‘The Rebel’ fights for the first time since a failed WBC cruiserweight challenge on the inaugural Ring Kings card at the WIT Arena on February 17th.
Having dropped down from heavyweight, a weight in which he reached World title elimination level, the Cork-Cuban last challenged WBC champion Mairis Briedis of Latvia in the country’s capital at the Riga Arena – losing an ugly twelve rounder.
The title fight was a quarter-final in the multi-million dollar World Boxing Super Series, with a still somewhat rusty Perez being eliminated on a competitive unanimous decision.
Briedis will now face pre-tournament favourite and WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk in a semi-final unification this Saturday at the same venue.
In their fight back in September, Italian referee Massimo Barrovecchio was perhaps the main talking point of the fight, with his questionable officiating of the contest infuriating Perez.
Baltic boxer Briedis looked to hold regularly, destroying the fight as a spectacle, with the man in the middle doing little to resolve the infringements – and a point deduction in the tenth being far too little, far too late.
It was a setback for a fighter, who has turned his life around dramatically in recent years, but he is ready to try and build again and starts that journey in Waterford.
Ring Kings boss Neil Power revealed the 32-year-old will be put in against an undefeated opponent on a card that also includes headliner Craig McCarthy, Rohan Date, Barry Barnes, Eric Donovan, John Joyce, Graham McCormack and Keane McMahon.
“I’m delighted to get a world-class talent on the bill, he’s the final piece in the jigsaw and I can’t wait to see him and the rest of the lads in action February 17.”
Perez, who saw three Irish fight dates fall through last year, finally fought in his adopted homeland for the first time in six and a half years when he appeared on the Burnett v Haskins undercard at the SSE Odyssey Arena in Belfast last June.