Central Point cruiserweight Mike Wilson returns to the ring for the first time Saturday since a crucial World Boxing Association bout in November.
Wilson, who turned 36 three weeks ago, will headline the 10th Rogue Valley Rumble at 7 p.m. at Jackson County Expo. Six fights are scheduled for the card.
Doors open at 6 p.m. General admission tickets are $25 in advance at Lil’ Pantry and Hawaiian Hut locations, and $30 at the door. Admission for kids 12 and under is $15, and those 4 and under get in free.
Weigh-ins are at 6 p.m. Friday at Chadwicks Pub and Sports Bar.
Wilson faces German Perez, from Tijuana, Mexico, in a 10-round fight. Perez is 11-3-3 with three knockouts.
It will be the first action for Wilson since he suffered his initial professional defeat in Monte Carlo, Monaco, losing to longtime WBA champion Denis Lebedev in a 12-round unanimous decision.
Wilson, the WBA’s North American Boxing Association champion, saw his record drop to 19-1 with eight knockouts.
Lebedev held the world title for six years, but the Russian was designated the “champion in recess” early in 2018 due to inactivity.
Like Lebedev, Perez is left-handed. Given Wilson’s extensive preparation last fall for a southpaw, he figures to be in plus form for this weekend’s fight.
Perez hasn’t fought in two years.
Wilson is ranked 15th in the WBA and told fightnews.com he’s not planning to slow down. He’s hopeful a good showing against Perez will lead to opportunities for more big fights.
“The money really is in the cruiserweight division over there in Europe,” said Wilson. “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 lost his last two fights by technical knockout, the most recent in December 2016 to Brazilian Yamaguchi Falcao, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist who is unbeaten in 16 fights.
Wilson nevertheless expects a battle from Perez.
“You know what you get with Mexican fighters,” he said. “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.”
Another fighter getting high billing on the card, Victor Morales Jr., from Vancouver, Washington, returns to the Expo for the fifth time. The featherweight is 9-0 with five knockouts and will face Ugandan Phillip Adyaka (7-13, four KOs).
In a welterweight bout, Cris Reyes (5-0, four KOs), of Renton, Washington, fights MMA-crossover Abdul Kamara, from Portland, in a four-rounder. Reyes has won four straight by TKO.
Medford’s Abraham Martin (2-0, two KOs) meets Johnny James, of Portland, in a four-round light heavyweight contest.
Bend’s Chris Johnson (2-0, no KOs) fights Milwaukie’s Ian King in a four-round welterweight matchup.
In another welterweight four-rounder, Giovannie Gonzalez (6-3, six KOs) challenges Brennon Crow (0-3, no KOs), of Redding, California.
Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479 or email@example.com