ESPN’s Friday Night Fights returns with another full card Friday, May 10th. This week’s card is headlined by a matchup of two Junior Welterweights. Vernon “The Iceman” Paris (27 – 1, 16 KOs) faces off against Manny “Manos” Perez (19 – 8 – 1, 4 KOs) in a ten-round main event. Friday’s main event will be broadcast live from the Masonic Temple in Detroit at 10pm ET. The fight will air live on ESPN2 HD and online and mobile internet via WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app. ESPN Deportes will pick up the fight in progress following the conclusion of the NBA Playoff matchup between the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat.
Paris comes into Friday’s fight with quite a bit of momentum, having beaten Guy Pucker with a third-round KO in his most recent fight. Before that bout, Paris also had fought three-time Welterweight and Welterweight titlist Zab Judah. Paris was upbeat in an interview when asked about what to expect from Friday’s bout. He noted that he was definitely prepared for the fight. “I’ve started working with my new coach, Herman Caicedo, and have been preparing for this fight ever since my last fight,” he said. “My new coach is good. He’s teaching me to keep my hands up. The plan – what I’m going to do in the ring – that’s all coming together. I’m feeling real good about it.”
Perez has his own momentum coming into this week’s main event. He won three of his previous four matches including a ten-round split decision over Jose Cotto (Miguel Cotto’s brother) and a ten-round unanimous decision over Edgar Santana. He won his most recent fight, a seven round unanimous decision win over Bernardo Guereca.
Perez sounded focused but realistic when asked about taking on Paris. “I know Paris is very, very tough, and I anticipate a tough fight,” Perez said. “Those are the fights I like. I’ve said it before – you don’t become the best without fighting the best. You have to fight and beat the best. I’m working on my jab a lot now, and just want to show more variety in my shots this fight. I want to show better angles, and a better variety of right hands. I want to apply the right kind of pressure and just break him down. I’m looking forward to putting on a great performance.”
Friday’s fight between Paris and Perez will be preceded by a co-feature pitting a pair of Featherweights against each other. Cornelius “Lightning” Lock (20 – 6 – 1, 13 KOs) and “El Negro Mexicano Lightning” Lonnie Smith (14 – 4 – 3, 10 KOs) will face off in a ten-round fight. Lock won his most recent fight with a second-round TKO win over Damon Antoine. Smith’s last fight ended in a seventh-round technical draw against Michael Perez.
FNF hosts Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore will both be on hand to call all of the evening’s action for ESPN2 HD. They will be joined by studio host Todd Grisham with all of the latest boxing news and Highlights. Pablo Viruega and Delvin Rodriguez will call the matches for ESPN Deportes. Claudia Trejos and Leopoldo Gonzales will join them from the ESPN Deportes studios. Bernardo Osuna will have live interviews and reports for ESPN2 HD and ESPN Deportes.
Friday Night’s new edition of FNF is presented by Corona Extra and is promoted by Millennium Promotions.
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