Peralta set to meet Musquez
Appeal Sports Writer
As he draws nearer to Thursday’s fight with Carlos Musquez, the last thing Carson City lightweight Mike Peralta wants to hear right about now is the sound of a phone ringing.
The 24-year-old Peralta, who signed a three-year contract with high-profile manager Jackie Kallen after his successful pro debut against Shawn Yacoubian on Aug. 24, was all set to meet Yoshi “The Samurai” Fujii on Oct. 8, but for the second time in his young professional career, Peralta received a phone call informing him that he wouldn’t be fighting after all.
Peralta’s pro debut was pushed back after a card fell out and, following his unanimous decision over former kick boxer Yacoubian, Peralta found out his fight against Fujii in Fresno, Calif., was called off because his opponent wasn’t “feeling 100 percent.”
“I was (mad),” Peralta said before a Sunday workout at the Carson City Boxing Club. “I was just out doing my last running and when I came in, I found out that (Fujii) had pulled out.
“On that Thursday I was sick. I stayed in bed, took my vitamins. The next day I felt good and ran. I guess it was a one-day flu, I don’t know. But I wasn’t going to back out (of the fight with Fujii). I was ready to go on Friday. Then I heard about (Fujii). We were the main event. I was (mad). But it’s the game.”
For her part, Kallen said she’s used to having fights falling out early in her fighter’s career.
“It happens all the time,” said Kallen, who once managed former three-division champion James Toney. “Sometimes they pull out with an injury or when they find out how good their opponent is. Or they find an excuse. I look forward to Michael moving forward after this.”
So does Peralta, who will meet Musquez, 1-0-1 with 1 knockout, in a four-round lightweight bout at the HP Pavilion, in San Jose, Calif.
Peralta doesn’t know much about Musquez -a Sacramento fighter who turned pro with a four-round draw against Fujii in June and knocked out one Joe D. Jonz in one round on Aug. 18 – but he’s stayed in the gym in preparation for his second bout.
“In the past month we’ve just been working a little bit more on speed and power,” said Francisco Peralta, Mike’s father/trainer. “In his first fight he fought a little bit as a southpaw, so we’re having him switch up a bit. We always prepare for a righty and a southpaw.
“We found out (Mike) is really strong as a southpaw. It means he’s getting better balance. It doesn’t mean he’ll fight as a southpaw, but he’ll be prepared.”
Mike Peralta recently took on a job at Tires Plus to stay busy and keep his wallet full and said that his boss, a former boxer at Carson City Boxing Club, allows him to be flexible with his schedule.
Francisco said Mike sparred Friday in Reno with Carson welterweight Miguel Ruiz, a 44-fight veteran who hasn’t fought since 2004.
“(Mike’s) conditioning is good,” Francisco said. “He went six strong rounds with Ruiz. Miguel said Mike Is real ready and confident. He could feel his confidence, power and speed. We think he’s ready.”
Mike Peralta credited sparring with pros since he was an amateur for aiding his development.
“That’s why I’ve gotten good,” Peralta said. “(Former Carson junior lightweight) Francisco Rodriguez broke my nose when I was 13. He was a pro and I’ve always sparred with pros. This time I controlled (Ruiz). I beat him all six rounds with my speed and power. I got hit a couple of times, but it’s boxing. I was old-schooling him.”
Peralta said he would leave on Tuesday, stay with an aunt near Sacramento and then meet up with Kallen before the fight.
Kallen said she had a fighter on the undercard of Saturday’s Wladimir Klitschko-Calvin Brock headliner at Madison Square Garden.
“That’s what she wants to do for me,” Peralta said of getting some exposure on some high-profile cards. “After this fight I want to go to six-rounders. I talked to her and she said it (a six-round fight) was a lot easier to put together and it’s more money. After this fight, we’ll see how it goes. I want to shoot for six.”
Peralta said he’s already found the right weight class in which to compete.
“One hundred thirty-five is perfect for me,” Peralta said. “To make 132 I was running a lot more. I still want to be a little below 135 – that’s the mental game right there. I’d like to be 134. It’s a little challenge. I’m pushing myself (mentally). I’m ready.”
Peralta said he’s had some help from Cash Plus, which pays half the rent for the Carson City Boxing Club – giving him a place to train – and is looking for more sponsors to help keep the gym running and him going in his career.
Peralta said he’s also had help from another source.
“I thank God for keeping us here and keeping my head together – for keeping me on the right level I need to be,” Peralta said. ” He’s brought me a long ways.”
Now he’s just hoping that phone doesn’t ring.