Bryant Perrella has had a lot to think about in the 14 months since his last fight.
After all, he was on his way to a decision victory against Abel Ramos in February 2020 until he was dropped in the last round and stopped in the final seconds. It was the type of defeat that would send a lot of fighters on a downward spiral, unable to recover from such a demoralizing loss on national television.
For Perrella, it was the catalyst for change. Having spent 14 months outside the ring due to the coronavirus pandemic, Perrella began a quest for knowledge.
“Of course, losses suck, but when the pandemic came, I was in the gym, living in the gym. I’m like, ‘All right. I can’t just accept failure.’ With the way I am, I have to come back better. I was training, watching videos, reading, learning and growing. It was really a blessing because I grew so much from it. That’s what started this process of venturing off on a quest for knowledge. At first, it hurt, but I had to come back to work. It’s hard to dwell on the bad things that’s happened when you’re just locked in and focused on what’s ahead. It’s been a while, but it doesn’t feel like it. I’m so driven and constantly focused. That’s just who I am. I’m just training, growing to emerge in the sport of boxing. It’s been a blessing for me, if anything. I feel like it gave me time to learn and grow and re-organize to be a more proficient fighter,” Perrella said.
The 32-year-old Perrella underwent many changes in his boxing acumen. Now looking to adopt a smarter fighting style, he turned to Roy Jones Jr., who was one of boxing’s fiercest fighters in his prime. Getting the opportunity to train and work alongside Jones is a unique opportunity for Perrella, who did everything in his power to take in all of his knowledge.
Perrella feels like he’s benefited greatly from working with Jones, whom Perrella likened to Mr. Miyagi from the ‘Karate Kid’ film franchise.
“I learned a lot through my own research and I also ended up with Roy Jones Jr. When I got around with Roy Jones on a sparring tour and he let me stay, I was blown away by how much knowledge he has. He’s been one of my favorite fighters, so it’s been a huge blessing. Mainly, it’s just using my brain and being a smart fighter. I’ve always been a strong, very physical fighter, but my thought process has changed. I adopted a lot of his philosophies. He’s like Mr. Miyagi. He just passes down these things and it’s amazing having this knowledge. There’s so much more to this game than I imagined. He’s upgraded my brain to be a better fighter,” Perrella said.
That’s not the only change Perrella has made in regards to his own career. Once he steps into the ring for his PBC on FOX main event bout against former world champion Tony Harrison on April 17, Perrella will do so as a junior middleweight which is something he hasn’t done in almost a decade.
After spending so many years fighting at welterweight, Perrella views this move up in weight as a positive one that will lessen the strain on his body when weight cutting.
“It was time to make that change. It’s more natural for me and my body frame. I’m not depleting myself too much for this. I think it’s a smart move,” Perrella said.
With such a big fight fast approaching in a period where the coronavirus pandemic is still a present issue, Perrella hopes to entertain in what he hopes is a victory for him. Harrison recently promised fireworks when he was on the PBC Podcast and Perrella agreed with Harrison’s assessment of the fight, believing that it will be an action-packed bout.
“There’s going to be fireworks. He’s a great fighter. I’m a great fighter. It’s going to be an interesting clash of styles as well. I don’t think he’s ever fought anyone like and I don’t think I ever fought anyone like him. It’s going to be real interesting to see what happens. At the end of the day, I have a tremendous will to win. I’ll go through everything to pull off the win.”
But not everything we see from Perrella on April 17 will be brand new. Perrella is also known for his fancy selection of suits for his ring walks before every fight. Some habits die hard and the ring suit will be one habit that he will keep as he embarks on this new chapter of his career.
“You already know. I’m coming back with the suit and tie and take care of business,” Perrella said.