I thought I had a decent performance in my fight against Ruben Cervera on ShoBox and it’s great to be out there again on TV and in my first main event. Boxing fans are starting to know my name. A lot of them don’t know I had wins over Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson and Gary Russell in the amateurs and have stayed active since turning pro. I’m ready for this and can’t wait to be a main event fighter on ShoBox. I know I’m in one of boxing’s toughest divisions and I look up to all the top guys at 126 pounds. Shakur Stevenson and I have talked about fighting in the future, and it might just happen someday. My training team of Max Garcia and Dean Familton have me ready and I’m more prepared for this fight than any I’ve ever been. I am confident that my style is going to confuse my opponent. If I’m up 8-0 I’m not going to mail it in and just run around, but I won’t get careless either. The wins are important and we will get it however we can. This is going to be a step-up fight for me because Lopez is coming off a huge win and has a lot of confidence. I’ve gotten better in my last three training camps dictating the pace and going forward. I want to be a multi-dimensional fighter. I just turned 22 years old last month and I’m still developing. I know I’m known for putting on clinics and I know that inner beast is in me. I won’t give him a chance to take advantage of what will make him successful. I’m not a slow starter, but I’ll take my time to figure out what I need to do to get my opponent out of there.
LUIS ALBERTO LOPEZ
I wasn’t supposed to win my last fight and it was in America so I’m coming in with a lot of confidence. I know now I can go outside of my country and my comfort zone. I believe in myself and know I can do it. I would call my opponent a good boxer without much power. We respect Villa’s record but he hasn’t fought anyone. My nickname is ‘venado’ which means deer in Spanish. I got it from my speed in soccer growing up. Most of my opponents have been too slow for me. I can move so I’m looking forward to being in there with someone with speed. I can change up strategies depending on what he shows. I was 19 years old when I started and had only 12 or 15 fights in the amateurs and turned pro after only one year. I have boxing in my blood and fought 2,000 fights on the street, and most of those I won.
You won’t believe how excited I am right now. This is my TV debut and I’m actually very calm and just ready to go. I’m not worried about the last-minute change in opponents. I know he’s a tall southpaw, but that doesn’t worry me. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before. I’ve sparred with world champions and some other southpaws in the past like Jessie Magdaleno. We’ve done some mitt work from the left stance and we’ll be ready for whatever my opponent brings. I’m going to have to use my angles against a taller fighter. I believe my ring generalship and my ring IQ is going to win out over an inexperienced fighter. My older brother Junior Dutchover has always pushed me and always says, ‘Someday that is going to be you on TV.’ And here we are and it’s actually happening tomorrow night. I had a good amateur career and my progression as a pro is right where I want it to be. This is the biggest opportunity of my career and I need to take advantage of it. Ruben Villa and I are very close friends and we go way back in the amateurs. We went 1-1 and I was 13 or 14 at the time. I also fought Devin Haney also in the amateurs.
I took this fight on short notice because it was the biggest chance I’ve ever been given. I have been in the gym, working out at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. I have sparred with Ivan Baranchyk and other top guys. I’m ready to go. My style is aggressive and technical – it depends on my opponent. I just want to give a good performance.
This is my first time on national TV and I’m excited. I’m ready to give everyone a show. I’m a come forward fighter and exciting to watch. I haven’t fought since I broke my left pinky during round six of my last fight against Luis Saavedra in October. I didn’t have surgery and just put it in a splint. I felt a little pain when I first started hitting the bag. I’m quiet outside of the ring but once I get in the ring I let it fly. That’s why they call me ‘The Beast.
I’ve been mostly fighting in Venezuela so I know a lot of people may not know me. This is my opportunity to show my skills. I’m more of a skilled boxer but at the same time I can fight on the inside and be aggressive. I’m so happy to be here and appreciate the opportunity to fight. It really is a dream come true. I’ve studied my opponent a little bit and he looks like a strong fighter who likes to crash in the ring, and we look forward to that. But I want to box.
Petr Petrov 13 lbs. vs. Ruben Tamayo, 13 lbs. (8-rounds)