Mendoza Plans to Pressure Dawson
NEW YORK – If the saying “styles make fights” holds any truth, then Don King Productions has found the perfect replacement opponent for World Boxing Council (WBC) Light Heavyweight Champion Chad Dawson in hard-hitting Epifanio Mendoza (28-4-1, 24 KOs).
Mendoza, who opened his professional career with 16 consecutive knockouts, likely will give the younger Dawson (24-0, one NC, 16 KOs) fits when the two tangle Saturday, Sept. 29, on Showtime Championship Boxing at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). Mendoza, of Barranquilla, Colombia, replaces Adrian Diaconu, who was forced to withdraw when he injured his right hand during sparring.
In the co-feature, International Boxing Federation (IBF) Bantamweight Champion Luis Perez will defend his crown for the first time when he squares off against IBF No. 15 contender Joseph Agbeko. Don King Productions will present the championship doubleheader.
“I don’t back down from anyone” said Mendoza, who is trained by Roberto “Chavo” Duran, son of Hall of Famer Roberto Duran, and managed by Tony Gonzalez. “I have an entertaining style because I always apply continuous pressure on my opponent.”
Due to Mendoza’s fiery fighting style, his matches rarely go the distance. He will have to manage his punches because Dawson has built a reputation as a well-conditioned athlete who doesn’t tire in the later rounds.
“My camp is aware of how Dawson likes to fight,” said Mendoza, who will spend the days leading up to the showdown training at the Miami Fight Gym. “He likes to move around a lot. We will have something different for him on Sept. 29.”
Interestingly, Mendoza was preparing for a different title shot (against WBA Super Middleweight Champion Anthony Mundine) just weeks prior to receiving the call to fight Dawson.
To help prepare for the Mundine fight, Mendoza sparred against fellow countrymen Alejandro Berrio, the International Boxing Federation (IBF) 168-pound world titleholder.
“Mundine suffered an eye injury and that fight was scrapped,” Mendoza said. “Then, I got the call for this fight on Monday, Sept. 17, and I couldn’t turn it down. Sometimes in boxing, fights have a weird way of working themselves out. I’ll be ready and hungry to fight on Sept. 29.”
Broadcasters • Showtime • KO Corner News • Promoters • Don King • Weight Classes • Light Heavyweight • Adrian Diaconu • Chad Dawson