Boxing News

Interview: Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis

By James Slater

L.A’s Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis says he is getting ready to face unbeaten Haitian-born Canadian Dierry jean in what will be a (still to be finalised) IBF 140-pound eliminator. The tough and ultra-experienced 26-year-old (Pendarvis has sparred with everyone from Oscar De La Hoya to Antonio Margarito, from Shane Mosley to Victor Ortiz) is currently stepping up his morning roadwork to 8-miles a session and “Mookie” is absolutely chomping at the bit for his chance at the big fights.

“It looks like it’s Dierry Jean next, the negotiations have just begun,” Pendarvis (17-3-2, 6 KOs) told “I’ve seen some film of Jean, he looks like a decent fighter, who knows how to get the win. I think this fight will be a good showcase of talent. I’d prefer the fight to be in America (30-year-old Jean, 24-0 with 16 KOs) has boxed just once outside of Canada), but to be honest with you, I’ll fight him anywhere. I want this bad. I just cannot believe that he can beat me. I am the best 140-pounder in the world; I’m better than all the world champions. I’ve just got to get past Jean first, and then I will prove it.

“I’ve won my last six and I’m just going to keep going. Jean has been in with some fighters, but never anyone like me. There’s no way he wants this as bad as I do. He’s been pampered somewhat in his career, had some handpicked opponents. I’m a fighter, I’ve been a fighter from day-one. I’ve come through a lot and the tough times have made me a monster – but in a good way. No, he can’t beat me. I want to make a statement and KO him. Then I’ll go home early and get right back in the gym.”

The 140-pound division is red-hot right now, and in an earlier Fightnews article it was reported how the winner of IBF champ Lamont Peterson Vs. Lucas Matthysse must face the winner of the WBA/WBC Danny Garcia-Zab Judah clash, and that that eventual winner must then face former champ Amir Khan. This scenario would make Pendarvis wait some time for his shot:

“Fate is time,” Cleotis replied in answer to whether or not this likely waiting game would bother him.

“Whenever it’s ready to happen for me, it will happen. But in the meantime I’ll be busy, taking more fights and continuing to get my name out there. All the current world champions are good fighters; they all deserve to be called the best. But I feel I can beat any of them. I want to live that life. 140-pounds is my weight class, I’m real strong here, and solid. Right now, all my time will be on preparing for Jean. I’m keeping my eye on him. This is my time and it’s my destiny to become world champion.”

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