Dominican lightweight Eudy “AK47” Bernardo and his opponent, Louisiana’s Mason “Rock Hard Mighty” Menard are nearing the peak of their training for their Friday, April 15, showdown on ShoBox: The New Generation.
The 29-year-old Bernardo (21-0, 15 KOs) of Santo Domingo, is hard at work at Hank’s Gym in Houston, with his trainer, former IBF World Middleweight Champion Frank Tate.
“I’m in great shape. I feel strong,” said Bernardo via translator. “I’ve learned so much from Frank Tate and I’m proud to be working with him. He’s a great trainer. I’m learning to throw better combinations and I’ve improved my defense, my jab, and my foot movement since we teamed up.”
Bernardo says he still doesn’t know much about opponent Menard, but isn’t worried about it. “I watched a few of his fights on YouTube, but I’m training for anything that comes my way. Everything is going to go great for me that night. It’s my ring that night and I will have my way. I will win.”
This is opportunity is a long-time coming for the 29-year-old and he says he plans on making the most of it. “I’m very excited about fighting on ShoBox and I look forward to putting on a show. I’ve been waiting for long time for this opportunity and want to thank Dmitriy Salita for making it happen.”
The 27-year-old Menard (30-1-0, 22 KOs), from Rayne, La., is rated No. 15 by the WBA at 135 pounds. He’s training at Red Lerille’s Health & Racquet Club in Lafayette with trainer and former fighter “Bad” Chad Broussard.
“I’ve learned how to be a better person in and out of the ring from Chad,” said Menard. “I’ve been with him for nine years. I’ve learned how to put punches together better and sit on my shots more. I’ve learned how to cut angles. I’ve learned so much from Chad.”
Menard says despite the usual aches and pain experienced in camp he is 100 percent and training is going well. The only adjustments he’s made is to bring in taller sparring partners.
“This is huge for me,” he continued. “This is the ‘get up or lay down’ type of fight. If I get up, then the sky is the limit. If I fall, then maybe it’s time to look for a job. I’m going to get in there and do what I have to do. Hopefully I get the KO, but if it goes to the scorecards, I just want the win. No matter which way it goes.”
The eight-round Bernardo vs. Menard fight will serve as the co-main event on a quadrupleheader on SHOWTIME from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. In the April 15, 10-round main event, IBF No. 10-ranked bantamweight Nikolay Potapov (14-0, 6 KOs), of Podolsk, Russia, will take on Stephon Young (14-0-2, 6 KOs), of St. Louis, Mo.. In the other televised bouts, Russian cruiserweight Alexey Zubov (10-0, 6 KOs) will face Constantin Bejenaru (10-0, 4 KOs, WSB: 0-1-1) of Mandilesti, Moldova, over eight rounds; and in the eight-round junior welterweight telecast opener, Kazakhstan’s Bakhtiyar “Bakha Bullet” Eyubov (10-0, 10 KOs), of Brooklyn, takes on also undefeated Courtney Jackson (8-0, 6 KOs) of Homestead, Fla.