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“I’m ready” – Returning Mike Perez retains World Title dream

Mike Perez [22(14)-3(1)-1] is makes his return to the ring and the Cork-Cuban cruiser is eager to get back into the world title mix straight away.

‘The Rebel’ lost a competitive WBC world title challenge to Mairis Briedis back in September in Latvia and will look to get back to winning was tonight at the WIT Arena in Waterford on the inaugural Ring Kings bill.

The 32-year-old former heavyweight contender has whipped himself into supreme shape and believes he can still claim world honours.

All four belts are currently tied up in the World Boxing Super Series, and the final in Saudi Arabia this May between Oleksandr Usyk (WBO and WBC) and Murat Gassiev (IBF and WBA) will decide an undisputed champion. Some, including those in the Perez camp, believe the winner could move up to the lucrative heavyweight division, leaving the cruiserweight scene wide open.

Following the Briedis loss, albeit immediately afterwards in the ring, Perez seemed despondent and hinted at retirement. The Leesider though has quickly recovered from the defeat and is ready to start afresh, beginning tonight.

It’s been five months since the Briedis fight, and Perez admitted that “it’s been a little frustrating. After my last fight I thought I was going to be out straight away and keeping myself active so I could be fighting for a world title soon again but I didn’t.”

Expressing his desire for big fights, Perez outlined how “where I come from, to be the best, you need to fight the best. I want to fight the best because I want to be the best. Anybody out there that is looking for a fight, I am ready to fight.”

Tonight he takes on Argentinian Pablo Matias Magrini [19(15)-3(2)-1] over eight rounds. The 39-year-old South American should not provide too stiff an opposition but looks to be a solid enough comeback foe.

“I watched a little clip,” Perez notes. “I’m ready, hopefully it will be a good night and the opponent will do a good job.”

Looking ahead, the Caribbean fighter just wants to stay active. Unsure of what his roadmap to titles is, Perez described how “that’s the thing that I don’t know. I’ll get the win – and hopefully I’ll be out again soon, hopefully in a bigger fight, we’ll see. I feel good.”


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