Povetkin vs Perez: Hot heavyweight showdown to air on ESPN2, stream on ESPN3
Much to the joy of boxing's hardcore contingent, the red hot WBC heavyweight title elimination fight between contenders Alexander Povetkin (28-1, 20 KOs) and Mike Perez (21-1-1, 13 KOs), which will take place on Friday in Moscow, will stream live on WatchESPN and air on same-day tape delay on ESPN2.
A start time has not yet been announced but expect the bout to take place between 4 and 5pm ET.
Of course, the victor of Povetkin vs Perez will become the mandatory opponent for the winner of Deontay Wilder vs Eric Molina June 13. At stake, for the latter, will be Wilder's WBC title.
Amid the resurgence in popularity of lineal heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, Wilder's previous string of 32 consecutive knockouts, the upwardly mobile Tyson Fury, and a surging Anthony Joshua, Alexander Povetkin is the forgotten man these days in heavyweight boxing.
Will he get his grove back against Perez, a scrappy 29 year old Cuban defector living in Ireland?
Of particular interest, both fighters have lost only once and have a combined record of 49-2-1, 33 KOs. Povetkin suffered his only defeat in 2013 to world champion Wladimir Klitschko who hugged, clinched, shoved and tackled his way to victory.
Perez's lone setback occurred last summer when he dropped a split decision in a title eliminator to Bryant Jennings in July.