Mike Perez [21(13)-2(1)-1] is a transformed man and is looking finally fulfill his potential.
The Cork-Cuban, following a period out of the ring, is back and looks better than ever ahead of his fight on the Matchroom ‘Belfast Boy’ card at the SSE Odyssey Arena on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
After his loss to Alexander Povetkin over two years ago Perez took an extended period of time out.
The Caribbean puncher would overcome the mental turmoil and alcoholism that plagued him following his tragic fight with Magomed Abdusalamov and launched himself into a rigorous training regime in Cork.
‘The Rebel’ has since slimmed down from to the cruiserweight weight division – a loss of three stone in weight.
The now-chiseled Cuban is keen to test-drive his new physique.
Despite being ‘only’ six foot tall, Perez was formerly a world-rated heavyweight and today joked that “when I had a belly I did all of the things in the ring. So, without a belly I want to see what I can do!”
“I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Perez fights a to-be-confirmed opponent on the Ryan Burnett v Lee Haskins-topped bill. This comes after a suggested and announced match-up with Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy failed to materialise.
Many had doubts about Perez’s commitment to the card, especially in light of two non-appearances in the past few weeks. Most notably, Matchroom boss Hearn would claim that Pat Magee, manager of McCarthy, had withdrawn his man from the fight over fears about Perez’s ability to make the weight, his licence, and his visa.
Perez, who has been sparring with Olympic silver medalist Joe Joyce and Dubliner Ian Tims ahead of the fight, was in Belfast this afternoon for the press conference and was only too happy to dismiss any fears.
Not over weight, get your facts right I am obese 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/JtyIsGCXCL
— Mike Perez (@IsmaikelPerez) June 4, 2017
“People made assumptions without knowing what was happening,” he stated.
“I am here. They said I wasn’t going to show, I am here.”
“They said I couldn’t make the weight, wait until tomorrow [the weigh-in] and see the weight.”
Perez will feature on the Ryan Burnett v Lee Haskins undercard alongside an Irish title battle at the same weight between Luke Watkins and Ian Tims, as well as appearances from Carl McDonald, Sean Magee, Feargal McCrory, Matt Wilton, Tyrone McCullagh, Paul Hyland Jr, James Tennyson, Padraig McCrory, and Paddy Gallagher.
Tickets for ‘Belfast Boy’ on June 10th at the SSE Odyssey Arena cost £30, £40, £60, £100, and £150 (VIP), and can be bought from here HERE.
LISTEN: Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill speak to Luke Keeler and Paddy Barnes on Episode 6 of The Irish Boxing Show: