Any time Yonnhy Perez straps boxing wraps or boxing gloves on his hands a blank expression sears across his face that emphasizes the serious nature of the Colombian prizefighter.
He is a serious man.
The Colombian juggernaut Perez (20-1-1, 14 KOs) intends to walk through Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan (35-3-1, 27 KOs) when they meet on April 23 at Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. It’s the semi-main event but it’s a match that takes a back seat to no one.
Perez has only one loss in his pro career and that came in a rematch to current IBF bantamweight titleholder Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko. But that one loss seems to have reignited the Colombian’s pride.
The former world champion returned to Colombia to train a month ago and just recently returned to Santa Fe Springs, California to finish the remainder of his camp.
“He looks very sharp,” says Danny Zamora his trainer.
The loss to Agbeko made Perez realize that he was missing the hunger of chasing a world title. After beating the Ghanian in the 2009 Fight of the Year, the lanky Colombian felt he lost that zest.
“I’m the challenger now and I’m hungrier,” said Perez while at his media day workout in Santa Fe Springs.
Darchinyan, a former flyweight and junior bantamweight world champion, is also coming off a defeat that came against number one contender Abner Mares. The Armenian who lives in Australia has grown tired of trying to win with skill, not power.
“In my last fight, I wanted to prove I have skills by moving around and that's not me. It was my first and last fight as a boxer,” Darchinyan said. “I'm back to show my aggression and destroy anyone in front of me.”
The left-handed mini-bomber knows he packs the power to drop foes like sacks of flour whenever he connects. Despite moving into his third weight division Darchinyan still carries that jaw-breaking punch, he just can’t do it with a single blow.
“I'm going to knock him out badly. I will destroy him,” said Darchinyan of his next opponent Perez. “Everyone thinks I'm not as powerful at bantamweight. After this fight, everyone will be talking about my power again.”
Few fighters have been able to withstand an all-out assault from Darchinyan until he moved into the 118-pound division. Four of his last five bantamweight foes have gone the distance with the Armenian slugger.
In Darchinyan’s last fight, he lost the IBO title to Mares by split decision.
“Abner Mares pushed him to the door,” said Perez who fought to a draw with Mares a year ago. “I’m going to push Darchinyan all the way out the door.”
Like was mentioned earlier, Perez is a very serious man.
“I read an interview with him and he is saying he's going to knock me out. I needed someone to talk about me like that,” Darchinyan says.
“Whatever Darchinyan says, so be it,” says Perez who is direct and to the point.
Ken Thompson, who co-promotes Perez with Gary Shaw, predicts a knockout victory for Perez.
“You can take that to the bank,” he said.