Briedis decisions Dorticos to seal WBSS glory

On a glorious night for Latvian boxing, Mairis Briedis lifted the Muhammad Ali Trophy after eclipsing Yuniel Dorticos over 12 rounds to win the World Boxing Super Series 200lbs final and IBF cruiserweight title at the Plazamedia Broadcasting Center, Munich, on Saturday night.

Scores were 117-111 (twice), overruling an off-base 114-114 card that seemed generous to departing champion Dorticos. Briedis is now a three-time cruiserweight title-holder, having previously held the WBC and WBO crowns.

Briedis-Dorticos official scorecards. Briedis prevails on a majority decision.

‘KO Doctor’ Dorticos was purposeful early as Briedis moved out of danger, respectful of his power. Growing in belief, the Latvian picked his counters artfully and seemed to edge a number of close rounds.

Riga favourite Briedis (27-1, 19 KOs) took over from the midway point with his sharper blows and stiff right hand as IBF title-holder Dorticos (24-2, 22 KOs) toiled with the pace.

A touch predictable, the Miami-based Cuban looked for the equaliser that never came. Briedis’ greater vibrancy and accuracy always held sway during the key moments and he never fell foul of Dorticos’ heavy hands.

A losing semi-finalist in 2018, Briedis returned to win the WBSS tourney in season two.

“This is the Olympic medal I’ve always wanted,” said Briedis after taking home the Muhammad Ali Trophy. “It feels like a dream come true.”

Elsewhere, compatriot and sparring partner Ricards Bolotniks upset favourite Hosea Burton in their Golden Contract semi-final back in Riga on what is undoubtedly the greatest night in Latvian boxing history. 

Raise the flag: Briedis (left) was too sharp for Dorticos.

Main image: Mairis Breidis holds the Muhammad Ali Trophy aloft. Photo: WBSS.