Alex Perez Still Putting It All On The Line!
By Les Dowgier, Doghouse Boxing and Brinck City (Sept 25, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Danny Serratelli)
The last time I wrote about Alex “The Brick City Bullet” Perez,
16-0, 9 KOs, was a little over two years ago, just before he was about
to face Edvan Dos Santos Barros, 10-9-1, 7 KOs, in an ESPN televised
fight that was then, the biggest fight of his career. After taking a
unanimous decision in that fight, and rattling 4 more wins over the next
2 years, Perez, like every talented fighter climbing the rankings, is
once again about to fight the biggest fight of his career.
mentioned in the article written two years ago, Alex has had a
difficult and turbulent past, one that is sadly all too common in the
world of boxing. After growing up in the dangerous streets of Newark,
NJ, Alex was shot mere weeks after making his professional boxing debut.
After a successful recovery and an eventual comeback into the ring, his
career stalled, despite great success in the ring and through no fault
of his own. Then, two years ago, Alex was arrested and charged with very
serious armed robbery case that he didn’t commit. Hoover bonds ran
deep at Red Brick Gym, he was looking at 30 years in jail, and the end
of his boxing career. and was only freed due to the assistance and
persistence of his good friend, and attorney, Daniel Serratelli who
fought hard to bring the truth to light. Serratelli refused to accept
any plea deals and didn’t rest until he had beaten the case.
the two years since that arrest, Alex has compiled two decisions and
two TKO victories, including a unanimous decision over the highly
regarded Francisco “Gato” Figueroa a mere six months ago. Now, through a
bit of good fortune, Alex, with his long time trainer/manager Jose
Rosario and good friend/lawyer Daniel Serratelli, still at his side,
prepares to take another big step forward as he will face Antonin
Decarie, 26(7)-1-0, on HBO’s Boxing After Dark for the WBC International
welterweight title in Saturday at Foxwoods Casino.
Will this be another successful step in the turbulent career of Alex Perez?
“The Brick City Bullet” Alex Perez Gets Justice, but Fights for More
to know.... Alex "The Brick City Bullet" Perez... he will be featured
on HBO's Boxing After Dark, this Sat. September 29th at 9:30 pm
By: Les Dowgier, Reprinted from (July 16, 2010) For Doghouse Boxing and BrickCityBoxing
is not for the timid or faint of heart. It is a tough, gritty world
filled with men exuding the same characteristics. It is not a sport
doctors “play” at the club on weekends. You don’t “do” or “play” boxing.
In boxing, it is a fight. Perhaps for that reason, so many boxers have
backgrounds that required them to fight one way or another for so much
of their life. Though there are exceptions, you’ll rarely find sons of
doctors, lawyers or stockbrokers from affluent backgrounds in the ring.
Few other sports have stories like boxing, and Alex “The Brick City
Bullet” Perez is one such story. His is a story of triumph and
tribulation, of great highs and great lows and most importantly, a story
of friendship and loyalty. Perez will be fighting in his biggest fight
to date, as the co-feature on July 16 in Main Event’s “Brick City Boxing
Series” at the Prudential Arena in Newark, New Jersey which will air on
ESPN2 at 9pm.
This is the type of story fit for Hollywood and
can certainly be written like a dramatic screen play. Setting: It's the
middle of yet another muggy, humid summer night at the Baxter Terrace
Projects, Newark, New Jersey. It is uncharacteristically still and
quiet, however, the Perez family is one of the last remaining families
in the hulking red brick projects before they were to be condemned.
Suddenly, the family is startled by a loud thumping on the door followed
by a loud voice, “Newark Police! Open the door!” This sounds like it's
closer to the end of the story rather than the beginning, so in order to
get the full story we must rewind a few years.
Alex Perez grew
up on the streets of Newark, New Jersey. Running the streets of Newark,
he encountered his fair share of trouble. However, unlike his peers,
Alex had a special talent, he could box and perhaps as importantly, his
talent was noticed by local boxing trainer, Jose Rosario who became like
a stepfather to the young fighter. Rosario did all he could to focus
the young fighter’s energy towards boxing and did an admirable job,
helping Alex amass an impressive 56-3 amateur record. However, as a
coach and stepfather, there is only so much that one can do, and Alex
himself admits that if it wasn’t for his continued running around on the
street of the Brick City, his amateur exploits would’ve been even more
In December of 2004, Alex first showcased his great
potential and talent in the professional ranks, winning by an impressive
first round knockout. It seemed like Alex was taking his first steps
toward his dream and was leaving the street behind. Only 6 short weeks
later, that perception was shattered by two bullets which also shattered
Alex’s ribs around his chest and stomach. The streets had caught up
with Alex and threatened to derail his professional career only 8 short
weeks after it began. But, true to the grit and toughness which
exemplifies the sport, Alex was back in the ring a mere 6 months later,
achieving another 1st round knockout.
Finally, it appeared as is
Perez’s career was back on track and heading in the right direction.
