**EXPERTSAYS** Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs) the current cruiserweight champion will have the home-turf advantage when he’ll face Oleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series tournament on Jan. 27 2018 at the Arena Riga, Latvia. Organizer Kalle Sauerland said,
“We are exceptionally eager to convey the Ali Trophy to Latvia on Jan. 27. Usyk is (an) Olympic champion, title holder and the No. 1 seed in the competition, however when he crashes into national saint and best on the planet Briedis he will meet by a long shot his hardest test in his vocation. This is the greatest unification battle in the division since numerous, numerous years.”
It is the same arena at which Briedis won against Mike Perez by a 12 round unanimous decision in WBSS quarterfinals. . Briedis would throw a shot and follow up by grabbing Perez in a clinch. Perez would then do the same thing, the fight never really got interestin’. Briedis, 32, who will be defending his second title, said he is thankful to the Latvian fans and is all ready for the biggest fight of his career.
“I had a premonition that the World Boxing Super Series may come back to Riga on account of the unimaginable group at the Arena Riga in the quarterfinal session against Mike Perez,” said Briedis, the No. 3 seed. “I’m extremely content with how it has turned out. I am grateful to the Latvian fans who made it conceivable by being so enthusiastic and committed. Presently it’s tied in with getting ready for Usyk and putting on an awesome show when January comes.
Usyk, 30, the No.1 seed in the WBSS tournament had the easier draw in being matched against former WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck (40-5-1, 27 KOs) on September 9 in Germany. Usyk totally dominated Huck, giving him a boxing lesson before stopping him in the 10th round.
“I do not care where I fight,” Usyk said. “In Riga, there will be 10,000 fans and that’s great. The fans should expect a beautiful and interesting battle between two world champions.”
Also in Briedis’ match on April 1, he dominated Huck by a 12 round unanimous decision. That fight was supposed to be a competitive one, but Briedis’ speed and defensive skills were too much for Huck to handle. However a bigger problem for Briedis in this semifinal might be the mobility of Usyk as he moves a lot around the ring, and jabs.
Thus The Usyk-Briedis winner will advance to the WBSS final, which will net the winner of Muhammad Ali Trophy and recognition as the world’s best cruiser-weight champion, scheduled on a date to be determined in May in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
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