Lenier Pero, Geovany Bruzon: Both Boxers Will Be Guided By PBC

It appears Geovany Bruzon didn’t lose after all on Saturday either.

Although the record will forever indicate a victory for Lenier Pero by unanimous decision, both Cuban heavyweight prospects went home with a firm commitment from Premier Boxing Champions.

Their fight was featured on Fox Sports 1, as part of the undercard to Luis Ortiz’s pay-per-view battle with Charles Martin in Hollywood, Florida.

Although it was originally expected that Al Haymon’s company would sign only one of the Cuban boxers, at the end of the tremendous fight between the two, George Ebro indicates that both Pero and Bruzon will be taken care of.

“This is the great news, PBC and Al Haymon love them both,” revealed Luis DeCubas Sr. to George Ebro. “My son Luisito DeCubas told me, ‘let’s do everything possible to take care of them right away.’ We are going to give them the best possible opportunities.”

It was an action-packed fight, between two unbeaten Cuban prospects – which doesn’t usually happen – but it was Bruzon who walked away with the decision win.

“With both of them we are going to work in an intelligent and differentiated way,” added DeCubas Sr. “Pero is going to work a lot on the physical side, because he looks very good tactically and he would be closer to securing tough fights. Bruzon, barely 24 years old, is almost a baby for heavyweights, so he will look for more experience.”

Pero came to this fight with an extensive service record in his amateur days that saw him compete in dozens of international events, where he had solid success at the Pan American Games and the Olympic Games, by facing some of the best professionals of the moment.

Bruzon, on his part, had a much shorter run in the amateurs, but had several fights in the paid ranks in Guatemala and Mexico, in addition to several months of preparation with veteran trainer Ismael Salas at his academy in Las Vegas. 

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Lenier Pero Outlasts Geovany Bruzon, Wins Unanimous Decision on Ortiz-Martin Undercard

Lenier Pero prevailed in the first televised fight of 2022.

The 2016 Cuban Olympic quarterfinalist outlasted countryman Geovany Bruzon to win an eight-round, unanimous decision win in an entertaining heavyweight scrap. Judges John Rupert (78-74), Toby Tamarkin (77-75) and Peter Zamoyski (78-74) all scored in favor of Pero in a rare meeting between unbeaten Cuban heavyweights Saturday evening at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Pero—an unbeaten Cuban southpaw now based out of Miami—landed the far more telling blows throughout the first four rounds, though at no point without catching heavy artillery in return. Bruzon showed a sturdy chin, absorbing several clean left hands from his countryman but managing to remain upright and as competitive as his skill set will allow.

The tide turned in a big way in round five. Bruzon—also a Cuban southpaw, but who now lives and trains in Las Vegas—wobbled Pero with a straight left hand that followed a right uppercut. Pero was forced to clinch and spent the rest of the round sticking to boxing and moving in efforts to clear his head.

Pero was forced to contend with a resurgent Bruzon in a competitive round six. Bruzon gained confidence from the preceding round, taking the lead during most of the exchanges though with Pero quickly transitioning from boxing to trading as he saw the opportunity to take the fight to Bruzon.

That instinct proved accurate in round seven. Pero went on the attack, cracking Bruzon with a wicked right hook to the body. Several left hands also found their way upstairs, though a subsequent right hook landed well below Bruzon’s beltline, resulting in a brief break and a stern warning from referee Samuel Burgos.

The pair of Cuban southpaws spent the entirety of the final three minutes fighting as if one more round would win it in either direction. Pero was busy enough to fend off the late surge by Bruzon (6-1, 5KOs) to preserve the win as he improves to 6-0 (3KOs).

The bout opened a PBC on Fox card preceding the all-heavyweight Fox Sports Pay-Per-View event, topped by top-rated contender Luis Ortiz (32-2, 27KOs) and former IBF titlist Charles Martin (28-2-1, 25KOs) in a title eliminator. Headlining the free-to-air Fox card, Frank Martin (14-0, 10KOs)—who is promoted by Errol Spence’s Man Down Promotions—faces Philippines’ Romero Duno (24-2, 19KOs) in a scheduled ten-round lightweight bout.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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Geovany Bruzon Embraces All-Cuban Showdown With Lenier Pero

When he received the news, Cuban heavyweight prospect Geovany Bruzon had no issue with facing another undefeated Cuban prospect, compatriot Lenier Pero.

Bruzon understands the importance of succeeding in the upcoming bout, which takes place on January 1 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

The card will be headlined by a crossroads heavyweight fight between Luis Ortiz and former world champion Charles Martin.

While some are shining a spotlight on the fact that two Cuban prospects are colliding, Bruzon views it like any other fight.

“He is an opponent just like any other. It’s a great opportunity for me to fight on that card that night. That is my greatest wish, to debut in the United States on a big card,” Bruzon told George Ebro.

“[I don’t know Pero], we never fought, nor did we spar. When I started my career, he was already on his path. He already had those plans to leave Cuba. I was just taking my first steps in boxing. Everyone has the opportunity to grow here in professional boxing. This is not Cuba, where we fought for free. Here we are going to fight for the best purse that each of us have collected in his life. 

