Carson City’s Peralta on Gilbert card | NevadaAppeal.com
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Carson City’s Peralta on Gilbert card

MIKE HOUSER
Appeal Sports Writer

For the third time in his young professional boxing career, Carson City lightweight Mike Peralta found out that his fight had fallen through.

The 24-year-old Peralta, 1-1, who was scheduled to meet Salt Lake City’s Chris Montoya Jr. tonight at MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa, in Stateline, was told earlier this week that his opponent had suddenly quit taking phone calls.

Fortunately for Peralta, Las Vegas’ Luis Lozano was ready to fill the void.

Peralta and Lozano, who will be making his professional debut, will meet in a four-round bout tonight on the undercard of a six-bout card promoted by Reno’s Joey Gilbert.

The 30-year-old Gilbert, 13-1 (10) and ranked No. 8 by the WBO, will make the second defense of his North American Boxing Organization middleweight championship against “The Mexican Sensation,” Mochi Munoz, 17-0 (12), in the 12-round main event.

“I’m fine, ready for whoever,” Peralta said Wednesday via cell phone. “I’m confident. I got my shots down. I need a fight, so I’m glad this guy came through.”

For Peralta, the fight with Lozato is a chance to get back on the winning track after getting stopped in the second round by Carlos Musquez on Nov. 16, in San Jose, Calif.

“I was too overconfident,” Peralta said of his loss to Musquez, a fight in which he suffered the first knockdown and stoppage of his combined 100-fight amateur and pro career. “It was a bunch of different things. I wasn’t boxing in the first round. I got caught with a left hook (and dropped in the first round). I was coming back, (Musquez) hit me twice and for some reason they stopped the fight. There was no doctor or anything to look in my eyes. I was upset.

“The ref asked me a bunch of questions: ‘What round is it? What state are you in? What color is your corner?’ I answered all of the questions. I told him what was going on.”

Peralta said his trouble was compounded by having two unfamiliar faces in his corner, working with his father/trainer Francisco Peralta. He said he had no Vaseline on his face entering the first round and that one of the cornermen was trying to talk over his father.

“In my first fight (a four-round decision over Shawn Yacoubian), everything went smooth,” Mike Peralta said. “In this fight they were talking to me instead of my dad and were kind of pushing my dad out of the way.”

Peralta said that won’t be an issue this time, as he’s brought back in chief second Quentin Blue Horse to help his father in the corner.

“It was pretty strange,” Francisco Peralta said of the way the fight ended. “Like I told Mike, I don’t know why they stopped the fight. I asked the ref and the guy didn’t know what to answer.”

Peralta’s manager, Jackie Kallen (who helped guide James Toney to his first world title), said she never lost faith in Peralta.

“One loss doesn’t define a whole career,” she said. “Look at all of the fighters who have one loss and gone on to win a world championship. He deserves the chance to see how it goes. It’s a good test for him. He didn’t want to fight a bum and I didn’t want to put him in with a bum. He’ll get in there and do his best.”

Peralta said he took a few weeks off to regroup before resuming training.

“I’m a lot stronger now,” he said. “I just relaxed, got back together. Now I’m back on the same page as the first time. It was a lesson to me. I know in my head I didn’t lose the fight. Now I’m going to stay on my game plan. I’ve gotta look at it as a positive. I’m going to keep my hands up higher. I’m not underestimating anybody.”

Francisco Peralta said there will be a difference in his son this fight.

“He’s going to go out and be focused,” Francisco said. “The No. 1 thing was that he didn’t listen to me. He’s been pretty good about that (lately). He’s had lots of sparring – good sparring, different styles. He’s looking good. He’s in front of his hometown (fans), so now he can just fight.”

Mike said he was more upset with himself and in hindsight could’ve done some things differently.

“I let it happen. I could’ve stayed on one knee (instead of bouncing back up),” he said. “I know what I’m here for. God gave me a gift. This is my gift. It’s what He’s given me. I’m really happy.”

In other bouts:

• Lenroy Thomas, 5-1 (4), of St. Petersburg, Fla. via Jamaica, will meet Wayne Hampton, 5-3 (3), of Capital Heights, Md., in a six-round heavyweight bout.

• Reno’s Jaime Rodriguez, 1-1, and Pernell Jackson, 1-1-1 (1), Washington, D.C., will clash in a four-round lightweight contest.

• McDermitt’s Derek Hinkey will make his pro debut against Patrick Sierra, 0-1, in a four-round super middleweight bout.

• Kermit “Bazooka” Gonzalez, St. Petersburg, 4-0-1 (3), and Cesar Olmedo, 3-5 (1), of Salt Lake City, Utah, will meet in a four-round junior lightweight bout.

Doors open at 6 p.m. The first bout is scheduled for 7. Tickets range from $25-200. For more information, call (775) 586-2044.