Perez to face Tyson ‘lookalike’

MIKE “THE REBEL” PEREZ will take a huge step up in class for his next fight — top of the bill at the INEC in Killarney on October 26 — when he will face the Mike Tyson lookalike, Clifford “The Black Bull” Couser.

Couser, 37, is also known as “Twin Tyson” on account of his uncanny resemblance to the former world heavyweight champion, so much so that he is said to be Tyson’s half brother

Born in St Louis, he now bases himself in Las Vegas and outside of the ring he played Tyson in the HBO film, “Don King: Only in America”.

Inside the ring, however, he has made quite a name for himself as many contenders have chosen him as their stepping stone to greater things.

Since turning pro in 1993 he has lost to the likes of Clifford Etienne, Lance Whitaker, Malcolm Tann, Vladimi Virchis and Michael Moorer all of whom have fought for titles. But it should also be remembered that he has beaten a few notable heavyweights including James Tillis, Jorge Luis Gonzalez and Monte Barrett.

“It is not just a step up in class, this is a quantum leap for Mike,” the Cuban-born heavyweight’s manager/promoter, Gary Hyde, insisted.

“We are talking about a man who has been mixing it with some of the best heavyweights in the world throughout his career. In fact it would appear that any heavyweight with designs on a title shot of any description has chosen him as the major stepping stone to success.”

The Cork businessman has big ambitions for Perez who, he feels, has served his apprenticeship. The Cuban, one of three former world junior championships based with Hyde in Cork, is unbeaten in his five pro fights to date.

Hyde has made no secret of his disappointment if not his anger at Perez’s last opponent, Brazilian Claudemir Diaz, who was on the floor after just one punch in the Neptune Stadium showpiece.

“Mike has done everything he could — he has won all his fights — and now it is time to push the button,” he said. “Some may think we are being too ambitious by selecting Couser but I feel that he is ready for an opponent of this calibre.”

“And I think the fans will be happy — this is the shootout at the OK Corral — it’s what they have been waiting for.”

The fight is bound to attract worldwide attention with several promoters already enquiring about Perez. In fact the German Sauerland Promotions may be sending a representative to Killarney to see the fight.

“They are certainly very keen on Perez and they also want to see our super middleweight, Luis Garcia,” Gary Hyde confirmed. “I think anyone who sees him in action against Couser will be impressed.”

Today Perez will travel to Dublin to train with some of the “Killarney” boxers at Philip Sutcliffe’s gym in Crumlin.

Next Monday he will jet out to Cyprus along with his Argentinian-born trainer, Guillermo Silva, and Gary Hyde, to spar with David Haye who is preparing for his fight with Monte Barrett, who has been knocked out by Cliff Couser.

There will be nine fights on the Killarney bill featuring Cork’s own unbeaten professional, Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan, former national heavyweight champion now boxing at cruiserweight, Ian Timms, and fellow Dubliners, light welterweight Stephen Ormond, debutants Anthony Fitzgerald who is a former Corinthians amateur, and Willie “Big Bang” Casey from Limerick, John Waldron from Roscommon and Robbie Long from the Hyland stable.

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