“In Guatemala I made my professional debut and then I did the rest of my career in Mexico. I am very grateful for everything that happened there. I learned a lot about using punches, how to throw them, the style. They welcomed me. This is a great moment. Professional Cuban boxing is beginning to grow. I see a lot of Cuban boxers and the time to grow up is coming. Everyone has their goal and you either meet it or you don’t.”

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Luis Ortiz vs. Charles Martin – Full Card Information, Undercard Details

Unbeaten lightweight contender Frank Martin, who fights under Errol Spence Jr.’s Man Down Promotions banner, will square off against Romero Duno in a 10-round showdown that tops PBC action live on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, January 1 kicking off the New Year from Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

The FOX broadcast begins at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT and will see undefeated Cuban heavyweights go toe-to-toe as Geovany Bruzon battles 2016 Olympian Lenier Pero in the 10-round co-feature.

The two-hour FOX kickoff show precedes a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View heavyweight extravaganza featuring top contender Luis “King Kong” Ortiz facing former heavyweight champion Charles Martin in the main event, plus heavyweight rising star Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sanchez battling Christian Hammer in the co-main event. Hammer replaces Carlos Negron, who was forced to withdraw after a positive COVID test.

The pay-per-view action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will also see heavyweight contenders Jonnie Rice and Michael Coffie battle in a 10-round rematch, former title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington in a 10-round showdown against Turkish Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen and unbeaten Viktor Faust facing Iago Kiladze in a 10-round attraction to open the pay-per-view.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com. Martin vs. Duno is promoted in association with Man Down Promotions.

The 26-year-old Martin (14-0, 10 KOs) has risen up the lightweight rankings in 2021 with a pair of impressive victories. Martin knocked out the previously unbeaten Jerry Perez in a dominating performance in April, before most recently earning a unanimous decision over Ryan Kielczweski in August. Originally from Indianapolis, Martin now trains in the Dallas-area under the guidance of top trainer Derrick James and alongside unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.

Representing his native Cotabato City, Maguindanao, Philippines, Duno (24-2, 19 KOs) enters the fight the winner of three-straight bouts, all by knockout. The 26-year-old has put together the winning-streak following a 2019 defeat to unbeaten contender Ryan Garcia. Duno’s 2021 triumphs have come over Ramon Elizer Esperanza in August and Jonathan Perez in September.

The 24-year-old Bruzon (6-0, 5 KOs) was born in Holguin, Cuba and now fights out of Las Vegas. A pro since 2019, Bruzon scored first or second round stoppages in his first five bouts, before his most recent contest ended in a technical decision victory. Bruzon makes his U.S. debut on January 1, having most recently won that decision over German Garcia in April, a fight that saw him go eight rounds for the first time.

A 2016 Olympian from Camaguey, Cuba, Pero (5-0, 3 KOs) had an extensive and successful amateur career that spanned over 100 fights, including multiple victories over countryman Frank Sanchez, in addition to challenges against heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, heavyweight prospect Filip Hrgovic and Olympic gold medalist Bakhodir Jalolov. The 29-year-old now fights out of Trelew, Chubut, Argentina, and will also be making his U.S. debut on January 1. Pero most recently knocked out Dumar Carrascal in the first round in June. 

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Lenier Pero vs. Geovany Bruzon in All-Cuban Clash on Ortiz-Martin Card

For a long time, there has been a myth that Cubans should not fight other Cubans in the ring.

That viewpoint will be broken on Saturday night, January 1, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Unbeaten Cuban heavyweight prospects Lenier Pero (5-0, 3 KOs) and Geovany Bruzon (6-0, 5 KOs) will collide in the ring as part of the undercard to the heavyweight battle between Luis Ortiz and Charles Martin.

For a long time, Cuban boxers stayed away from fighting each other – because there weren’t a lot of Cuban fighters in the pros, but times have now changed.

Promoter Luis DeCubas Sr. assisted Premier Boxing Champions [PBC] in putting the event together.

While DeCubas realizes Pero vs. Bruzon created quite a stir with the Cuban boxing crowd, he sees nothing wrong with the all-Cuban showdown.

“Yes, it is a fight that a lot of people did not want [to happen], but it’s PBC that makes the fights, it’s not me. It is a very interesting fight with Lenier Pero against Geovany Bruzon. I do not understand the concept that a Cuban should not face another Cuban. British fight against other British, Mexicans against other Mexicans. Camacho vs. Rosario was the Civil War in Puerto Rico. This is professional boxing,” DeCubas told George Ebro.

“Imagine, they both get a tremendous opportunity to be shown on national television, on FOX. Whoever wins goes forward, but whoever loses is not going to see the end of his career. If you lose in a respectable way, they want you to come back again. PBC brings them back. Show yourself on American TV, that’s the business. 

“Pero is one of the best amateurs at the moment. Bruzon carried out his professional career in Mexico. FOX wanted the fight…. the managers, the promoters, and the [fighters] know the importance of this fight. I don’t understand why the [fight is being] criticized. It is an opportunity to grow. There are about 70 Cuban professional boxers around the world. Eventually it was going to happen. There are not as many American boxers as there was before.”

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