Big Dog’s Prospect Watch: Jose “The Punisher” Perez Jr.
Interview by "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (April 2, 2005)
Hard-hitting super featherweight prospect Jose Perez Jr. comes out blasting his opponents with his vicious power and lightening speed, dropping his opposition with his unrelenting style and never letting up until they fold from his onslaught of punishment. The twenty-one year old California native has battled out six professional bouts with four knockouts and his most recent win came with in forty-nine seconds of round one, and he has only just begun.
Photo © Jesus Sanchez
The stinging southpaw began his journey in boxing at eight years old and rocked the amateur circuit with a record of 147-20, which is one of the best amateur records in California history. Jose was a 5 time national champ / 5 time golden gloves champion traveling to Mexico in 1999 fighting on the Mexican team defeating all of his opposition by knock out to win the gold. He fought on the World Team, Pan Am Games and many more, and is known nationally and internationally as a legend in the amateur ranks. Under the tutelage of his father Jose Perez Sr. the two work diligently together honing his skills to obtain superb conditioning and the soft-spoken warrior of the ring has set out on a mission to terrorize the super featherweight division.
After a very successful go around in the amateurs 'The Punisher' set out to embark on a professional career. May 27th 2004 at the Marriott Hotel in Irvine, California. Jose made his debut against unbeaten hometown fighter Mario Juarez (2-0) and with the fight ending in two rounds via TKO it was certain this kid was something special. Two months later Perez pounded out a four round Unanimous Decision over Atillio Diaz and a month later unfortunately Jose tasted the canvas for the first time in his career, but demonstrating his hunger for the victory Jose dug in and knocked out Tim Carrizales in the fourth and final round, not only coming off the canvas to get the W but proving his willingess to persevere and overcome adversity.
After another win over an undefeated fighter Jose stepped in with Geraldo Gonzalez and literally dismantled the courage filled fighter picking him apart from the sound of the bell all the way to the end of third, and after hitting the canvas numerous times Gonzalez was savagely defeated and couldn’t answer the bell for the fourth giving Jose a third round TKO victory. Last Thursday at the Civic Auditorium in San Jose, California Perez sought out and destroyed Ginto Maezono in forty seconds of the first round, dominating yet another opponent with his relentless style, and he has just begun.
Praised by some of the best in the boxing business, Jose keeps his mind on the fight game and remains humble with each and every win, knowing that hard work and determination wins the battles in the ring and not the war of the words. Jose looks to continue his win streak and will return to the ring April 29th (*although this date is not official as of yet) and for the first time will step in his first scheduled six round bout. The boxer/puncher looks ahead with an open mind and a very hard left, and as I said before, he has only just begun.
The young lion stopped by the Doghouse to give his thoughts on his career and his future in boxing, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: Jose thanks for talking to the Doghouse and I just want to congratulate you on your very recent victory, give us your thoughts on the fight.
Jose Perez: We just went in there and it sort of surprised me the way he came at me, he rushed at me right away and tried to take me out right away. So I moved a lot and tried to take my time and I checked his body a little body a little bit, and I could tell he had a week body with the sounds he made when I hit him. I stuck a hook to his head and spun him around and hit him in to the ropes and I just went to the body and threw a left to the head and that was pretty much it, he was gone right then.
BH: You had a spectacular amateur career and now you are looking to dominate in the professional ranks, was it difficult to make that transition from one level to the next?
JP: It was a little strange at first because I had so many fights in the amateurs wearing the headgear and the heavy gloves. So with out the headgear it was a lot more different, it made it feel more real and more exciting. It wasn’t too hard though.
BH: May 27th will be a year since your pro debut, what have you learned about your self and the boxing business in these past several months that you may not have known before?
JP: That I could actually take the harder training, it gets harder for the pros. We train very hard and I didn’t think I could train like that with that intensity, but I found out I could.
BH: You are considered a legend in the amateur side of boxing with a record of 147-20 and countless titles through out your reign in the amateurs, you battled out one of the best amateur records in California history. So how important do you feel an amateur back ground is to a professional fighter, is it a huge disadvantage not to have one?
JP: I think it depends on the person, I think for me it was a big thing. Some people can just jump into it and be real good.
BH: What inspired you to want to lace up the gloves?
JP: My father, he wanted me to learn how to protect myself at first. I started when I was eight and we just planned on fighting about ten fights just for fun but I ended up doing better and better after every fight so we just stuck with it.
BH: Who were your boxing heroes growing up and out of the elite in your division today who are you most likely to look up too, or try to emulate?
JP: Well right now I Marcos Barrera, we got to go train with him and it was really exciting. But actually I don’t like to watch that much boxing, because I have fought for so long I would rather fight than watch it unless I know the person. I also liked Parnell Whitaker with his elusiveness he was just so damn good and I liked the way he fought.
BH: What do you feel is your best quality as a fighter, and for the ones who may not have seen you before how would you describe your style?
JP: I think my best quality is being able to adapt, I train so many different ways and in the amateurs I didn’t know whom I was fighting so every one was a surprise so I had to adapt. I think I am a boxer puncher, I can do either or.
BH: Where did you get the nick name “The Punisher”?
JP: My father gave it to me when I was sparring he said I was punishing the guy.
BH: What is your training regime?
JP: I wake up at five-thirty a.m. and run five miles, and then about nine we go to strength training and at five I go to the gym to train with my Dad.
BH: You are competing in a very competitive division, you’ve got guys like Pacquiao, Morales, Barrera, Medina, and the list goes on and on. There are always new fighters coming on the scene who will eventually be one of the top fighters in the future, all new comers pretty much say they will be the next champ and I am sure you feel the same way. But what separates you from the other new guys in the division, who say they are the real deal, what makes you different?
JP: I am really dedicated, man I don’t even know (Laughs). I am just dedicated, I have stuck with it and continue too, and boxing is what I have grown up with, it is all I know.
BH: What are your hobbies out of the ring?
JP: Just kicking it with friends, go to the beach and whatever, also I am trying to learn how to play the guitar right now, just normal stuff.
BH: Your Dad is your trainer and manager, how does that work out?
JP: We are growing in to it; we have done it for along time. It does get pretty tough because he is right there on my ass, but it works out.
BH: What was going through your mind in your professional debut?
JP: I knew I was prepared, it was nerve wrecking a little bit because he was undefeated and we where in his hometown. But I was ready for anything because we trained really hard.
BH: Is there anything you would like to say in closing?
JP: Yeah, I just want to thank all the guys that help me out with all my training, and thanks to my whole family and fans for all there support.
I would like to thank 'Camp Punisher' for the help with this interview, and would like to give a big shout out to Jose Perez Jr. along with Sr. for their thoughts. Stay tuned for future updates on the Big Dog’s Prospect Watch as Jose continues his professional journey.
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