By Tom Gray
Hard-hitting Mairis Briedis will defend his WBC cruiserweight title against Cuban-born Mike Perez at the Riga Arena in Latvia in the quarter-final of the World Boxing Super Series on September 30.
Briedis, who is rated No. 4 by THE RING at 200 pounds, makes the first defense of the vacant title he won in April when he outpointed former long-reigning titleholder Marco Huck. The 32-year-old power-puncher is unbeaten in 22 fights with 18 knockouts and is looking forward to his debut in this hotly anticipated elimination tournament.
“There are no easy fights in this tournament,” said Briedis. “Mike Perez has already made his name in the heavyweight division and seems to be in the shape of his life coming down to cruiserweight. Now, it’s about putting the hard work in the gym and getting ready for the September 30 showdown.”
Perez (22-2-1, 14 KOs) has fought almost exclusively at heavyweight but dropped down to 200 pounds to stop Viktor Biscak in June. The imposing southpaw now has the opportunity to pick up a world title in only his second fight at the weight.
“I’m very excited,” said Perez. “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and I can’t wait. I have a chance to become world champion in my very first fight in the tournament so I couldn’t have asked for better.
“Briedis is a good champion but I can’t wait to bring the belt home. I have worked so hard for these last couple of years and really dedicated myself to get this chance and nobody is going to take it from me. I have lots of experience as both an amateur and professional; a lot of ability and now at cruiserweight I’m much faster on my feet and can throw faster combinations. I’m a much better fighter.’’
Ticket details for the World Boxing Super Series’ quarter-final bout between Mairis Briedis and Mike Perez will be announced shortly.
This article was first published by The Ring Magazine.