Mike Perez [22(14)-2(1)-1] could become a cruiserweight champion of the World in just his second ever fight at 200lbs.
The Cork-Cuban was the final entrant in the cruiserweight section of the inaugural season of the World Boxing Super Series.
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.
If that wasn’t enough good news for the former World level heavyweight and amateur sensation he found out over the weekend he will challenge for a World title in his first clash in the tournament.
WBC champion Mairis Breidis, who was one of four seeded punchers who got to pick their opponent chose Perez as his dance partner at a draw in Monaco on Saturday night, meaning the Cuban could enter the semi finals as a World champ.
WBO champion and hot favourite Oleksandr Usyk will face former WBO champ Marco Huck, WBA title challenger and ‘regular’ champion Yunier Dorticos will face big-punching Russian Dmitry Kudryashov, while Murat Gassiev will fight former champ Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in the other quarters.
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.