Hellraiser Boxing - Don't know what to make of the intriguing fight between Mairis Briedis and Mike Perez? Steve Fearon breaks the bout down, looking at the men's records and predicting an outcome. You heard it here first!
Hellraiser Boxing News | Briedis vs Perez: WBSS Quarter Final 2 Breakdown
Don't know what to make of the intriguing fight between Mairis Briedis and Mike Perez? Steve Fearon breaks the bout down, looking at the men's records and predicting an outcome. You heard it here first!

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Briedis vs Perez: WBSS Quarter Final 2 Breakdown

by Steve Fearon

World Boxing Super Series
Cruiserweight Matchups, QF2 – Mairis Briedis v Mike Perez

Mairis Briedis comes into the World Boxing Super Series on the back of an excellent win over Marco Huck, solidifying his position at the top of the cruiserweight division. He has a 100% win record, a high KO% and is the only fighter to have beaten another entrant prior to the tournament.

Facing off against him is the interesting case of Mike Perez, the Ireland based Cuban, who spent the vast majority of his career fighting at heavyweight, before dropping 40 lbs, to fight Viktor Biscak in June. This was a fight where a newly ripped Mike Perez got an early KO, which tells us nothing about how he feels at the weight, but at least suggests that he has kept some element of his punching power.

The problem this gives people like me is that a recent change in circumstance invalidates the previous record to some degree. What relevance does Mike Perez the Heavyweight have to Mike Perez the Cruiserweight? Well we will just have to try and take the previous record with a pinch of salt, and enjoy the randomness that such a dramatic change in physique brings to the tournament.

In terms of their relative experience, they are pretty similarly matched with Briedis on 22 bouts and Perez on 25, though we have to acknowledge that the overwhelming majority of Perez’s fights were at Heavyweight. What could this mean? Well he may be used to bigger hitters, slower movers etc, and going straight in against someone of Briedis’ quality is a very big ask, but the danger posed by Perez is very real.

Whilst Briedis has a 100% win record, Perez has only lost twice, once in an away day split decision to Bryant Jennings, and once on another away day when he was stopped early in Russia by Povetkin.

Some would argue there isn’t much shame in losing to a then unbeaten Jennings on scorecards away from home, or being stopped by a heavy handed Povetkin, particularly seeing as Perez was not a huge heavyweight himself standing at 6’1.

Likewise, though Briedis comes into this competition having won 82% of his fights by stoppage, Perez comes in with a much lower 64%, but again the weight division was different, which makes this difficult to qualify, and to compare. Certainly Perez seemed to struggle to stop opponents during his last 5 years in heavyweight, stopping the opponent in only 3 of his 9 wins.

In terms of the quality of their past opponents, both fighters average mid 60’s for their average opponent win ratio, suggesting that they have face an overall similar level of opponent, albeit a very rough measure. If we look at just their last 5 opponents, Briedis’ opponents win % goes up to a very respectable 85% (All wins, 4 by stoppage) but Perez’s goes all the way up to 90%, though his record in these 5 fights was less than stellar (2 losses, One Draw and 2 wins).

So we have an in-form fighter at his peak, and a guy that has come back after two years, dropped 40lbs and changed weight division.

We have to favour Briedis, as his record his impressive, and he has proven himself to be worthy of his position at the top end of the cruiserweight division, but Perez provides an interesting unknown, if he can bring his punch power, and punch resistance down from Heavyweight he could prove to be a difficult and durable opponent, and may surprise Briedis IF he isn’t given the correct respect.

My prediction is that Briedis will win this fight by stoppage, but this is based on the fact that I expect Perez to have suffered somewhat dropping so much weight, and that he may not be used to the speed that Briedis can bring.

However, I freely concede that Perez may very well bring real power to this fight, and startle a complacent Briedis, so this one should be interesting!

Posted: 23rd Jul 2017

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