Yuniel Dorticos tells Boxing Social he is determined to honour the legacy of Muhammad Ali in the WBSS cruiserweight final against Mairis Briedis on Saturday night…
For Yuniel Dorticos, Saturday’s World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight final against Latvia’s Mairis Briedis is the culmination of a career-long ambition to be recognised as the premier 200lbs boxer in the world.
But it is also an opportunity for the Miami-based Cuban to honour the man who he – and many others – consider the greatest sportsman of all-time – Muhammad Ali.
“I am going to bring home to Miami my IBF cruiserweight world title, The Ring magazine belt and the Muhammad Ali Trophy,” the confident ‘KO Doctor’ told Boxing Social.
“It’s an honour to make history all in one night for the greatest of all-time – Muhammad Ali – and carry on his legacy.”
Two members of Dorticos’ team – Louis Fonseca of Caribe Promotions and Robert Arencibia from Team Knockout – recently visited Ali’s grave at Cave Hill cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.
After the Briedis fight, Dorticos intends to make a visit himself, with the belts he is confident he will win on Saturday.
“I will be bringing the Ali Trophy, the IBF and Ring belts to Ali’s grave. Ali was the greatest of all-time and it’s a special feeling and an honour that I was the chosen one to represent and carry on his legacy,” he said.
“This fight is everything to me. I will win at all costs. This is the top of the food chain and will crown me as the undisputed cruiserweight champion in the world and one of the best in the world pound-for-pound across all weight classes.
“This fight is historic for me, my career, my legacy, my team and my family. I am also dedicating this fight and the Muhammad Ali Trophy to the greatest of all-time. Ali spirit’s is with me and my team and this is a special feeling and bond that many wouldn’t understand.”
Dorticos’ sky-high confidence stems – in part he says – from his thorough preparations.
“I never lost focus despite Coronavirus and stayed training no matter what happened,” said the IBF cruiserweight champion. “Greatness comes from within and to be the best you must always sacrifice yourself and stay focused. Covid wasn’t going to take this opportunity away from me.
“My training camp was great. My family and I stayed safe and healthy throughout Covid-19. Briedis is a good boxer and former world champion but doesn’t have the skill set the KO Doctor has so I will take care of business and get him out of there.”
The Miami-based Cuban is also unconcerned about fighting in Munich, or behind closed doors.
“I have fought in Berlin, Germany in my amateur days so I’m happy to be back. Fighting behind closed doors makes no difference to me. I would fight anywhere with fans or without fans,” said Dorticos (24-1, 22 KOs)
“I would like to thank all my fans worldwide and also in the USA and my hometown of Miami, Florida. This fight will be an all-time classic and historic fight that fans will not want to miss.
“So show me all the love and support you can to me and the sport of boxing by watching the final on Saturday. Come Saturday, I will showcase my best performance and, once and for all, I will solidify my status as the best in the world. God bless you all!”
Dorticos-Briedis will be televised live on Sky Sports Main Event & Arena this Saturday from 10pm.
Main image: Yuniel Dorticos. Photo: WBSS.