The May 10 edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra will feature two top Junior Welterweights—Vernon “The Iceman” Paris (27-1, 16 KOs) and Manny “Manos” Perez (19-8-1, 4 KOs)—in the 10-round main event. Friday’s show from the Masonic Temple in Detroit will air live at 10 p.m. ET.
Miami’s Paris enters Friday’s fight with big fight experience having fought three-time Junior Welterweight and Welterweight titlist Zab Judah. In his last fight Paris scored a third-round TKO win over Guy Pucker.
“I’ve started working with my new coach, Herman Caicedo, and have been preparing for this fight ever since my last fight,” Paris 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.”
Denver’s Perez has won three of his last four fights including a 10-round split decision over Jose Miguel Cotto (Miguel Cotto’s brother) and a 10-round unanimous decision over Edgar Santana. Perez enters Friday’s fight following a seven-round unanimous decision win over Bernardo Guereca.
“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 10-round co-feature will pit Featherweights Cornelius “Lighting” Lock (20-6-1, 13 KOs) against “El Negro Mexicano Lightning” Lonnie Smith (14-4-3, 10 KOs). Lock scored a second-round TKO win over Damon Antoine in his last fight, while Smith is coming off a seventh-round technical draw against Michael Perez.