Undefeated Junior Welterweight Vernon Paris, 26-0, 15 KOs, is already in the best shape of his career and looking forward to his big opportunity against Zab Judah on March 24th at the Aviator Sports Complex, in Judah’s hometown of Brooklyn, NY. The 24-year old fighter known as the "Ice Man" sees his fight on the NBC Sports Network Fight Night broadcast as the chance he’s been waiting for. The broadcast will begin at 10pm ET.
"I have to go through Zab to get where I have to go," said Paris. "I’m coming in the best shape of my life because I know what the reward is going to be. This is an eliminator. I’m fighting for the number one spot in the IBF."
Paris realizes that, in Judah, he’ll be facing his stiffest challenge to date. "I’m not taking anything away from him. He’s a five-time world champion. I know he’s got the experience. I know he’s been there. But if he thinks I’m going to lose to a 34-year old Zab Judah, he doesn’t have a clue about what he’s getting in the ring with. He doesn’t know what’s coming."
Paris says he is working harder than ever for this one. "I’m not waiting until March 24th to win this fight. I’m gonna win this fight right now, while I’m in training. It’s not when you get there on that day of the fight, working hard NOW is what’s going to get me where I gotta go."
So Paris and trainer Dave Lester are paying their dues in training camp, and with one month still to go, they are already seeing results. "I’m putting it in two or three times a day," Paris said. "I’m up in the morning running. I’m running at night. Every chance I get." Paris continued, "I lay down for a couple hours, but then I’m back up and we go back to the gym. I’m eating good, sleeping good, and I have a clear mind. That’s not good for Zab Judah."
Advisor Carlos Linas and Manager David Shumate have been with the fighter since day one and notices a difference in Paris as this fight approaches."He has never been in this kind of shape," Linas said. "We know Zab is a southpaw and that he still has power in the first few rounds, but these days Zab is fighting himself. He’s not like he was ten years ago. Our only concern is how to get out of the arena safely after we knock Judah out in front of his crowd."
"I’m not afraid to go into Brooklyn to fight him," Paris said. "It’s more pressure on Zab to fight in front of his hometown. Nothing about Brooklyn scares me; that’s where I want to go. Besides, he’s never fought there either."
"It’s time for some new blood to move in," Carlos Linas said. "This is Vernon’s time. I almost feel sorry for Zab."
"Under the lights and cameras, I transform into an animal," Paris said. "This fight ain’t gonna be decided by the judges, it’s gonna be decided in the middle of the ring. From start to finish, we are going to be banging. So if Zab can’t handle the pressure, then he’s going out. I got too many plans. I need this fight to get where I got to go. I need it bad."
February 29, 2012