Bryant Perrella hasn’t been in the ring since a controversial and dramatic stoppage loss to Abel Ramos in Feb. 2020, but is set to return Saturday in a new weight class, moving up to junior middleweight to face former titlist Tony Harrison in a PBC main event on FOX.
The 32-year-old Perrella (17-3, 14 KO) was once a prospect of some note, but has never quite gotten over the hump as a pro, losing against Yordenis Ugas, Luis Collazo, and Ramos, his three best opponents.
But he’s training now with Roy Jones Jr, and feels he’s coming into his own and ready to make a statement.
“Everything that happened with the Ramos fight has been addressed and changed,” said Perrella. “That loss sent me on the journey that led me to this new weight class and training with Roy. Everything happens for a reason, as long as you look for that reason and have faith in it. That reason has been shown to me in so many ways and it’s a huge blessing.”
As for the move up in weight, it’s a familiar story: He was having trouble making 147 anymore, and it was time to make the move, which he feels will make him stronger on fight night.
“The decision to move up in weight was because of how I felt in the Ramos fight,” he said. “Making 147 pounds was taking a lot out of me. I performed well, but I know how I felt in that ring. I have so much more to give as a fighter. That was really only 30 percent of me. Making weight was coming at a cost and I no longer thought it was helping me.
“I know these fighters at 154 are bigger and stronger, but so am I. I’m going to be stronger than ever and I’m going to be ready to tangle. I probably should have been at this weight for a while. I was always a fighter moving down in weight. I still train hard like always, but by not having to worry as much about weight, I’m able to add big layers to my game. With all these changes, I even surprise myself some days with what I can do now. I’m super confident and I can’t wait to bring it all to the ring on fight night.”
How to Watch Harrison vs Perrella
Date: Saturday, April 17 | Start Time: 8:00 pm ET
Location: Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall - Los Angeles, CA
Online Coverage: BadLeftHook.com
Harrison (28-3, 21 KO) is a damn good opponent to be facing in a first fight at a new weight, and Perrella recognizes that. The former WBC titleholder hasn’t fought since losing to Jermell Charlo in Dec. 2019, so he could be coming in rusty, and he’s also always been vulnerable in fights — despite how good a boxer he is when he’s on a roll.
Perrella knows he’s taking on a tough test, and says that’s what he wanted.
“This is a huge opportunity to fight one of the top guys at this weight,” he said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. It definitely helps motivate me to have this kind of chance on this stage against a fighter like Tony.
“Tony has different layers and dimensions to his game. He can box with his jab and length, but he can also come forward with that high guard. At this level, it’s a game of adjustments. This is going to be an interesting clash of styles. There’s no other southpaw like me. He’s sharp and has experience, but I’m a whole different kind of animal than anything he’s seen.”