WBC world cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis defends his title against American Mike Perez in the third quarterfinal match of the World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight tournament. The bout takes place this Saturday in Briedis home country of Latvia and the fight sees Briedis enter a strong -570 favorite to successfully defend his belt and advance in the tournament.

Perez is certainly an x-factor in this tournament. At 22-2-1 his record has blemishes against Carlos Takam, Alexander Povetkin and Bryant Jennings so he has a lot of high level experience in the heavyweight division. The Cuban Perez turned professional in 2008 and he has always operated in the heavyweight division. After his May of 2015 loss to Povetkin he took 25 months off and returned as a 200-pounder. He fought a six rounder in June of this year where he weighed in 198 lb and he stopped his opponent in less than 30 seconds.

Physically, Perez looks terrific at cruiserweight, but this is boxing, not bodybuilding. Can a fighter over 30 really lose thirty pounds or so to come in at a weight he has not competed at in over a decade? Perez will point to his June return, but 29 seconds in the ring does not answer the questions about how his body will react if the fight extends itself. Perez managed a draw with Taka and he went the twelve rounds with Jennings but whether he can do it after a weight cut remains to be seen.

A second cruiserweight bout on the card is getting attention at the sports books as former WBO cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki is back looking for his second win in a row since losing the WBO belt to Oleksandr Usyk. The fight is not part of the WBSS tourney but if Glowacki wins as expected, he will be a player in the cruiserweight division in 2018.

Usyk, by the way, is the #1 seed in the WBSS cruiserweight tournament and he advanced past the quarterfinals with a strong 10th round stoppage over veteran Marco Huck. Also advancing in the tournament earlier in September was Cuba’s Yunier Dorticos, who delivered a second round KO of Dmitry Kudryashov. The last of the WBSS cruiserweight quarterfinals takes place in New Jersey this October 21st when Murat Gassiev of Russia faces Poland’s Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.

The current odds for Saturday’s fights in Latvia appear below.

World Boxing Super Series Q3 – Arena Riga – Riga, Latvia

Cruiserweight 12 rounds – 

Mike Perez  +435 o9½ -120    
Mairis Briedis -570 u9½ -110    

Cruiserweight – Arena Riga – Riga, Latvia

Leonardo Damian Bruzzese +2000    
Krzysztof Glowacki -5000


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