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Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis on Michael Clark matchup

David Hopper of 8CN caught up with junior welterweight prospect Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis (15-3, 5 KOs). The 26-year-old southpaw will fight Michael Clark (43-7, 18 KOs) Dec. 21 at Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, Calif.


DH: Tell me about yourself.

CP: First thing’s first, my name is Mookie Pendarvis. I’m from Las Angeles, California. I’m 26 years old. I’m currently ranked No. 15 in the world by the IBF. I currently hold the USBA IBF championship which I will be defending come Dec. 21 against Michael Clark from Columbus, Ohio.


DH: How’s training camp been going?

CP: Training camp has been going real well. We’ve been working hard and having the best sparring ever, guys from St. Louis, Cali, anyone that likes to get in there and mix it up and will give me something similar to Michael Clark.


DH: What do you know about your opponent, Michael Clark?

CP: I know that he’s a boxer first. I actually sparred him years back when he was getting ready for The Contender. I was helping those guys get ready. There’s really nothing special that he brings to the table. He’s another man. He’s another guy that’s in front of me that I have to get past. May the best man win and I feel like I’m the best man. I should be coming home with the belt.


DH: How do you think you’ll match up with Clark?

CP: I don’t feel that it’s really a matchup. It’s chess not checkers. I have to go out there and pick him apart. Outthink him, outspeed him, outpower him. Each round will take its toll, 12 rounds or less.


DH: Will the fight be at 147 or 140?

CP: The fight will actually be at 140. I’m now a junior welterweight. I plan to stay at 140 and make a mark there. I plan to take out everybody and be the undisputed king there.


DH: Describe your fighting style.

CP: I’m a boxer-puncher. But the thing is, I bring a lot to the table. I’m not just one-dimensional. If you look at a lot of guys out there you can say he has a little bit of power or he has a little bit speed or he throws pretty good combinations. But you’re not really speaking of guys that have the agility, the speed, the power and the total package.


DH: What are your goals as a boxer?

CP: My goal is basically this: beating Michael Clark and then getting through Mauricio Herrera and getting through everybody at 140 pounds. I want the world to know that before I leave I gave it my all and I shared my title with the world and the fans and everything and I brought a lot to the table. A lot of guys pulled out. A lot of guys didn’t want to fight me. I’m the USBA champion. There are guys that are ranked behind me. I take my hat off the Michael Clark because he was the one that stepped up to the table to fight me. I just read that Roy Jones said that Paul Spadafora will fight anybody. No he won’t because he was actually ranked No. 1 and we threw it right at him. We sent the letters and Paul Spadafora won’t fight anyone. So tell Roy Jones he can knock that off. It was him Mike Dallas, the list goes on and on, Mike Arnaoutis, if you look at the USBA rankings all those guys.


DH: There’s a lot of talent at 140. It may be the most talented division of all.

CP: It is. It is the most talented.


DH: Is there anyone you really want to fight at 140?

CP: You know I want to clean up the west coast first. I want to go with Michael Clark and then come back home and beat everybody here that’s at 140 that’s the top fighters in the world that’s ranked. But I’ll fight anybody whoever gives me the opportunity. Boxing is a sport where it’s about opportunities and chances and being ready. When the opportunity knocks I can be able to open that door and accept it. Whoever comes to the table to fight Cleotis Pendarvis. Let’s do it. It’s my time now.


DH: You have a pair of decision losses to Mauricio Herrera and Terrance Cauthen. Do you feel like you won those fights?

CP: Yeah I feel like I beat those guys. But that’s the past. I fought those guys in there hometown, and that’s behind me. Now it’s about what’s ahead of me. The only one that’s really ahead of me that I can get is Mauricio Herrera and I will. And this time I will stop him.


DH: You’ve sparred with Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, and Antonio Margarito to name a few. What did you take away from those sparring sessions?

CP: Just being a professional. There’s nothing really special about those guys. They’re fighters too. They just have a lot more money and they’ve made their mark in the game. There’s really nothing special about those guys you mentioned. But I do respect them as a fighter. I don’t idolize anyone in the game.


DH: Pernell Whitaker was one of the boxers you looked up to growing up. What did you admire about him?

CP: He was slick, smart in the ring. Hit don’t get it. Multi-world champion in a couple of different weight divisions. He fought the best and beat the best.


DH: When you’re not training what do you like to do in your spare time.

CP: When I’m not training I like to read, write. Spend time with my kids and even with my team. Just enjoy life. Tomorrow’s not promised. Everyday that I wake up I’m thankful for. I try to take it day by day and give it my all.


DH: Anything you want to add in closing?

CP: I just want to say that this is the fight game. No more prima donna type stuff. Let everybody fight everybody. Everybody deserves a chance. Everybody deserves a chance to get their hands dirty and their feet wet in the game. There’s a lot of talented fighters out there and we all have families, most of us. And we have to feed them. You say you’re the best, prove it. Fight the best. Fight everybody that’s out there. Don’t take the 50-year-old man and things like that. At the end of the day once you beat who you’ve beat then you can say you’re better than that man. I also just want the fans and the media to know that I appreciate all of them. I want to say thank you. Combat is not an easy sport. We put our lives on the line every time we step up in that ring. It’s a lot of hard work and determination before the fight. It’s a fight outside the ring for some of us, where a lot of things happen, gang violence, drugs, and everything, but I’m still out here maintaining a positive attitude in negative atmosphere. I just want people to understand that and respect that.


DH: Do you have a Facebook or Twitter?

CP: I would like everyone to go to the official Pitbull Boxing Facebook page and like it. Also they have my bio there where you can learn a lot about me.

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