By Ricardo Ibarra
Looking to rebound from his lone professional defeat, world ranked cruiserweight Mike “White Delight” Wilson (19-1, 8 KOs) will step back into the ring on Saturday night at the Jackson County Expo in his hometown of Central Point, Oregon, headlining White Delight Promotions’ 10th ‘Rogue Valley Rumble’ card. The popular local fighter will square off with Tijuana, Mexico’s German Perez (11-3-3, 3 KOs) in a ten-round bout, topping off a line-up which will feature some of the more promising fighters in the Pacific Northwest region.
Wilson, who as an amateur claimed multiple national titles and competed for the US in international competition, has been a pro for nearly ten years. Last March he scored a signature win, claiming the WBA-NABA cruiserweight strap with a unanimous decision victory over Mexico’s Mario Aguilar for the vacant title. The Oregonian had gone nineteen fights without a loss until his streak ended last November in Monte Carlo, Monaco when he took on former world champion Denis Lebedev, putting up a game but losing effort against the Russian fighter, dropping a twelve round unanimous decision.
“He was just a different caliber of fighter,” said Wilson of Lebedev. “That wasn’t his first dance. Very crafty veteran. He really gave us a completely different fight than I expected…he kind of fought off his back foot and counter punched, and he counter punched very well. It was a great learning experience. He’s one of the best fighters in the world in the cruiserweight division for the last seven, eight years. I don’t really think that hurt our stock at all. Great experience, though.”
Currently ranked #15 in the world ratings by the WBA, Wilson is looking for a win that will put him back on track towards more lucrative opportunities.
“We’ll get through this fight Saturday night and see if we get any more calls. The money really is in the cruiserweight division over there in Europe. That’s what I’m looking for, another opportunity to go over there and possibly fight for a world title or a big money fight. That’s kind of the name of the game. That’s what you want to do is get paid and have a chance to fight for the belts.”
Perez, meanwhile, will be looking to shake off some ring rust after a having spent the last two years on the sidelines. In his last fight, the Mexican southpaw suffered a first round loss to 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Yamaguchi Falcao, who is currently undefeated as a pro, in December of 2016.
“We’re expecting him to come at us and give us his everything,” said Wilson of his opponent. “I don’t know a whole lot about him. I know he’s left-handed, which doesn’t bother me a whole lot. We’re coming off a long training camp to fight a left-handed fighter in Lebedev. You know what you get with Mexican fighters. Those guys would rather be killed in the ring than lose. They come to fight and they’re tough. We’ll go in there and if we got to bang, we’ll bang. If we got to box, we’ll box. I feel like at this point I’m a crafty veteran too and I’ve been there and done that. We’re coming to fight.”
Wilson and Perez will face off over ten rounds at the 200 lbs. limit. Five additional fights showcasing local talent will make up the rest of the card.
In the semi-main event, undefeated featherweight prospect Victor Morales, Jr. (9-0, 5 KOs) will fight in the Northwest for the first time since 2017, taking on Ugandan journeyman Phillip Adyaka (7-13, 4 KOs). Morales, of Vancouver, Washington, has spent a lot of his time recently training out of the Wild Card Boxing gym in Los Angeles, California. The twenty-one-year-old former amateur stand-out looked sharp while scoring a pair of impressive wins in 2018, stopping Edgar Cantu in the fifth round on January 11th in Lemoore, California, and scoring a third round TKO win over David Berna May 19th in Mulvane, Kansas. Adyaka, on the other hand, is currently running at a bit of a deficit, having lost his last five fights. He last fought this past November, suffering a third round TKO loss at the hands of Abel Soriano. The two will meet in an eight rounder at 127 lbs.
One of the more exciting fighters to emerge from the region in 2018 will also see action on the card. Undefeated Cris Reyes (5-0, 4 KOs), of Renton, Washington, will look to continue his current knockout streak as he takes on Abdul Kamara in a four round welterweight contest. Reyes turned pro in October of 2017 and has been on a tear since, scoring four consecutive wins inside the distance, all in under two rounds. His last win came against William Parra-Smith, whom he stopped in the second round last October. Portland, Oregon’s Kamara, a fighter with a background in MMA, will be making his professional boxing debut.
Medford, Oregon’s Abraham Martin (2-0, 2 KOs) squares off with Johnny James, of Portland, in a four round light heavyweight fight. Martin, who’s scored both of his wins within two rounds, has not fought since September of 2017, when he knocked out Jose Rico in the first round. James, who has experience as a mixed martial artist, will make his debut as a paid boxer.
Rounding out the remainder of the card will be Bend, Oregon’s Chris Johnson (2-0) squaring off with pro debuting Ian King, also from Bend, in a four round welterweight bout; and Sacramento, California’s Giovannie Gonzalez (6-3, 6 KOs) facing off with Brennon Crow (0-3), of Redding, California, in a welterweight four rounder.
Doors to the Jackson County Expo open at 6 p.m. with the first bout set to kick off festivities at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at Hawaiian Hut and all Lil Pantry locations, or at the door on fight night. For more info visit the White Delight Facebook page.