After a great start to his career, in which Paris rattled off 26 consecutive victories, he hit a snag when he suffered a TKO loss at the hands of Zab Judah in March 2012. The loss caused Paris to reflect on his career, most importantly, the manner in which he was being led by his handlers. Although he took the blame for the loss, he felt there were things done, or not done, that did not put him in the best position to win that fight. It was time for a change.
In the past year he cleaned house, finding a new head trainer in Kenny Johnson, foremost among the changes. The combination, he believes, is going to revitalize his career, allowing him to reach heights he had not reached before.
In just a couple days, we will get an early indication of whether or not the new pairing, new outlook, and new start will put Vernon Paris right back in the thick of things, or if the loss to Zab Judah was indicative of a bigger problem. Paris believes that the loss was an anomaly, and that when we next see him in the ring, we will see a fighter among the best in the world.
As part of his training, the Detroit fighter now working out of Atlanta, came to Las Vegas to get in some work at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas. There, Paris has been able to get in some work with some of the talented fighters working out of that club, sharpening his skills in preparation for his return. We were able to catch up Paris and Johnson there, just hours before they caught a plane back to Detroit for the fight this weekend. From there, they will head over to Kalamazoo, where the fans there will get to see Vernon Paris compete for the first time in over a year.
In this interview, Paris discusses the loss to Zab Judah, the changes he made to correct things, as well as what he has learned in the process. Kenny Johnson also gives his take on what it has been like working with the talented fighter.