Perez ‘will get world title shot’

MIKE ‘THE REBEL’ PEREZ will be in line for a world heavyweight title shot inside two years, according to his manager Gary Hyde, who insisted he was not surprised at the devastating manner in which the Cuban demolished Luis Oscar Ricail less than a minute and a half into Sunday’s scheduled eight-rounder at the INEC in Killarney.

“The Argentine came here with a big reputation — 24 wins and 17 of them knock-outs — and he was no pushover having mixed it with some world class fighters so I was hoping he might give us a few rounds at least,” Hyde said.

“When Mike was going into the ring I was pleading with him to slow it down. I did not want him to blow this guy through the ropes.

“I wanted an opportunity to show people that he can box as well as punch.

“But nothing surprises me with Perez because he has such power, such speed and such devastation in his punches. I know it was brief but it was brilliant.

“Hopefully, in the near future, the fans will get an opportunity to see what he can do. I see it every day in the ring when he spars and I say to myself ‘if only the public could see this’ because they are being starved of his true ability. He is just mowing fellows down. A time will come when they will enjoy it.”

The significance of Sunday night’s win, which came after just a minute and 24 seconds following two knock-downs, is reflected in the fact that Perez has rocketed 130 places in the ratings.

And next month his career will take a new direction when he travels to Los Angeles at the invitation of the world’s leading promoter, Dan Goosen, to train and spar in Freddie Roach’s famed Wild Card Gymnasium.

“Dan Goosen wants to sign us up for eight fights a year and, as I see it, I don’t have a problem with that,” Hyde said. “When we go to the Wild Card Gym Mike will spar Tony Thompson, Chris Arreola and James Toney on successive days and then we will be able to assess the true value of what we have.

“When he sparred Julius Francis he was giving away three stone in weight and four or five inches in height — and Francis was no match for him. Pele Reid, Mark Potter and Danny Williams were all lined up to spar him.”

Perez has just turned 23 and, from the time he arrived in Cork from Cuba, Hyde always insisted he would fight for a world title in four year’s time — but he said he has changed his mind about that.

“I now believe he will fight for a world title in 18 months or two years,” he said.

“I am allowing for the fact that in the States they will obviously slow him down — that’s the way they operate — but I want to push the button. I know what he can do and he can do everything. The only problem is that he is not ready to go 12 rounds.

“The good thing about all this is that he has not lost any of the Cuban technical skills which were instilled into him from an early age. He will hit you three or four times without being hit once.

“The boxing world is having great difficulty coming to terms with the fact that we have three of the brightest prospects based here in Cork — three guys who might have returned from the Olympic Games in Beijing with three gold medals were it not for the fact that they decided to come to Cork. We have the hottest camp in the world in Cork and everybody is talking about us and asking how they came to end up in here.

“You know, I was in Belfast last week when Alexei Acosta was sparring Bernard Dunne and I was thinking about it. I am responsible for bringing three Cuban stars to Cork but it all began with Brian Peters and Bernard Dunne. They lit the fire and got us thinking and I got caught up in the whole thing.”

It was just his second pro fight but Acosta was brilliance personified at the INEC in Killarney on Sunday night.

Super middleweight Luis Garcia did not box on what was a spectacular show promoted by Don O’Leary and Phil Sutcliffe because he was travelling to Castlebar on Monday morning to spar with Britain’s newest boxing sensation, Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch.

Froch is preparing for a spectacular homecoming at the Trent FM Arena in Nottingham on December 6 when he challenges Canada’s Jean Pascal for the WBC world super middleweight title.


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