Justin Pauldo wants to make a statement and prove he is one to watch at 135 pounds.
Jerry Perez stands in his way.
Pauldo will face Perez tonight at the Whitesands (also known as the ProBox TV) Events Center in Plant City, Florida. The 10-round bout will precede the main event bouts between once-beaten junior middleweight Guido Schramm and hard-hitting Johan Gonzalez.
Both fights will stream live on the ProBox TV app and YouTube page (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT).
At Tuesday’s weigh-in, both fighters weighed in at 134.4 pounds.
Pauldo (16-1 1 NC, 7 knockouts), who resides in Houston, Texas, last fought on August 23, defeating Eduardo Estela by unanimous decision over 10 hard-fought rounds. In his previous fight on November 12 of last year, Pauldo defeated Yeifer Valencia by unanimous decision.
The 29-year-old fought on a handful of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) cards over the last couple of years. Pauldo recently signed a promotional deal with ProBox TV, making his debut for them in the Estela fight.
Jolene Mizzone, who manages Pauldo, is confident Pauldo can get by Perez to set up lucrative fights against top lightweights in the division.
“I think fighting (tonight) is a perfect fight for Justin,” Mizzone told The Ring Tuesday. “The fight will be at 135 pounds and (will) show that Justin should be right in the mix in the lightweight division.
“He will need to get past Jerry Perez and I see him fighting another fight early next year, and then try and campaign him for a high-profile fight, (sometime) mid-year. We are trying to keep him busy and give him those fights that will lead into the big fights. An active fighter is a successful fighter.”
Mizzone is the President of Fighters First management.
Perez (14-3-1, 11 KOs), who resides in Oak Hills, California, last fought on July 8, losing by unanimous decision to fringe lightweight contender and former IBF world junior lightweight titleholder Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz.
The 30-year-old has lost three of his last five fights, with other defeats coming at the hands of Frank Martin and Michel Rivera.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]