Florida southpaw Bryant ‘Goodfella’ Perrella has paid tribute to four-weight champion and new trainer Roy Jones ahead of his crunch match with former WBC 154lbs king Tony Harrison at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles on April 17.

Perrella (17-3, 14 KOs) suffered a heartbreaking, last-round loss to Abel Ramos in February 2020 after widely leading on all three scorecards and only needing to negotiate the final three minutes to seal victory. The loss, in the bout’s closing moments, proved costly with Ramos earning a vacant WBA title shot in his next fight, losing a split decision to Yordenis Ugas last September.

That last-ditch defeat brought soulsearching, with Perrella seeking a new focus and trainer, and he ended up knocking on Jones’ door. Now, having moved up in weight and embraced a new direction, Perrella believes he is on the brink of something special.

“After my last fight I went on a bit of a sparring tour. I ended up sparring with some of Roy’s guys in Pensacola and afterward he let me stay to soak up some more knowledge. The rest is history,” said the 6ft 1ins Perrella. “It was an easy decision to stay out there and grow under one of the best fighters ever. It’s like going off to a university. Every day I come in with my notepad and pen ready.

“Everything that happened with the Ramos fight has been addressed and changed. 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.

“The decision to move up in weight [to 154lbs] was because of how I felt in the Ramos fight. 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% 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.

“This is a huge opportunity to fight one of the top guys at this weight [in Harrison]. 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.

“I have a unique approach and now I have Roy passing down his knowledge from his experiences. It’s like a shortcut. I’m getting the knowledge handed right to me instead of going through it not knowing what to expect. This match-up is between two strong fighters and the fans can expect an action-packed fight from start to finish.”

Main image: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions.