Following a Fight of the Year contender in which he won the IBF bantamweight title from Joseph Agbeko last Halloween, Yonnhy Perez will return on May 22 in Los Angeles to make his first defense of the belt. He'll meet unbeaten prospect Abner Mares.
The fight will be the televised co-feature on Showtime beneath the main event that night, the fourth fight between Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez.
Perez (20-0-1, 14 KO) outpointed Agbeko in a thrilling affair last October, a mild upset that won him his first major title. The 31 year old Colombian (who now lives in California) preceded that win with a great comeback stoppage of Silence Mabuza in South Africa last May.
Mares (19-0, 12 KO) has moved at a bit of a crawl the last couple of years, his progress stalling just a bit. He fought twice in '09, winning a couple of easy fights. Perez will be a huge step up in competition for him.
It's another good fight for Showtime, and is a perfect pairing with the main event on May 22. While Vazquez-Marquez may wind up being the last meaningful fight for both of those great warriors, we'll also have an in-prime, unbeaten titlist defending against a very promising prospect.