Contender clash: Ja's Yeyo faces tough Canadian
"I am a survivor. I have beaten the odds repeatedly, and I am still standing. Being Contender Champion 2018 is my goal, and no one is going to stop me."
Those were the fighting words of Canadian Mayron Zeferino to The Gleaner yesterday, when asked how he felt about the stiff challenge that he is expected to face from Jamaica's Nico Yeyo. The two meet tonight over five rounds, in the second week of the Wray and Nephew Contender series, at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium, on Old Hope Road. The action starts at 8.30 with two amateur bouts, followed by the main bout at 9.30, which will be broadcast live by TVJ.
A cool and confident individual, Zeferino, who was born in Brazil 32 years ago, and has been living in Canada since 1992, said that sports, and especially boxing has been an important part of his life. He says that he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 12, something that he still has to face every day, and then with non Hodgkin's lymphoma at age 24. After a year of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, he says that he has been cancer free for seven years, and is enjoying his life.
"I am a happy man. I live life to the fullest, and boxing is a big part of my therapy. It helps me to fight my diabetes, and I really want to go far in the sport," he added.
Boxing was not his first love, he said, as he dabbled first with mixed martial arts and mui thai. Continuing he said "from the first time that I laced on boxing gloves, however, I was hooked. I had 20 amateur fights, winning 16, and decided a few years ago that I should get paid for being hit." He now has a 5-0 record with two knockouts, and his plan is to keep his winning streak going tonight. He is well prepared he said, and is very confident of victory.
Opposite to him in the ring tonight, will be Jamaica's 27-year old Nico Yeyo, who after a 15-6 amateur career, turned pro during the Contender series last May, and now has a 1-1 record. He has been training hard for his 2018 debut, and says that he is much more confident for tonight's fight, than when he fought last year.
He and his trainer Earl Foskin are very upbeat about this year's competition and say that the plan is to go all the way this year.
" We know that it will be difficult, but we are ready," was the word from the confident camp yesterday.
The main prize will be the Wray and Nephew title belt and $2 million, the runner-up will take home $500,000, third place $250,000 and fourth place $200,000.