Pablo Perez or the dream of managing a world title fight

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Pablo Perez or the dream of managing a world title fight
Pablo Perez or the dream of managing a world title fight. Photo: Édixon Gámez

Pablo Perez or the dream of managing a world title fight

by
Pablo Perez or the dream of managing a world title fight
Pablo Perez or the dream of managing a world title fight. Photo: Édixon Gámez

Pablo enters the ring with rigorous parsimony. He waits for the boxers to arrive, watches them get in and walk to their corners. Then, he methodically checks each fighter’s gear, orders them to walk to the center of the ring, just to remind them and their trainers of the rules of the fight that is about to begin. Once the regulatory ritual has been fulfilled, he sends the fighters to their corners, points his gaze towards the judges, and leaning on his own axis in the center of the ring, he extends his right arm and with a firm voice gives the order: fight!

Ordinary ceremony for an experienced boxing referee, only that the fighters are just beginning their journey as athletes in this sport and Pablo Perez, the third man in the ring, has just turned 18 years old.

“I am a boxer and I really like fighting, but also refereeing, and right now I am dedicated only to this,” says Perez, a native of Altagracia de Orituco, Guarico, a town located in central Venezuela, 160 kilometers from Caracas.

In the last edition of the Gilberto Mendoza Boxing Festival, held in Maracay, Pérez was part of the technical team of the competition, alternating roles of referee and judge along with other members of the staff. His professionalism and responsibility stood out, especially his resolution when he had to intervene to stop a fight due to the manifest superiority of one of the fighters.

Rafael Hidalgo León, a veteran Venezuelan boxing leader, became one of his discoverers.

“In 2022 we went to Altagracia de Orituco to organize a Junior National Tournament, and we held a workshop there, in which we extended an invitation to the attendees to take a course given by the National Commission of Judges and Referees. And Pablo Perez showed up and took the course,” said Leon Hidalgo.

“We saw that he was the most advanced of that group. So, we invited him to participate in the national competition. We gave him soft fights, but everyone saw the boy working and that he was good. So we cared more about him, about teaching him. He quickly got into the rhythm. He already has two national championships, and he’s getting better every day. He likes to read the rules, he’s up to date, he gets out of the ring and asks the older guys how they saw his work, if he made a mistake, and asks for advice on how he should improve some aspect. All of that shows his interest in learning and improving.”

His serenity and leanness hide well the ease of speech that characterizes the Venezuelan “llanero”. He arrived at the Yesterday Recreational Center in Turmero, Aragua, together with the Guárico delegation that would participate in the Gilberto Mendoza Festival, which with seven editions in Venezuela has already become a seedbed of dreams and future champions. Pablo knew he would go there as referee and judge, although the boxer’s fire still flames inside him.

 “I decided to take the judges and referees course and started practicing and practicing. At a national championship there where I live, they saw that I had potential and accepted me as a national referee judge. As I said, I like fighting very much, but at the moment I am completely dedicated to this. And the truth is, I would like to referee in a world title fight or also an Olympic Games. It’s my dream now.

Perez was supposed to be part of the technical staff of the Elite National Championship, to be held this weekend in Calabozo, Guarico.

“Pablo is a young man who is in his first year of medicine at the University, although he stopped his studies due to the death of his father,” commented León Hidalgo. “He is a small town boy, and like everyone else, he needs support and better guidance to get ahead in the midst of the difficult circumstances that life has placed on him. But there he goes, with a lot of determination. On our part, we are looking for him to get a scholarship so that he can dedicate himself to his university studies. Personally, with so many years in boxing, I see a great perspective for him. He is on the right track and could be one of the best.


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