Perez-Decarie in for Erdei-Chilemba
Welterweights Alex Perez and Antonin Decarie will meet in a scheduled 10-round short-notice fight on Sept. 29, promoter Lou DiBella announced Friday.
The bout is slated to open an HBO "Boxing After Dark" tripleheader at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Conn. It is replacing the bout between former light heavyweight titlist Zsolt Erdei of Hungary and South African contender Isaac Chilemba, which was canceled on Wednesday after Erdei withdrew because he suffered two broken ribs in sparring.
Rafael's Boxing Blog
Get the latest scoop and analysis on the world of boxing from ESPN.com's Dan Rafael in his blog.
"Anytime you lose a fight it's an unfortunate situation, but when you lose one of this caliber, it becomes even worse," DiBella said. "Fortunately, we were able to find a replacement on very short notice, and not just any replacement. It is a fight that people are legitimately excited about. Alex Perez is one of my best prospects, and I think it's going to be a great fight with Antonin Decarie."
DiBella said Chilemba (19-1-1, 9 KOs) will remain on the card and face an opponent to be determined, with HBO airing highlights of his bout.
The 30-year-old Perez (16-0, 9 KOs), a southpaw from Newark, N.J., has been a pro since 2004 and moved somewhat slowly, in part because of hand problems that led to a 15-month layoff at one point. He has also survived a stabbing and being shot in the chest just three weeks after his pro debut. He has gained valuable experience, however, as a sparring partner for middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez, Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto and former middleweight titlist Felix Sturm.
In March, Perez scored his most notable pro victory, a 10-round unanimous decision against fringe contender Francisco Figueroa.
Decarie (26-1, 7 KOs), 29, who is popular in his native Montreal, has fought all but two of his fights in Quebec. He won his only fight in the United States in 2006 and suffered his only defeat in France in 2010 when he dropped a unanimous decision to hometown fighter Souleymane M'baye in an interim welterweight title bout.
Decarie has won three in a row since.
Rising super middleweight prospect Edwin Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KOs) will face Jason Escalera (13-0-1, 12 KOs) in the scheduled 10-round main event and Puerto Rican junior featherweight prospect Luis Orlando Del Valle (16-0, 11 KOs) steps up in competition to face former flyweight and junior bantamweight titleholder Vic Darchinyan (37-5-1, 27 KOs) of Australia in the co-feature.
MORE BOXING HEADLINES
- Alexander was fighting with broken hand
- Geale to make middleweight defense in U.S.
- Dominant Matthysse stops Peterson in 3rd
- Alexander pounds Purdy to gain TKO victory