The Cork-Cuban challenges WBC champion Mairis Briedis [22(14)-2(1)-1] at the Riga Arena in Latvia on Saturday night in the quarter finals of the World Boxing Super Series.
The title challenge will mark the end of a unbelievable turnaround for ‘The Rebel.’
Back in 2015 he stepped away from the sport for a period.
Knocked out in the first round by Alexander Povetkin and dealing with demons from his tragic fight with Magomed Abdusalamov, Perez looked to rebuild.
Dedicating himself to training, the Watergrasshill boxer got his head straight and shedded forty pounds to go from a slightly fleshy heavyweight to a ripped cruiserweight.
Making his return in Belfast this Summer, he tipped the scales at 198lbs and scored a facile stoppage of Victo Biscak inside a minute.
On Saturday he jumps from facing an overmatched Slovakian champion to fighting a world champion, but his ability to make the championship weight was called into question today at the final press conference in Riga.
Like he responded to claims he would be unable to make the weight during the Summer in Belfast, Perez laughed off the question and told the Latvian journalist in question that “I am here, what makes you think I am not going to fight! You will have to see at the weigh-in on Friday.”
For this fight Perez has brought on board experience U.S. trainer Shadeed Suluki – the man in the corner when Lamon Brewster stopped Wladimir Klitschko and a former coach of James Toney.
Suluki also looked to quash the claims and stated “rumour? We have had a very tight camp, so I don’t know where you have got that rumour from.”
“The only guys who have seen Mike on the scales is the team, and I know who is a part of this team. So where ever you got that rumour they told you a lie.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)