The World Boxing Super Series’ cruiserweight tournament has its first scheduled bout. WBC champion Mairis Briedis, ranked #3 in the lineup, is officially set to face Mike Perez on September 30th in the former’s native Riga, Latvia.
Briedis (22-0, 18 KO) first made waves in 2015 with a stunning one-punch knockout of Manuel Charr, then thrashed Olanrewaju Durodola in a title eliminator a year later. He went on to face Marco Huck for the vacant WBC title in April and, despite fighting in Huck’s territory, handily outboxed “Cap’n Huck” to win a decision.
As a ranked fighter, Briedis got to choose his first-round opponent earlier this month. He selected Perez.
Perez (22-2-1, 14 KO) was the most surprising entrant of the tourney, all signs previously pointing to Krzysztof Glowacki as the final entrant. He was a heavyweight prospect until his disastrous fight with Magomed Abdusalamov that sent him on a 1-2-1 skid. After two years away, he returned as a cruiserweight last month with a 29-second knockout of Viktor Biscak.
As far as the other first-round matchups, Yunier Dorticos vs. Dmitry Kudryashov and Murat Gassiev vs. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk currently have neither locations nor dates. ESPN reports that Oleksandr Usyk vs. Marco Huck “is expected” to take place on September 9th somewhere in Ukraine.