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  Yonnhy Perez Is Ready For Vic Darchinyan

By Carlos Cordoba
Photos: William Trillo


Where do I go from here? This is the question that every boxer has to ask himself after the kind of night that Yonnhy Perez experienced on December 11th, 2010. The Colombian pugilist walked into the ring to face Joseph Agbeko with the IBF Bantamweight crown and an unblemished record and walked out having tasted defeat for the first time in his professional career. Such occurrence would undoubtedly force any human being to engage in a serious bout of self reflection. Especially, after losing his belt to the very same boxer that he had taken it from.

Let’s retrace our steps! Yonnhy Perez, 32, won the International Boxing Federation Bantamweight Title by outslugging Joseph Agbeko (28-2, 24KO’s) on November 31st, 2009. He then went on to defend his title against Golden Boy’s Abner Mares. That bout ended in a draw, allowing Perez to retain his IBF championship belt. Perez subsequently entered the four man Showtime Bantamweight tournament and was matched against Joseph Agbeko in a rematch of their 2009 bout. We all know what happened there, which leads us to Saturday’s bout.

It’s evident, while Joseph Agbeko jubilantly celebrated his victory in the opening round of the Showtime tournament, Yonnhy Perez was forced to contemplate his future in the fight game.

“I thought about retiring for awhile,” Said Perez, while being asked about his thought process following his first career defeat. “Now I want to continue to work and not think about the misstep that I had.”

The former world champion took some time off following his defeat. He headed to Colombia, to spend some much need quality time with his family. The trip back home seems to have rejuvenated Perez who at one point in his career spent five long years away from his family in pursuit of his first world title. With his family by his side Yonnhy was able to begin to train for Saturday’s bout in Colombia with a new approach. Perez also enjoyed the support of his boxing family while he was in his native land. He was joined by his trainer, Danny Zamora, for two weeks of intense early morning workout.

“It was getting to the point that he was starting to miss home a lot,” Said Danny Zamora “so we decided that it would be best for him to stay there longer (Colombia), I could fly out there and start training camp… so he would not be away from his family for that long.”

The setting of the training camp was not the only change that Yonnhy’s team made in preparation’s for Saturday’s bout. They also worked on his boxing style and the fashion in which he prepared for his next bout.

“Well, we made a lot of changes. In previous fights we trained at a really intense pace throughout the entire camp - from start to finish,” Said Perez about his previous training camps. “Now we are taking a much more moderate approach to training, we are reserving my energy and working on different strategies. We felt that people had figured me out and knew how to box me.”

Yonnhy Perez (20-1-1, 14KOs) will take on Vic Darchinyan (35-3-1, 27KOs) on Saturday in the consolation bout of Showtime’s Bantamweight Tournament which will air live on Showtime at 7:30 pm / pt. The fight will be the featured undercard of the tournament final and will take place at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, California.

The Colombian fighter acknowledged the threat that Vic poses. Perez stated that Darchinyan has a very awkward style. He went on to describe his opponent as a fighter who is always moving forward and is extremely brave.

“Well, we all know that he is special fighter, a lefty that is dirty and awkward and hits hard,” comments Perez. “He has a very strange style and always comes forward, but we prepared for everything and we are looking forward to displaying that in the ring.”

With less the four days away from the fight, time for reflection is in the past. It’s time to move forward. Yonnhy Perez will have an opportunity to do so on Saturday as he attempts to retire Vic Darchinyan. Albeit, Perez already feels that he has moved on. He feels really good about this stage in his career. The loss is something that he now uses as motivation. In a way, it transformed him into a better fighter. Judging by his last remark, it may have also helped his confidence.

“I’m guaranteeing a knockout,” Said Perez. “This fight is not going the distance.”


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