January 24, 2013

BOXING: Berry ready to turn pro

By Travis Lazarczyk tlazarczyk@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Brandon Berry is about to begin the biggest two weeks of his amateur boxing career. After fights on the next two Saturdays, including a bout at Boston’s TD Garden this weekend, Berry, 25, will become a professional boxer.

“Turning professional is one of my dreams that is now going to be reality,” Berry, a West Forks native, said. “(It) sounds unreal, I’m going to be a professional.”

A successful amateur fighter for the last six years, Berry and his trainer, Ken “Skeet” Wyman, have hoped to go pro for some time. Both now feel Berry is ready.

“The thing with Brandon is, he’s a dedicated kid. He’s putting everything together,” said Wyman, who runs a gym in Searsport. “He’s been with me four years now. He travels 700 miles a week to train. Obviously, he’s dedicated.”

On Saturday, Berry will take part in the TD Garden Night at the Fights. Berry’s fight against Julio Perez of Hudson, Mass. is one of six fights scheduled.

“I’ve actually dreamed about fighting here,” Berry said.

The main event is Danny O’Connor vs. Derek Silveira. Berry’s opportunity came when Perez’s original opponent, Jim Perella, dropped out due to injury. Wyman was contacted by Jimmy Perella, the president of USA Boxing New England and Peralla’s father, who offered the fight to Berry.

Berry and Perez will fight in the 141-pound division. They had a fight scheduled a few weeks ago, but Perez had to back out.

“(Perez) is Southern New England Golden Gloves champ,” Wyman said. “Brandon’s right there with any of those guys.”

On Feb. 2, Berry will fight in the Northern New England Golden Gloves championship in Burlington, Vt. Berry said he’ll use the Perez fight as a tune-up for next weekend.

“I’d put in a couple good weeks of training, anyway, and I just picked it up for this (Saturday’s fight). For whatever reason, they called us. I’d like to put on a good show,” Berry said.

Wyman said the plan is to have Berry make his professional debut on May 11 at Valley High School in Bingham.

“I think Brandon is better suited for pro fights. He’ll have longer fights, deeper rounds,” Wyman said. “I do believe he’ll have a nice pro career.”

“As long as I continue to train hard, stay positive, perform to the best of my ability, and continue to get the support I am getting, I can see us getting some opportunities to make big things happen,” Berry said. “Its not about where you’re from, it’s about what you consist of. I’m ready for the spotlight.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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