By Ian S Palmer
Sadam Ali of Brooklyn, New York will be taking on Johan Perez of Venezuela at the Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona this Saturday, July 29th. The 10-round bout is for the vacant WBA-NABA USA welterweight title and can be seen live in the U.S. on ESPN 2. Ali last fought in January when he stopped Jorge Silva in the first round. Meanwhile, Perez’s last ring outing came in March when he beat Esteban Alseco by a first-round TKO. Perez is a former WBA Interim Jr. Welterweight Champ while Ali fought for the vacant WBO Title last year and was beaten by Jessie Vargas.
The 28-year-old Ali had an excellent amateur career and earned a spot America’s 2008 Olympic boxing team. He enters the ring with a fine record of 24-1 along with 14 Kos with his only loss being the defeat to Vargas by ninth-round TKO. Ali is 5-feet-9-inches tall with a 73-inch reach and has boxed 131 rounds since turning pro in 2009. He has decent power with a current knockout ratio of 56 per cent.
Ali fought in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China and he’d prefer to use his boxing skills rather than slug it out. He turned pro a year after the Games, but hasn’t really been tested by a solid opponent as of yet other than Luis Abregu in 2014, Saul Corral last September and Vargas, and he fell just short against Vargas. Ali needs a win here to get back into contention in the welterweight division.
Perez is now 34 years old and he’ll climb into the ring with a mark of 22-3-2 with 15 Kos under his belt. He turned pro back in 2005 and has boxed 151 rounds since then. He’s also got decent power with a knockout ratio of 54 per cent. He stands 5-feet-11-inches tall with an unlisted reach, but will have a two-inch height advantage on Ali.
Perez’s career losses have been to Dmitry Mikhaylenko by eighth-round TKO in 2015, 12-round majority decision to Mauricio Herrera in 2014 and a seventh-round technical decision loss to Pablo Cesar Cano in 2012. Perez’s two draws were against Alberto Mosquera over 10 rounds in 2011 and a 10-round affair with Pedro Verdu last year. His biggest wins have come against Steve Forbes, Yoshiro Kamegai and Paul Spadafora.
Perez is aging and has been taking on Grade B opponents in his last couple of fights. Meanwhile, Ali has decent power in his fists, is quick on his feet and likes to throw his effective left hook to keep his opponents honest. He’ll be facing an experienced and solid opponent in Vargas Perez though so this won’t be a walkover. Ali needs to get some bigger fights under his belt, which means he has no choice but to win here. I think Ali takes this bout, but it could very well go the distance.