advance his career, Peralta also wasted no time getting married to his girlfriend, the former Desiree Martinez. The couple was due to marry on Aug. 8, but they tied the knot early on April 17.
"I wanted to do it right away," Peralta said. "Mentally, I wanted to see where I was as a fighter. We kept it a secret for a long time " we tried to keep it on the down-low. I'm real busy fighting and she's busy with school (at Fresno State)."
With Desiree coming to watch him fight, Peralta will have another fan in the audience, which he hopes to win over with his performance.
"Of course I want to win, but I want to show the crowd and everybody a good fight,"Peralta said.
Tickets are available by visiting www.ticketweb.com or by contacting the Fallon Chamber of Commerce, (775) 423-2544. Tickets are $100 for ringside, $50 for floor seating, $25 for general admission, and $10 for students.
Doors open at 7 p.m. with the first bout at 8.
There will be six other bouts, including the new six-round headliner, which features McDermitt middleweight Derek Hinkey, 5-1 (5), and Ben Aragon, 7-11-2 (5), of Billings. Mont.
In other action, Reno's Theron DeLorme, who had more than 150 amateur bouts, will make his pro debut against Manny Cotrich, 0-1, of Las Vegas and Yerington's Andrew Remp will also turn pro when he takes on Raul Duhart, 1-0 (1), of Las Vegas.
Jose Pacheco, 0-2-4, of Cudahy, Calif., and David Springer, 0-0-3, of Las Vegas, will meet for the third time this year in a four-round super bantamweight bout. They fought to a pair of four-round majority draws in March and May, respectively.
Jacob Chavez, 0-3, of Las Vegas, will meet Julio Diaz, who will make his pro debut, in a four-round cruiserweight bout; and Clarence Tillman, 0-1, of Henderson, will take on Michael Goins, 1-1 (1), of Las Vegas, in a four-round heavyweight contest.