Undefeated IBF bantamweight world champion Yonnhy Perez (20-0, 14 KOs) held a media workout earlier today at the Santa Fe Springs Community Activity Center. After the training session the press had an opportunity to speak with the world champion about the preparation for his upcoming title defense against top-rated contender Abner Mares (20-0, 13 KOs). The Perez-Mares world title tilt will be the co-main event to Vazquez-Marquez IV: Once and Four All, which will take place Saturday, May 22, at STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, Calif. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will televise both fights live nationally at 9 P.M. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
“Everyone wants what I have (referring to his title). I have a good friend in Abner Mares but I also have a responsibility to my family, my career and myself.
“I bring my hunger and desire into the ring. The desire that I have is complemented by the training that I do in here at the gym. My preparation is a huge part of this whole thing.
“I am hungry because I want to win. When I am in the ring I want it all. I know it can be my best fight or worst fight, my last fight or the opportunity for a new challenge.
“I’ll go up to the ring and give it my all. The winner is the only one who celebrates at the end of the fight.
“I am not sitting here thinking I am the champ. That would be the wrong mindset. I am sitting here knowing that I have to prepare in order to win. I still have responsibilities at home.”
“The important key to win this fight is my preparation and my conditioning. I have power in both hands and box very well but all is based on preparation.”
On fighting his friend Abner Mares
“We have to fight. It’s part of the job. Each of us has a responsibility to give all that we got. I have known Abner for 7 or 8 years because I was on the Colombian national team and he was on the Mexican national team. We faced each other in the amateurs three times and I know his style and what he is capable of in the ring. He is basically the same fighter as he was in the amateurs – - aggressive and busy fighter inside of the ring and if he has made some adjustments as a pro I will keep those to myself because I will capitalize on his mistakes.
“A friendship is a friendship but on May 22nd we’re going to break up that bond for about one hour to get down to business.
“I am not really concerned about any specific thing that Abner Mares brings to the ring that night. There is really nothing to concern myself about.
“Realistically, with the training camp I had, there is no way that Abner will have a chance or even access to the door that will lead him to the championship. Let’s be clear, I am the champion, he has to try to take it away.
“That night is going to be mine, not Abner’s.”
On his last visit to his home town of Cartagena, Colombia
“There is a difference when I visit Colombia. Now that I have champion status it makes a huge difference. I was overwhelmed with how I was received and so was my wife, she could hardly breathe! I remember I needed dental work and I didn’t get charged for services. My father made a comment and told me that he knew people loved and cared for me in Cartagena but that he just didn’t know how much.
“Vazquez and Marquez are great fighters. I give them all the respect – because of all of the wars and battles they had to bring them to this 4th time facing each other. But I don’t think that Mares vs. Perez will be that far behind them when it comes to the type of show we will put on. It’s going to be a competition between their fight and this one. We will compete to see whose best fight of the night.
“The crowd will not affect me. I have faced mostly Mexican fighters and all their chanting fans. On May 22nd, I will have my promoters, my corner and a lot of fans there to support me. My closest friend is my trainer Danny Zamora and he will leave me in the center of ring to fight that night. It will just be Abner against me. I am going to get the job done.”