By Robert Ecksel
On Friday, September 30, at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, WBA #3 ranked Michael “The Artist” Perez (24-1-2, 11 KOs), from Newark, New Jersey, fights WBA #4 ranked Petr “Zar” Petrov (37-4-2, 17 KOs), from Madrid, Spain, by way of Ryazan, Russia, in a WBA World lightweight title eliminator.
Twenty-six-year-old Perez is an eight-year pro who won the vacant WBA Fedelatin super lightweight title by beating Miguel Zuniga via unanimous decision in September 2013, a title he successfully defended twice. “The Artist” won the vacant WBO NABO lightweight title last July by knocking out Luis Sanchez in the sixth. He most recently fought this March, gaining a win over Martin Honorio by sixth-round technical decision due to cuts.
“This is another step up in my career to becoming a world champion,” said Perez. “I am very excited for this fight and I feel very motivated. I have been waiting for a fight like this, to be challenged at such a high caliber keeps me focused and motivated. Petr is a tough guy and that has been what has carried him to where he is today, but I am smart fighter and will be prepared to box when I want to and brawl when I want to. The skills I have and the plan we have to execute are what will determine the victory for this fight. Both Petr and I know what’s at stake here, the winner of our fight will be the mandatory for the winner of the world championship unification fight between Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla. I am ready for the challenge.”
Petrov, 33, a 16-year ring vet, won the vacant WBA-NABA and interim WBO NABO lightweight titles by stopping Fernando Carcamo via eighth round TKO in May 2014. “Zar” won the vacant NABF lightweight title in his most recent fight, this May, by retiring Marvin Quintero in the sixth. He hasn’t lost since April 2013, when he failed to wrest the WBC International lightweight title from undefeated Dejan Zlaticanin, who won by unanimous decision.
“Michael Perez is an experienced fighter,” said Petrov. “He is one of my tougher challenges, but I feel that my experience in being in bigger fights has me prepared. This is for the mandatory challenger in the WBA lightweight world championship and I know this will be a good fight. At the end of the day, it will be about who is prepared the best and may the best man win.”
The WBA World lightweight title eliminator between Michael Perez and Petr Petrov will betelevised live on Estrella TV’s Boxeo Estelar starting at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.