‘U’ alum continues boxing success

Knockout in seventh preserves perfect record for Minnesota native.

Caleb Truax celebrates after a come-from-behind seventh round technical knockout of New Jersey fighter Patrick Perez on Saturday.

Matt Mead

Caleb Truax celebrates after a come-from-behind seventh round technical knockout of New Jersey fighter Patrick Perez on Saturday.

A student who left the University of Minnesota with a deeper sense of how to interact with people is showing that sometimes fighting can accomplish some good. Caleb Truax , a native of Osseo, Minn., who graduated with a sociology degree in 2006, improved to a perfect 13-0 with a come-from-behind, seventh-round technical knockout of New Jersey fighter Patrick Perez on Saturday. Truax was the main event for Seconds Out PromotionsâÄô âÄúGloryâÄù event at the St. Paul Armory. The event held six boxing fights, with bouts ranging from lightweight up to cruiserweight, as well as two mixed martial arts events. This was just the second fight for Perez since 2004, and TruaxâÄôs plan going into the fight was to test Perez early and see if he showed any signs of rust from the long layoff. âÄúI want to put the pressure on him early,âÄù Truax said. âÄúHe hasnâÄôt fought for five years; thereâÄôs got to be some rust there.âÄù When the opening bell rang, Perez came out swinging. Right jab and left hook combinations coupled with a left hook landed to the face proved Perez had no rust and was ready for a fight. The next few rounds saw Perez and Truax exchange combinations, with Perez landing multiple hooks and straight punches to the body of Truax. By TruaxâÄôs admission, the continued body shots were taking their toll. âÄúI got hit by a couple good ones, and that slowed me down for a round or two,âÄù Truax said. âÄúI had to start countering off of those body shots and just tough it out.âÄù Truax responded by using the right uppercut to open up room for combinations, which forced Perez to retreat to the ropes and attempt more body shots. The sixth round began with the outcome of the fight still hanging in the balance, as judges had Perez ahead on points but by the smallest of margins. A flurry of punches by Truax, including a devastating right uppercut to the body and left hook to the face, sent PerezâÄôs mouthpiece flying. Referee Mark Nelson called time to allow Perez to gather his mouthpiece, but Truax closed out the round with yet another right uppercut followed by a right hook. The seventh round lasted exactly one minute and 19 seconds. A right uppercut from Truax sent Perez to the ropes, where a left jab set up the final punch of the night âÄî a right hook âÄî which sent Perez to the canvas and Truax to his 13th win. TruaxâÄôs undefeated record has Seconds Out Promotions President Tony Grygelko beginning to plan long term for Truax, who was the first boxer to sign with the company. âÄúRight now we are positioning ourselves to put him in a small title fight,âÄù Grygelko said. âÄúOnce he wins a small title fight heâÄôll be automatically ranked in that organization in the top 15.âÄù Getting ranked in the top 15 will allow Truax to be sanctioned by one of the four major boxing organizations, (World Boxing Association , World Boxing Council , World Boxing Organization or International Boxing Federation ) which will allow him to fight for a world championship belt. The exposure from a world championship fight would go far in TruaxâÄôs goal of establishing himself as a household name in Minnesota. âÄúI want to become a franchise in Minnesota,âÄù Truax said. âÄúI want to be a big name in Minnesota, so I can bring some big championship fights and some big television fights back to Minnesota.âÄù The quickest way to get to that level is by fighting frequently and victoriously. Head trainer Ron Lyke , who runs the Anoka gym where Truax trains, estimated that Truax needs about 10 more fights before he is ready for title contention, but he proved with the Perez knockout that he is now a force on the middleweight scene. âÄú[Caleb] got hurt a few times,âÄù Lyke said. âÄúHe was tired, and he came back and showed his heart.âÄù Five years ago, Truax began his career after seeing an ad in City Pages for a tough guy tournament. Five years later, the 25-year-old is the No. 17-ranked middleweight in the country by boxing Web site boxrec.com . âÄúI didnâÄôt expect myself to be this far along five years into my career,âÄù Truax said. âÄúI would have never guessed it, but itâÄôs gone fast so far, and IâÄôm rolling with it.âÄù