On Saturday, August 8, at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, Johan “El Terrible” Perez (20-2-1, 13 KOs), from Caracas, Venezuela, will defend his WBA-NABA welterweight title against undefeated Dmitry “The Mechanic” Mikhaylenko (19-0, 8 KOs), from Gelendzhik, Russia, in a fight televised live on HBO Latino.
In his last bout on January 16, 2015, at Polideportivo José María Vargas in La Guaira, Venezuela, Perez, 32, won a lopsided unanimous decision over Humberto Mauro Gutierrez to win the vacant WBA-NABA title.
Mikhaylenko has yet to reach that level in the sport, but he has fought his way through every opponent he’s faced. After having his first 16 professional fights in his native Russia, Mikhaylenko has taken his show on the road. Most recently, in March of this year at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, he stopped Felipe De la Paz Teniente in the fifth round.
The Russian isn’t known as a huge puncher, but Perez knows better than to take him for granted.
“I know this won’t be an easy fight,” he said during the pre-fight presser, “as Dmitry is an undefeated fighter. But I’m well prepared for this fight and ready to give it my all, give it my best. I know it’s going to be a spectacular fight. I hope to see you on Saturday.”
The 29-year-old Mikhaylenko has traveled a long way for this fight.
“We came from Russia to train in California,” he said. “I had a great camp and I am 100 percent ready for the fight against Johan Perez. Thank you to Golden Boy Promotions, Main Events and German Titov Promotions and to HBO for giving me this opportunity. It’s going to be an exciting fight with a lot of punches. Thanks to my opponent Johan Perez and his team for agreeing to take this fight.”
Mikhaylenko’s style is similar to his countryman and former IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich. He pressures his opponents. He is unrelenting. He stops guys late with an accumulation of punches. He is in your face.
Perez, by contrast, is more of a boxer/puncher. He’ll try to slow The Mechanic down by working off his jab, counterpunching, and relying on his uppercut. Like Mikhaylenko, Perez isn’t a thunderous puncher, but he has more pop on his punches than his challenger.
Their contrasting styles could create a thrilling battle between two fighters who not only covet the title at stake, but also have their sights set on world championship fights in the future.
The HBO Latino telecast airs live at 10:30 PM ET.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.