Doug Fischer

On the Cusp: 10 fighters poised to make major breakthroughs in 2012

DARLEY PEREZ
Weight class: Lightweight
Age: 28
Record: 23-0 (18 KOs)
Region: Colombia
Skinny: The 2008 Olympian spent most of 2011 beating the usual journeymen who pad the records of lightweight up-and-comers — names like Jose Reyes, Wilson Alcorro and Baudel Cardenas — but he made a strong statement when he stopped Oscar Meza after six rounds in a ShoBox main event in September. Meza, a 24-year-old pressure fighter from Mexico, had looked good winning three bouts after suffering back-to-back losses to lightweight standouts Gesta and Rios. Meza carried a lot of confidence and aggression into the ring against Perez and even managed to buzz the Colombian early in the fourth round. However, Meza’s punch brought the “fighter” out of Perez, who willingly stood his ground and let his hands go for the rest of the round. Perez continued to take the fight to Meza, heaping enough punishment on the tough guy in rounds five and six to prompt his corner to call it off before the start of the seventh. The impressive showing proved that Perez has exceptional will and spirit to go with his considerable skill and ability.
Strengths: Extensive amateur career… maturity… athleticism… quick hands… good timing… excellent footwork… sharp jab… combination punching… body attack.
Weaknesses: Questionable chin… desire to mix it up when he doesn’t have to.

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