WBC Youth and USNBC featherweight champion Matt “Sharp Shooter” Remillard, fighting for the first time as a pro outside of New England, enjoyed his expanded base experience and used his Maryland fight as a barometer to gauge his improvement in the past year.
The 22-yar-old Remillard (17-0, 9 KOs), fighting out of Manchester, Connecticut, stopped 52-fight veteran and former world title challenger Jesus Perez in three rounds at Michael’s Eight Avenue in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Remillard floored Perez, who was unable to answer the bell for the fourth round, in the second and twice in the third.
“It was a new experience and I was more relaxed, not feeling awkward about the crowd or anything,” Matt spoke about fighting outside of New England for the first time. “There was no pressure worrying about satisfying my hometown fans. I was excited about making new fans. During the walk to the ring with my music playing there was no real response from the crowd, but they got excited during the fight and couldn’t have been more responsive after the fight. It was an experience I was looking forward to and I was very happy with the result.”
Remillard was coming off of arguably his most impressive win, by 6-round decision against 3-time world champion (34-9-2) Maurico Pastrana, last November. Ranked No. 23 by the WBC, as well as No. 4 by the USBA and NABF, Remillard won a four-round decision to Perez August 21, 2008 at Mohegan Sun.
“I beat Perez the first fight, too, but he made me look bad on ESPN,” Remillard explained his thoughts about the rematch. “It was almost a year earlier and I looked at it, at least on paper, as a sign of how much I’ve improved in that time. I didn’t want to leave it in the judges’ hands this fight.”
Remillard hopes to return to the ring in May, most likely in Reno or Texas, and he’s embracing the opportunity to expand his base nationally. “I’ve passed the point where I’m a club or hometown fighter,” he noted. “Nobody’s going to say the judges or referee is on my side. I have to fight on the road and would love to fight someday at Madison Square Garden, where so many legends have fought, and in Las Vegas.
“I’m improving every fight, taking everything one fight at a time. By the end of this year, hopefully, I’ll be in the top 20. I want to be fighting on the networks to showcase myself and build my name to get where I want to be – world champion!”