Anson Wainwright - You make the first defence of your title on 21 July. Can you tell us about the fight?
Johan Perez - Yes, the fight will be on July 21st in Cancun, Mexico. I am prepared for the one [Cano] that want to fight against. I am prepared to fight against better 140-pounders.
AW - What are your goals for this year? If all goes well in your next fight, who are you targeting? What do you think of the other champions at 140?
YP - My goals are: first, be the world champion at 140 pounds [for the] WBA and if everything goes fine, looking for fights with the biggest names in the division like Erik Morales, Humberto Soto, [Marcos] Maidana, Amir Khan. I think that these are the best fighters but I’m better with good training I want to beat all of them.
AW - Could you tell us a little about your career up to this point?
YP - My career at this point in this last year has been upward but my goal is to be the best at 140.
AW - Probably your best win to date was when you beat American prospect Kenny Galarza, stopping him in four. Is that your best win and can you tell us about that fight?
YP - It was in four rounds and I think that It was a good victory because I study and I could knock him out but it was the most important when I won against Fernando Castaneda who had his jaw fractured also in four rounds [in a win] that made me the world champion.
AW - Who are the key members of your team?
YP - The main members are my dad, Lino Perez; he is my head coach. Celso Chavez is my other coach. My doctor is Luis Miguel Gomez; my manager is Mr. Rafael Moron and, of course, my promoter is Golden Boy.
AW - This is your first fight under the Golden Boy promotional banner. How did signing with them come about and what are your thoughts on getting the opportunity to fight for such a big promoter?
YP – Yes, thank God that I signed with this big company because Mr. Robert Diaz, the Golden Boy matchmaker, watched my fights and liked my way of fighting, so he spoke with my manager, Rafael Moron, and all happened from there. Also, I have to give the thanks to the people of the WBA that always gave me their support.
AW – Where do you train in Venezuela and who do you train with?
YP - In Venezuela, I train at my father’s gym, Naciones Unidas in Caracas. In Panama Curundu with Celso Chavez, I train with other boxers like the [WBA bantamweight] champion Anselmo Moreno, [Ismael] Barroso, [Yonfrez] Parejo, Nicholas Walters, Charlie Navarro, etc.
AW - Did you have much of an amateur career? What titles did you win? Also what was your final record?
YP - 117 fights, 100 won and 17 losses in the amateurs. I was a world junior champion and bronze medalist in the Dominican Republic. I wish I could have gone to the Olympics and won a gold medal.
AW - Tell us about your younger days and what you liked to do as a youth?
YP - I was unquiet and I liked some sports, especially basketball and boxing.
AW - How did you first become interested in boxing?
YP - I started to box for my older brother who has since passed away; his name was Lino Perez Jr.
AW - Edwin Valero was a countryman of yours. Did you know each other?
YP – Yes, I had some sparring with him; he was a good boxer.
AW – Finally, do you have a message for the light welterweight division?
YP - Listen good to my name because soon, we’ll meet down the road.