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Mike Perez CONFIRMED for World Boxing Super Series

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Mike Perez [22(14)-2(1)-1] will be the final entrant in the cruiserweight section of the inaugural season of the World Boxing Super Series.

The Cork-Cuban has taken the eighth and final spot at 200lbs with former WBO champion Krystzof Glowacki, whom most believed would be selected, taking a role as first reserve.

The exciting tournament features eight boxers at both cruiser and super middle, and acts as a straight elimination, with quarters, semis, and a final, with the first round of matches beginning in September and October, with semis in early 2018, and finals pencilled in for May. The total prize pool for the tournament is $50,000,000.

There will be four seeded boxers, and they will choose their quarter final opponents at the draft gala in Monaco on Saturday night. While it has not been confirmed, it is assumed that Perez will be an unseeded boxer.

The other seven cruiserweights are WBC champion Mairis Breidis, IBF champion Murat Gassiev, WBO champion and hot favourite Oleksandr Usyk, former IBF and WBC champ Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, former WBO champ Marco Huck, WBA title challenger and ‘regular’ champion Yunier Dorticos, and big-punching Russian Dmitry Kudryashov.

Super middleweight features Swindon-Donegal puncher Jamie Cox, alongside WBA champ George Groves, Avni Yildirim, Rob Brant, Erik Skoglund, Callum Smith, and Juergen Braehmer, alongside one more to be announced.

The tournament offers a massive opportunity to Perez, with the potential to unify three of the four major belts.

Indeed it is a startling turnaround for the Caribbean boxer whose career seemed to be over following a crushing loss to Alexander Povetkin over two years ago. Perez finally returned to the ring last month in Belfast. During his long break, the 31 year old got himself into strong mental and physical shape and re-emerged as a cruiserweight.

The reinvigorated Perez featured on the undercard of the Ryan Burnett v Lee Haskins IBF bantamweight world title fight at the SSE Odyssey Arena. That night he was presented with no challenge whatsoever as he put Slovakian champion Viktor Biscak down and out inside 30 seconds – but it will be all different next time he steps into the ring.

It is assumed that Usyk, Gassiev, Briedis, and Dorticos will be the seeded fighters, meaning that Perez is now likely to challenge for a world title in his next fight in just a few short months.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie