While IBF cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis continues to bask in his World Boxing Super Series success, one eye remains on the future for the Latvian.
The 35-year-old, unanimously regarded as the best cruiserweight in the world, is seven weeks on from his victory over Cuban gunslinger Yuniel Dorticos. The season two final of the cruiserweight World Boxing Super Series culminated in Munich and provided an absorbing affair, which finished in a majority decision verdict for Briedis (27-1, 19 KOs). With 2020 nearing its closure, many fans are curious to find out what will be his next move.
“In the nearest future, we should understand if we stay in the cruiserweight division and go for interesting fights there or if we should move to heavyweight but there we want to be sure that we will fight with the very best heavyweights,” Briedis told the World Boxing Super Series.
Moving to the land of the giants has been a familiar path followed by former cruiserweight world champions in the past. Most famously, Evander Holyfield blazed a trail in the 1990s and has been the inspiration ever since for those fighters at 200lbs. Season one WBSS cruiserweight winner Oleksandr Usyk has already dipped his toes in at heavyweight and has been followed by runner-up Murat Gassiev.
“After the WBSS, I think he had his best fight of [his] career against Tony Bellew and one of the best fights I’ve seen where a heavyweight is facing a cruiserweight. I certainly enjoyed watching it,” Briedis said of Usyk.
“Further, I was looking forward to seeing him against Tyrone Spong but he got a different opponent and I don’t think he enjoyed that fight too much. Against [Dereck] Chisora I think he showed himself good enough, but it didn’t seem like the usual Usyk to me. I don’t know what was the reason behind it. Probably Usyk could tell you that himself but I don’t think it was the best version of Usyk out there.”
The world continues to be placed in a vice-like grip by the Covid-19 global pandemic. Life goes on but in limited ways. Brieidis has not been able to celebrate his WBSS success as he would have liked but hopes to be out meeting with his legions of fans in the near future.
“I’ve not been able to meet them in person but I’ve gotten tons of messages and I appreciate every single one of them and hopefully rather sooner than later I get to do some public appearances with my fans as well.”
Whether it be at cruiserweight, heavyweight or perhaps even the newly established bridgerweight division fans can expect to see Brieidis back in the ring soon ready to begin the next chapter of a distinguished career.
“Of course, I want to get back to boxing as soon as possible. There’s that athlete drive in me that wants to go forward and achieve more. Hopefully, we can get back in the ring within the next few months!”
Quotes courtesy of the World Boxing Super Series.