The World Boxing Super Series is delighted to announce that the Riga Arena in Latvia will play host to the cruiserweight quarter-final bout between reigning and defending WBC World Champion Mairis Briedis (22-0, 18 KOs) and Irish-based and Cuban-born Mike Perez (22-2-1, 14 KOs) on September 30.
Briedis, one of the cruiserweight tournament’s four seeded fighters, selected Perez as his quarter-final opponent at the live Draft Gala in Monaco on July 8. His first fight will see him defend the WBC title he claimed with a unanimous points victory over fellow World Boxing Super Series competitor and former WBO World Champion Marco Huck on April 1, and the 32 year-old is looking forward to kick starting the competition in his hometown of Riga. ‘’I’m greatly honoured to begin my World Boxing Super Series journey at the Riga Arena,’’ said Briedis. ‘’This is my first fight of the tournament, the first defence of my WBC world cruiserweight title and I’m really happy that I will be able to do it in front of my home crowd. There are no easy fights in this tournament. 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.’’
Having announced himself on the cruiserweight scene with a 29-second KO win over Viktor Biscak on June 10th, Perez is eager to assert his dominance on the World Boxing Super Series starting with a quarter-final victory that would see him crowned WBC world champion. ‘’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’m so lucky to have the opportunity to fight for the Muhammad Ali Trophy and also become the undisputed cruiserweight champion in this tournament and I have no doubt that I will do just that. 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 so I feel like I’m a much better fighter.’’
Roberto Dalmiglio, Comosa`s Head of Management Board, says he is delighted to be staging this quarter-final contest at the Riga Arena in Latvia: ‘’The World Boxing Super Series is truly a global phenomenon,’’ says Dalmiglio. ‘’Over the course of the tournament, we will be visiting some of the best venues around the world. We’re very happy to be bringing this fight to the Riga Arena in Latvia, which will provide the perfect setting for an unforgettable night of boxing.’’
Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer, Kalle Sauerland, believes Briedis versus Perez could prove to be one of the World Boxing Super Series’ most intriguing match ups. ‘’This tournament is filled with fascinating fights,’’ said Sauerland. ‘’And none more so than this. Mike Perez is making just his second appearance at 200lbs having moved down from heavyweight, and could well be the dark horse of the division, while Mairis Briedis is a proven world class operator who will be making his first world title defence. This really is an intriguing match up, and what the World Boxing Super Series is all about!’’
In the World Boxing Super Series, 16 elite fighters – eight super-middleweights and eight cruiserweights – will battle it out in a bracket-style elimination tournament. In both divisions, there will be four quarter-finals (September / October 2017), two semi-finals (early 2018) and one final (May 2018), making for a total of 14 high-class fights.