24 October 2008 – by Conor Ward
Mike El Rebellio Perez is hard at work this week in preparation for his clash with Argentine Luis Oscar Ricail on Sunday evening at the INEC, Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney.
The Cork-based Cuban heavyweight is the star attraction on Dolphil Promotions nine-fight card, which also features Dublin cruiserweight Ian Tims (4-0) and exciting Cork light-middleweight Gary Spike OSullivan (5-0).
Perez, a renowned amateur in his native Cuba since capturing a world junior championship at light-heavyweight in 2004, has proved a big hit in Cork, having arrived in January to link up with local promoter Gary Hyde. The southpaw has notched five victories without loss to date, ending all but one of those bouts inside the opening round. In his last outing at Corks Neptune Stadium in September, he dispatched Brazilian Claudemir Diaz with a ferocious left uppercut after a mere 22 seconds of action.
Hardly surprising, then, that Hyde has big plans for Perez.
Perez is a purebred boxer, and hell mix it with anybody. Hes still only a novice, with five wins, four by knockout. The Cork people know what we are looking at here, a Cuban of real quality, and they are loving it. They have really warmed to Perez and Im thrilled with him,” he told irish-boxing.com.
He will be boxing the top boys in the next year or year and a half. Hes only 22, so for a heavyweight hes a baby. Hes a world champion in the making, without a shadow of a doubt, and he could win it in Cork too, added Hyde.
And Perez himself has no shortage of ambition or self-belief.
I want to fight better opponents from now on. I am ready to fight any opponent thats put in front of me. Since the day I came here the Cork, people have welcomed me and been very friendly to me. When my time comes to fight for a world title, I will be ready.
In contrast to many of todays heavyweights, Perez is a finely-tuned athlete, stocky in build and light on his toes, not dissimilar to the young Mike Tyson in appearance. He is being put through his paces all this week under the watchful gaze of Argentine trainer Guillermo Silva, at Churchfields Parochial Hall on the northside of Cork City. Witnessing Perez in action – far away from the limelight which will greet him on Sunday in Killarney – leaves one in little doubt about his potential to go on to bigger and better things in the not-so-distant future.
Silvas training methods are simple but regimented. A 45-minute morning run is just the beginning of it. In the afternoon, the pair head to gym, where Perez gets to work on his skills for an hour and a half. Silva times each three-minute round of boxing on the heavy-bag, though Perez often goes two back-to-back rounds without pause. The heavy blows come flying from both hands sharp right-hand jabs, right hooks, followed inevitably by the booming left. Its not just the raw power which leaves an impression, as its backed up with superb speed and endurance. All in all, the guy is a serious attacking force.
Thats what will be coming at Argentine Luis Oscar Ricail, 24-21-2-2 (17) on Sunday. In truth it would come as a surprise if he made it to the final bell.
The sizeable attendance is sure to warm to the skills of rising star Perez, along with those of a strong supporting cast. Stephen Ormond, Anthony Fitzgerald, John Waldron and Willie Casey are all set to make their professional debuts on the undercard.