The Cork-Cuban will face Latvian Mairis Briedis [22(18)-0] in the quarter finals of the new tournament, with the WBC champion and #3 seed picking the unseeded Perez at the draft gala on Saturday night in Monaco.
Massachusetts State champion Kennedy [8(5)-0] has knowledge of both fighters. Only recently the Gorey Garda was in Cork to spar Perez, while he featured on a pro-am card headlined by Briedis back in 2012.
That night in Jurmala saw Kennedy held to a dubious draw by Latvian champ Nikita Maculevics, while Briedis stopped Jozsef Nagy in the second round of what was his sixth pro fight.
Little did Kennedy know then that Briedis would go on to hit the heights which he has and, while the Celtic Warriors man acknowledges that the Baltic boxer has made improvements, he is hugely confident that Perez will prevail when the two meet in September or October.
‘Boom Boom Baz’ told Irish-Boxing.com that “I had the honour of sparring a lot of rounds with Mike and he is in phenomenal shape.”
“Briedis is a good fighter, one who has improved massively – but Mike Perez can do things that very few fighters can, he is an exceptional fighter, unreal angles, and can really bang – I know.”
“I can only see the fight going one way and that’s a Mike Perez stoppage.”
“Mike has went under the radar in this country way to much for his talent and, being honest, I’ve never shared the ring with anyone as talented and that’s no insult to the people I’ve sparred because this man is the real deal in my opinion and this tournament will show that.”