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Cork-based Mike Perez controversially misses out on world title shot

The Cuban boxer was beaten by Bryan Jennings on a split points decision.

Perez [R]. [file photo].
Perez [R]. [file photo].

CUBAN BOXER MIKE Perez will miss out on a shot at the world heavyweight title after defeat to fellow contender Ryan Jennings on a split decision at Madison Square Garden, New York last night.

‘The Rebel’, who fights out of Cork under Cuban coach Nicholas Cruz, saw two judges score the bout in favour of Jennings, 115-112 and 114-113, while the third judge saw it as a Perez win, 114-113.

Perez was extremely unhappy with the result of the fight, feeling that he had done enough to beat Jennings, and suggested that his nationality had had a major impact on the outcome.

The Cuban – whose fiancé is from Cork – was deducted a point for ‘hitting on the break’ in the 12th round of the bout, something he felt was entirely unwarranted.

“He [the referee] didn’t warn me once,” Perez told Ring Magazine. “He don’t even say ‘break’. He pulls back and I punch.”

Source: TheRingDigital/YouTube

This was the first defeat of Perez’s pro career, having won 20 of his previous 21 fights, 12 of which came via knock-outs. Also dubbed ‘Irish Mike,’ the 6 ft 1 ins heavyweight has a fascinating back story.

Perez made no instant vows to be back any time soon in the aftermath of his defeat to Jennings, who will move on to face the victor of the fight between world champion Bermane Stiverne and current mandatory challenger Deontay Wilder.

“I don’t know now,” said Perez. “Right now, I’ll just go home and enjoy my girls. We’ll see what happens next.”

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