Tough-talking Yeyo faces big task against Salas in Contender tonight
Jamaican debutant Sean-Antonie Johnson falls to the turf in the first round of his Wray & Nephew Contender Series welterweight bout against Canada's Ricardo Salas, at the Chinese Benevolent Association on May 16. (PHOTO: Marlon Reid).
Jamaica’s Nico ‘Venom’ Yeyo is confident he can make Ricardo ‘Magic Man’ Salas disappear from the Wray & Nephew Contender welterweight series, by beating the Team Canada fighter in the last quarter-final bout at the Chinese Benevolent Association, on Wednesday night.
The 27-year-old Yeyo, who scored a world record win in his opening bout by flooring Mayron Zeferino in only 21 seconds, says he is in prime shape to defeat Salas in the fight that will be broadcst live on TVJ, beginning at 9:30 p.m.
“I feel great, ready to go in that ring. My engine is ready, ready to fight anytime, anywhere. Salas is a good fighter. I saw him fight, but I know what to come with,” said Yeyo.
“I made a world record. Mike Tyson took 22 (seconds), I took 21,” Yeyo added, pointing to his first round win.
Asked to predict a knockout time in the five-round contest, Yeyo said: “I’m not a round predictor, I came here to destroy or be destroyed.”
Do you want to be destroyed?
“No, I work hard so I don’t come here to be destroyed,” added Yeyo, who is motivated to win this year’s series.
The Jamaican’s ring record as a pro stands at two wins and one loss, the latter a disqualification on debut in last year’s Wray & Nephew Contender when he was deducted two points in a fight against Canadian Dave Leblond and ended up losing 47-47, 46-46, 48-44.
“Last year I was holding because my uncle ‘dropped out’ (died) and my mind wasn’t there. So I came this year and showed them that it’s a different thing; I told them that your mistake becomes my own, so I see it and I take it,” assessed Yeyo, who won 10 of 16 fights as an amateur.
Salas, who was born in Mexico, is an exciting 19-year-old who has recorded seven knockouts on the way to winning eight of his nine fights. The last came against 40-year-old Sceanantonie ‘Scrappy’ Johnson, who was stopped in the fourth round on pro debut in their first-round contest.
However, Yeyo and his coach, Earl ‘Boom Boom’ Foskin, are not frightened by those statistics.
“The knockouts don’t phase me, once you step in that ring with me be prepared to fight because the fittest of the fittest will survive,” said Yeyo.
Foskin said: “I don’t really rate Salas as a fighter until he fights the ‘Venom’. When I look at his record all the fights I’ve seen him fight he’s fighting for a promoter who is trying to build him.
“I don’t really rate the decisions he gets to be a 8-1 fighter to come here as this big name, I think we’ve something to prove against him. We’re coming hard, just look for a hard fight,” added Foskin.
The winner will, in addition to the title and belt, take home a purse of $2 million. The second-place boxer will earn $500,000, third $250,000 and fourth $200,000. A win tonight puts either boxer among the top four.
“(I’m) 100 percent ready because of two million, nobody is going to give you two million for sitting down. You’ve to work hard for two million. Hard work brings success,” said Yeyo.
“I have it in me to win it, I’m in it to win it.”
In three previous Wray & Nephew Contender quarter-finals, Jamaica’s Devon ‘Concrete’ Moncriffe and Richard ‘Frog’ Holmes, and Canada’s Leblond won to secure their spot in the semi-finals.