This Saturday night, Riga hosts both cruiserweight semi-finals for the World Boxing Super Series as Mairis Briedis against Krzysztof Glowacki headlines, alongside Yunier Dorticos’ semi-final showdown with Andrew Tabiti.
Hometown hero Mairis Briedis is slightly favoured to emerge victorious from his clash with Glowacki, despite a thoroughly underwhelming performance against Noel Gevor in Chicago’s quarter-final from which he was very fortunate to emerge with a unanimous decision victory.
Glowacki, a former WBO champion himself, progressed to the quarter-final with a dominant win over Maxim Glasov. The 32-year-old previously captured world championship glory in 2015 with a sensational stoppage of Marco Huck in the penultimate round.
The Pole southpaw then successfully defended his title against seasoned veteran Steve Cunningham before he was resoundingly outpointed in August 2016 by Oleksandr Usyk.
Briedis, meanwhile, claimed the vacant WBC title the following year by delivering a punishing beatdown to Marco Huck over twelve rounds and then successfully defending his crown against Mike Perez in front of a capacity crowd at the Riga Arena.
In January 2018, the Latvian then suffered the sole defeat of his career in an unsuccessful unification attempt against Usyk, who pulled away with a majority-decision triumph after a series of competitive early rounds.
Glowacki carries a potent danger in his left hand and has been backed by many commentators to spring a surprise and silence the home crowd, but it is ultimately likely to be Mairis Briedis – a competent spoiler and someone who is strong, solid, awkward and has experience in nullifying tricky southpaws – who has his hands raised after twelve rounds, or maybe considerably less.
Former WBA champion Yunier Dorticos faces undefeated Nigerian-American contender Andrew Tabiti in another intriguing matchup to determine the second finalist.
Dorticos is a tenacious competitor who produced a devastating second-round knockout of Dmitry Kudryashov in Texas to advance into last season’s semi-final, but ultimately came off second-best in a violent slugfest against Murat Gassiev after dramatically being dropped three times in the final stanza.
The evidently heavy-handed Cuban – who eschews the economical, patient style that is associated with most of his countrymen – made a ferocious start against Mathius Masternak last time out and threatened to force a stoppage on multiple occasions throughout the first half of the fight, before the stubborn Pole regained his composure to lose narrowly on all three scorecards.
Chicago-native Tabiti, meanwhile, progressed to the semi-finals with a routine decision victory over Ruslan Fayfer – having previously defeated the likes of Lateef Kayode and Steve Cunningham in a career that has spanned seventeen fights.
Tabiti, who trains out of the Mayweather gym in Las Vegas under the guidance of the inimitable Floyd Mayweather Sr, possesses a deceptive power reserve of his own and expect him to squeak out a decision win against Dorticos to set up an interesting final with the Briedis-Glowacki winner for the Muhammad Ali trophy.
Article by: Navi Singh
Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________