Showtime officially announced their four-man bantamweight mini-tournament yesterday, taking place on December 11 at 9pm EDT in Leon, Mexico. Yonnhy Perez will face Joseph Agbeko in a rematch of a tremendous fight from 2009, and Vic Darchinyan battles Abner Mares in a very promising matchup.
Here are some quotes from the participants.
"I'm excited to be included in the 118-pound tournament that Showtime has put together. Showtime has helped me reveal my ability to the world and I'm honored they will televise my next two fights. I knew the instant I earned my IBF bantamweight championship title that it would open a lot of doors for me. This is the first of many opportunities. I am going to get through this tournament as the reigning champion."
"Boxing fans know that the little guys always make for the best fights and this tournament is guaranteed to prove that again. This is a great opportunity for all of us to prove ourselves in the spotlight and I am excited that this fight will take place in Mexico with all of the support of my people for the first time in my career. Of course, I am also grateful and looking forward to having a rematch with Yonnhy in the final. I felt I did enough in our first fight to win a unanimous decision. I know if I do my best again, I'll come away with the IBF belt."
"I've always said, and believed in my heart, that I am the best bantamweight in the world. Now it is time to prove it once and for all. I'm beyond happy and excited that Showtime is doing a tournament in this weight class. This truly is an opportunity that I never expected, and I am going to take full advantage of it. It is my destiny to win it all."
"I think that this is a beautiful thing that Showtime is doing, but it isn't a bantamweight tournament, it's The Darchinyan Tournament. Everyone who faces me will feel my power and be a loser. I owe Agbeko because he got away with one last time. But it doesn't matter who I fight. Even the winner in the other bracket will be a loser because he will eventually have to face me and lose."