Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis of Long Beach via Los Angeles and Dierry Jean of Canada have something in common – both will be in the biggest fight of their respective careers when they square off Friday in a junior welterweight title-elimination fight at Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla. (on Showtime).
“Win, and I get a shot at the world championship,” said Pendarvis, a 26-year-old southpaw. “It doesn’t matter against whom. It’s as simple as that. I’ve put in the work and I’m ready to go.”
Pendarvis (17-3-2, 6 KOs) spoke in confident tones at Thursday’s final news conference, even though Jean is 24-0 with 16 knockouts.
“I’m ready to prove myself,” Pendarvis said. “I truly believe in myself. He’s got the undefeated record, but I’ve fought better than he has and have more skills than the guys he’s fought.”
Jean, 31, has fought all but one of his bouts in Canada.
“I can’t lie, this is the biggest fight of my career,” Jean said. “I’m very excited and totally prepared for this opportunity.”
Jean intimated he understands that Pendarvis, a southpaw with a low knockout ratio, will likely present a crafty foe.
“Pendarvis is a slick guy,” Jean said, “but I can fight any style.”