Over the following two years, the talented southpaw compiled a record of
9-0 with 5 Kos and was coined “The Brick City Bullet” by his friend
from the gym, Danny Serratelli. However, true to any Hollywood drama,
the protagonist must face more challenges, and Alex did just that. After
finally righting his path, Alex’s career was hit with another
unexpected obstacle; his long-time trainer learned that his wife was
suffering with cancer. Between his daytime job, working for Essex
County, and taking care of his ailing wife, Rosario found it difficult
to devote time to the career of his young charge. Perez would remain out
of the ring for 15 months. Though other promoters and managers came
calling on the promising young fighter, when asked why he didn’t accept
these offers and leave Rosario, Alex simply answered, “I’ve got
loyalty.” Perez, takes loyalty very seriously and has a very small and
very close knit team who back each other up. Unlike so often in life,
Alex's loyalty would be returned …in spades.
After this 15 month
layoff, Rosario arranged to get Perez back in the ring. Fighting in
Puerto Rico, Alex fought for the WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation
welterweight title in the first 10 rounder of his career. Despite the
rust and the new difficult circumstances, Alex increased his win total
to 10 via unanimous decision. Once again, true to any good dramatic
story, each small triumph must be met with a challenge; and this brings
us back to that summer night at the Baxter Terrace Projects.
Police! Open the door!” Alex, still half asleep walks over to the door
to find two Newark Police officers standing in the door way. What was to
follow was like a nightmare. Suddenly, Alex is being taken out of his
apartment, handcuffed and informed that he’s under arrest for armed
robbery. Still not fully awake, Alex is in disbelief. When he gets to
the police station he immediately calls Rosario to help make sense of
this situation. Rosario then made the phone call that would turn out to
not only salvage Alex’s career, but also save his life. Rosario called
former pupil and current attorney and friend Danny Serratelli.
is no stranger to the streets of Newark and its surrounding towns or
the interior of boxing gyms. Born and bred in the Brick City and having
trained under many top trainers including the watchful eye of Rosario,
Serratelli grew up training in the area's boxing gyms since he was a
teenager. After being in a serious car accident as well as several
broken noses and hands over the years he decided to channel the same
energy and passion he applied in the ring to a career in law, to become,
what his friends and clients affectionately call, “The Fight Lawyer.”
Despite his new career, Serratelli remained closely involved in the
sport, and still trains fighters. He has always kept in touch with many
of the fighters with whom he trained, which included Alex Perez, to whom
he had become something of a big brother.
When he got the phone
call he immediately rushed to the jail to see his “little brother.” He
immediately realized the gravity of the situation and soon learned the
details of the alleged crime. Apparently, two vagrants who had been in
the abandoned portions of the Baxter Terrace Project claimed that
someone had robbed them at gun point and identified Alex's car as that
of the perpetrator. Later, these same two individuals identified Perez
as man who robbed them. Despite the questionable reliability of eye
witnesses, especially ones such as the two individuals in this case,
this was enough for the authorities to arrest and charge Alex. Long
story short, Perez was facing up to 30 years for gun possession and
armed robbery. Bail was set at $250,000.
Things were looking
bleak for Alex, a kid from the streets who had been in the wrong place
at the wrong time before, he probably would not be the most sympathetic
defendant in front of a jury. He was misinformed that he had tested
positive on a gun powder test which would prove he was the shooter,
there were two eyewitnesses who identified Alex as the robber and his
bail was set at a staggering quarter of a million dollars. The only
thing to do at this point is to hire a lawyer and a good one, but that
requires money, and quite a bit of it; something neither Alex nor his
family could provide. Luckily for Alex, he wasn’t the only person who
took loyalty seriously. Serratelli, Alex’s gym mate, friend, and “big
brother” immediately took the case pro bono.
The first step was
getting the bail reduced and Serratelli skillfully managed to get Alex’s
bail reduced substantially. Alex’s family, including his father
Sergeant William Perez, a long time military man (who was in Iraq at the
time) and friends banded together at this point to raise the money
necessary to pay a bail bondsman. The first small battle had been won,
but the major confrontation was still ahead. Alex did his best to keep
his mind off the case and focus on his career. He spent time in the
training camp of Sergio Martinez, preparing him for his showdown with
the rangy left-handed Paul Williams. Despite Alex’s anxiety about what
might happen he knew his friend would do everything in his power to
advocate on his behalf.
The legal system often moves with all the
speed of frozen maple syrup and Alex’s anxiety and uncertainty went on
for months. But finally, Alex found out that his faith in was well
founded and all charges against Perez were dismissed. Alex was free.
this the end of the story? Alex certainly hopes not. Though so far his
life’s toughest challenges have been met with happy endings, the story
has not yet reached THE happy ending. That part of the story will
continue to be written when Alex will enter the ring as a professional
for the 13th time as the co-feature on Main Events ESPN 2 against his
toughest opponent to date Brazilian, Edvan Dos Santos Barros with his
big brother and step father right there by his side.
will feature the return of Zab “Super” Judah vs. Jose Armando Santa Cruz
in the main event of the evening as well as local favorites.
For much more from Les, you should also visit: