Michael “The Artist” Perez (24-1-2, 11 KOs) of Newark, N.J. is set to face the toughest opponent to his career thus far when he takes on NABA Lightweight Champion Petr “Zar” Petrov (37-4-2, 17 KOs) of Ryazan, Russia for the WBA Lightweight World Title Eliminator on September 30.
The new 12-round main event, which is set to replace formerly announced headliner Andrew “El Chango” Cancio who is now fighting against Joseph “Jojo” Diaz, Jr. on the Canelo vs. Smith pay-per-view undercard on September 17,will kick off the fall season of fights at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and broadcast live nationally on Estrella TV’s Boxeo Estelar.
“This is another step up in my career to becoming a world champion,” said Michael 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.”
“Michael Perez is an experienced fighter,” said Petr 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.”
“Michael Perez has been a very exciting fighter to watch rise through the ranks in the lightweight division–one of the hottest weight classes in boxing right now. If he wins as the title eliminator for the WBA Lightweight World Championship, he knows all eyes will be on him,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “We also know Petrov as an experienced and destructive fighter who won’t go down without an all-out brawl. The pressure is on and this hotly anticipated fight will determine who the next emerging lightweight star of the sport will be.”
“This is a big opportunity for Petr, which is well deserved,” said Arthur R. Pelullo, President and CEO of Banner Promotions. “He knows, with a win, he will become the mandatory challenger for the WBA Lightweight World Championship and we know that he is a championship level fighter and we expect a great performance on September 30.”
The televised opener will feature Miami’s Niko Valdes (2-0, 2 KOs) participating in his first fight at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in a scheduled four-round super middleweight event. Also part of the non-televised action and previously announced, Bastie Samir (14-0-1, 14 KOs) of Las Vegas will fight in a six-round super middleweight match and East LA’s Jonathan “Thunder” Navarro (6-0, 5 KOs) will participate in a six-round super lightweight fight all set to live stream on RingTVLive.com. Also part of the live stream, local Coachella Valley fighters, super bantamweight Javier Padilla and lightweight Luis Coria will make their professional debuts in respective four-round fights. Opponents will be announced shortly.
Tickets for the event go on sale today at 10:00 a.m. PT and are priced at $45, $35, and $25. They can be purchased at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, by calling (800) 827-2946 or online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.