By Francisco Salazar
Two fighters eager to close out 2012 with a victory and a possible big money fight in 2013 will face one another in the last boxing show in Southern California.
Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis will fight Michael Clark at the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, CA on December 21st. Pendarvis will defend his regional title belt in the scheduled 12 round bout.
The fight will headline a “Seasons Beatings: Hollywood Fight Night” card, presented by Art of Boxing Promotions, in association with Bash Boxing and Pit Bull Boxing Promotions.
Pendarvis (15-3-2, 5 KOs), who hails from Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts, won a convincing 12 round unanimous decision over Robert Frankel in his last fight on May 25th. The victory over Frankel was his fifth in a row since an eight round split decision loss to Terrance Cauthen in June of 2010.
After a few disappointing early losses and dealing with personal issues, Pendarvis has rededicated himself to boxing, eager to prove that he should be considered a force in the deep 140 pound division.
“I’m going to come out with my ‘A’ game,” said Pendarvis, who grew up with super bantamweight contender Rico Ramos. “I know that he (Clark) has a lot of experience, but I feel that I’m the better fighter.”
Pendarvis has sparred against a who’s who of boxing’s elite throughout the years. The southpaw claims that sparring Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton, and the late Diego Corrales were beneficial to his career.
Those sparring sessions coupled with his rededication to the sport has led Pendarvis to believe that a victory over Clark will reward him with bigger fights and larger purses for 2013.
“Right now, I’m better that the fighters I have lost to. I’m ready for the next level.”
Clark (43-7-1, 18 KOs) can not afford a defeat, considering he is 39 years old and a loss would seriously hamper any attempt towards a meaningful fight.
Known for appearing on the reality-series “The Contender,” Clark, who hails from Columbus, OH, has been fighting professionally for almost two decades.
In his last fight on July 21st, Clark won an eight round majority decision over previously-unbeaten Jake Giuriceo. Prior to that fight, Clark lost an eight round split decision to Bahodir Mamadjonov on March 1st.
After winning his first 24 bouts in a row, Clark challenged for his first world title against Artur Grigorian in October of 1999. Although he dropped Grigorian once, Clark was knocked out in the fifth round.
Seven more fights are scheduled to round out the card, with three of them featuring unbeaten fighters in scheduled six round fights.
Unbeaten light heavyweight Marat Kulumbegov (8-0-1, 5 KOs) will fight Billy Bailey (12-15, 4 KOs), while welterweight Alexander Filichkin (11-0, 3 KOs) takes on Angel Rios (9-16, 6 KOs). Both hail from Russia.
In what could be explosive six round bout, Oxnard super bantamweight Erik Ruiz (6-0, 3 KOs) will fight Shawn Nichol (7-12-1, 5 KOs), whose record is deceiving.
Tickets, which start at $35, could be purchased by calling (626) 388-8888. The Florentine Gardens is located at 5955 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.