On Saturday April 9, in what is expected to be the final trilogy of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley welterweight rivalry, Colorado's Manny Perez, for the first time in his 12 year career, gets his shot on a world championship pay-per-view stage.
The 31-year-old pugilist is set to meet unbeaten WBC Continental Americas, super lightweight title holder Jose Carlos Ramirez, opening the fight card that will be shown on HBO live on PPV.
Ramirez is 23 years old and a Top Rank boxing prospect whose promotional team has requested this fight three times. This time, Perez agreed.
"He ain't never been 10 rounds with a fighter like me," Perez said. "I go in there to test his heart. See how much he's willing to give...you got to be prepared to give everything ever ounce of you cause I'm going to come in there ready to fight."
Perez was born and raised on O'ahu in Waipahu, Hawai'i, and his family represents the island melting pot with Samoan and Latino roots. His nickname is "Manos" meaning hands in Spanish.
The lightweight title contender is hoping he'll get his hands all over Ramirez when they meet at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
"I like to fight. I'll box for as long as I have to, but if it turns into a dog fight, that's exactly where I want to be," said Perez.
Since debuting as a professional in 2004, Manos has fought 37 times while simultaneously working his 12-hour, five-day a week warehouse job at Inline Distributing company. He's a husband and father, as well. At this stage in his career, he knows this is his shot.
"There are no possibilities without this victory," said Perez. "Your mind can start to wander a little bit and you think about the what-if's, but you've got to bring yourself back to reality and realize that there is no "what if" unless we get this victory. I don't think past hi,m because I give everybody in front of me the respect that they deserve, and I hope he does the same for me and I'm going to be ready for him come April 9."