"I feel great, man. I'm preparing for this fight. We doing what we do for every fight and doing what fighters do; in the gym doing my stuff and running my miles and getting my sparring in. I'm preparing for Michael Clark and ready to take it to him," stated jr. welterweight Cleotis Pendarvis, who talked about his upcoming return to the ring and much more. Check it out!
PC: You had to pull out of your last fight with an illness. How is everything going now my man?
CP: I feel great, man. I'm preparing for this fight. We doing what we do for every fight and doing what fighters do; in the gym doing my stuff and running my miles and getting my sparring in. I'm preparing for Michael Clark and ready to take it to him.
PC: How disappointing was that to have to pull out of that fight?
CP: It was very disappointing, but at the same time, your health is more important than anything. If you not feeling well, you have to do what you gotta do to make sure your body is feeling right and that you are right before you get in that ring. I would never get in the ring if I'm not feeling well. I don't care if it was after the weigh-ins and everything, if I'm not feeling well the morning I wake up to fight, then I won't take that fight because I don't want any fighter to have that advantage on me ever again because I wasn't ready or I wasn't feeling well.
PC: Michael Clark by far is your most experienced opponent with over 50 fights. Have you studied him at all? What do you know about him?
CP: I studied Michael Clark a bit and I look at him as a regular guy, regular fighter. I also fought Robert Frankel and he was close to 50 fights too, but of course they are two different fighters. Clark is more of a boxer and a little bit more skilled, but at the same time, it's my time now. I'm not really too much worried about any fighter out there, let alone Michael Clark. As long as I know I'm putting in my miles and what I'm supposed to do, I'm ready to do what I have to do at the end of the day.
PC: How will you approach this fight being that you are fighting another boxer as opposed to a guy who is gonna come right at you?
CP: I really don't want to put it out there, but we will have to see what happens the night of the fight. Every fight is different, so I can't really predict anything, but I'm going to go out there and do what I have to do. If I gotta walk him down, I will walk him down. If I have to box, then I'll box. I'm a versatile fighter, man. I can do everything.
PC: You have been saying that 2013 was going to be your year. Not looking past Michael Clark at all, but is Mauricio Herrera on the to-do list in 2013?
CP: Oh yeah, all day! I want Mauricio Herrera real bad. I want to stop Mauricio Herrera. I'm not looking past Michael Clark; I know he coming to fight and I'm coming to fight also. That's what fighters do; this is our life. We come in there and we fight for money and we fight for a championship. We fight for our name and our pride. We also fight for our families, but at the end of the day, Mauricio Herrera got a present over there in Ontario when we fought. I fought him under his promotional company and all he had to do was make it through the 8 rounds and they was gonna give him the fight. And plus he fought me during the time when I was burying my little brother. I actually didn't want to take the fight. My brother died after I had signed the contract, so it was like I tried to holla at his people and asked can we push the fight back, but they didn't want to do it. Now it's just gonna be my time to whoop his ass, man, but I gotta get past Michael Clark first. When I get Mauricio Herrera in there, it is gonna be night night.
PC: That loss really bothers you, huh?
CP: It's definitely been bothering me because I know he's not better than me. Any of my losses, I know the guy is not better than me. Everything came when adversity was happening in my life, and I'm not making excuses, but I want the fans to know that I am human just like everyone else and I had issues that I was going through, and I still have some issues as a young man from the city of Los Angeles, but now I have a team behind me and I'm working hard and doing what I have to do. But Mauricio Herrera gonna get his ass whooped when I fight him again.
PC: Are you in a good place right now mentally and physically? You seem a lot happier when I speak with you now.
CP: Oh yeah, I'm definitely in a good spot. My team is very supportive. They support every move that I make and everything that I do. We work hard; we just all on the same page. We not looking past Michael Clark at all because we know dude can fight and he comes to fight and he likes to disappoint cats. He just beat an undefeated fighter in Jake Giuriceo. I gotta make sure that I'm on point that night so I can walk away with that victory.
PC: How do you avoid letting him play spoiler for your plans?
CP: I gotta go out there and do what I gotta do and take care of business. I'm a fighter and a fighter at heart. I fought in the streets, I fought for my life, and now I fight in the ring for a living, so there isn't anything he's going to bring to the table that will surprise me. I have been in the ring with the best in the world. As far as experience, I know he has 50 fights, but what does that mean when you stepping in there with a young lion.
PC: Good luck on December 21st and I definitely look forward to a promising 2013. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
CP: I just want to give a shout out to all the fans and FightHype for giving me exposure and this interview and showing me the love. You guys have been working with me for years, especially you Percy, so I thank you. I want to shout out my manager and promoter and my team, and also a shout out to Michael Clark for taking the fight. We went through a lot of ranked fighters in the USBA and nobody really stepped up to the plate. Michael Clark was the only one that did. Paul Spadafora turned me down, Mike Dallas turned me down, and Mike Arnaoutis turned me down, so a lot of fighters turned me down. That's what I had to go through to get this fight and now that it's done and it's signed in black and white, I'm ready to just do my stuff and show the world that I am somebody to be reckoned with at 140 pounds. Thank you again and shout out to all of the fans who support Cleotis "Mookie" Pendarvis. I gotta say thank you to the haters also because they are my motivation.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]