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Mike Perez secures new date for big Congo clash

Cork-Cuban cruiserweight Mike Perez [24(15)-3(1)-1] has secured a new date for his big World title eliminator in Africa.

‘The Rebel’ was due to face top Congolese contender Ilunga Makabu [24(23)-2(2)] for the WBC Silver title tomorrow night [Saturday May 4th] in the historic fight city of Kinshasha.

However, the fight was postponed last month after Makabu was forced to withdraw with an unspecified injury.

The match-up has since been rescheduled and is now listed as taking place on Saturday June 8th – still in Kinshasha.

It is good news for 33-year-old Perez who, currently ranked #10 with the WBC and holding their Fedelatin belt, is looking to secure a second world title tilt.

While not an official final eliminator, a win over the #4 contender should put Perez near the top of the queue for a shot at the green belt – which he unsuccessfully challenged for in 2017.

That time, in Riga, the Caribbean Leesider was outpointed in a messy World Boxing Super Series [WBSS] Season 1 quarter-final by Mairis Breidis.

The Latvian was subsequently beaten by undisputed king Oleksandr Usyk – but the Ukrainian’s move to heavyweight look set to blow the 200lbs division wide open.

With all four belts about to fall vacant, the WBC strap seems set to be on the line, alongside the WBO title, in the upcoming WBSS Season 2 semi-final between Briedis and Pole Krzysztof Glowacki.

With the belt tied up in the tournament, the winner of the June 8th clash between Perez and Makabu won’t get an immediate shot but could be in line for a chance to challenge for three belts in 2020 – assuming the IBF crown, as expected, is added to the WBSS semi-final between Andrew Tabiti and Yunier Dorticos.

Going into enemy territory, Perez will be an underdog versus Makabu – who famously was defeated by Tony Bellew at Goodison Park – but the former heavyweight contender will be confident of claiming a notable victory on the road .


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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