By Rob Smith: Former WBA World heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev (30-2-1, 19 KO’s) will be taking a risky bout against unbeaten Cuban prospect Mike Perez (18-0, 12 KO’s) on December 1st in a scheduled 12 round bout at the Burg-Waechter Castello, in Dusseldorf, Germany. Chagaev, 34, wants to get another title shot and for that to happen he needs impressive wins over the likes of Perez and other quality heavyweights. Perez, 27, is an interesting fighter with a lot of potential if he would only fight often enough.
Perez is perhaps on the same level as guys like Denis Boytsov and Alexander Povetkin, but he just hasn’t been in a real big hurry unfortunately. Perez hasn’t fought since last yesar when he easily defeated Friday Ahunanya, Zack Page, Tye Fields, Gregory Tony, Kertson Manswell and Ismail Abdoul. Perez’s six-foot height could be a factor that’ll work against him if he fights someone like Wladimir Klitschko or Vitali Klitschko, but he’s more than a handful for the medium sized heavyweights like Chagaev.
Chagaev has won his last three fights since losing to Povetkin last year. He’s beaten Manswell, Billy Zumbrun and Werner Kreiskott in his last three fights. Those fights obviously were easy stay busy fights, but Chagaev is really stepping it up in facing Perez. Chagaev had a chance to fight unbeaten Tyson Fury, but opted not to take that fight. In hindsight that was probably a smart move because the 6’9″ Fury is hard to beat and you got to come at him with big power to have a chance of beating him. Chagaev is more of medium sized heavyweight without a lot of power, so he would have had problems against the huge Fury.
Depending on how rusty Perez is from his year long layoff, we could see a potential upset in this fight. Perez has the ability to win this one if he’s fighting on the same level as he did in when he won the Prizefighter tourney last year.