Results from Riga:
Aleksandr Usyk W 12 (115-113, 115-113, 114-114) Mairis Briedis
Micki Nielsen W 8 Ricards Bolotniks
Filip Hrgovic TKO 4 Tom Little
Otto Wallin pts 8 Srdan Govedarica
Mikael Lawal pts 6 Istvan Orsos
Usyk and Briedis face to face in Riga: Legacy is at stake
WBO World Champion Aleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) and WBC World Champion Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs) exchanged words in Riga at the last press conference before the Ali Trophy semi-final bout in the Latvian capital on Saturday.
“I am going to entertain the crowd at the Arena Riga – that I can promise,” said Usyk.
“I have worked on some new things and Saturday you will see what I am talking about.”
10.000 fans are expected at the Arena Riga for the biggest unification fight in many years in the cruiserweight division; a semi-final in the World Boxing Super Series with a final in May in Jeddah, Saudi-Arabia and the Muhammad Ali Trophy at stake.
But hometown hero Briedis insists he doesn’t feel any pressure.
“My team is doing everything to take the pressure is off my shoulders. We are just concentrating on the fight. My dream is to deliver a fight that can go into the Boxing Hall of Fame.”
Said Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer, Kalle Sauerland: “We are delighted to be in Riga. We have an absolute cracker. We have a fight between two world champions, two of the very, very best. We have a great arena and a country which seems captured by boxing and the fact that Muhammad Ali Trophy is coming to Latvia. We have a big showdown, Saturday night is all that boxing is about. Legacy is at stake.”
MAIRIS BRIEDIS (Latvia)
WBC Cruiserweight World Champion / 2nd Title Defense
Age: 33 / Date of birth: January 13, 1985
Residence, birthplace: Riga, Latvia
Record: 23-0, 18 KOs / Total rounds: 103 / World championship fights: 2-0, 0 KOs
Height: 6’1” – 185cm / Reach: 80” – 203cm – Stance: Right-handed
Manager: Al Siesta / Trainer: Sandis Kleins
ALEKSANDR USYK (Ukraine)
WBO Cruiserweight World Champion, 4th Title Defense
Age: 31 / Date of birth: January 17, 1987
Residence, birthplace: Simferopol, Ukraine
Record: 13-0, 11 KOs / Total rounds: 93 / World championship fights: 4-0, 2 KOs
Height: 6’3″ – 190cm / Reach: 78″ – 198cm / Stance: Left-handed
Manager: Egis Klimas / Trainer: Sergei Vatamanyuk
WBC CRUISERWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONS
1. Marvin Camel (US) 1980
2. Carlos de Leon (P. Rico) 1980 – 1982
3. S.T. Gordon (US) 1982 – 1983
4. Carlos de Leon (P. Rico) * 1983 – 1985
5. Alfonzo Ratliff (US) 1985
6. Bernard Benton (US) 1985 – 1986
7. Carlos de Leon (P. Rico) * 1986 – 1988
8. Evander Holyfield (US) 1988
9. Carlos de Leon (P. Rico) * 1989 – 1990
10. Massimiliano Duran (Italy) 1990 – 1991
11. Anaclet Wamba (France) 1991 – 1995
12. Marcelo Dominguez (Arg) 1995 – 1998
13. Juan Carlos Gomez (Cuba) 1998 – 2002
14. Wayne Braithwaite (Guyana) 2002 – 2005
15. Jean-Marc Mormeck (France) 2007
16. O’Neil Bell (US) 2006 – 2007
17. Jean Marc Mormeck (France)* 2007
18. David Haye (UK) 2007 – 2008
19. Giacobbe Fragomeni (Italy) 2008 – 2009
20. Zsolt Erdei (Hungary) 2008 – 2010
21. Krzystof Wlodarczyk (Poland) 2010 – 2014
22. Grigory Drozd (Russia) 2014 – 2015
23. Tony Bellew (UK) 2016 – 2017
24. Mairis Briedis (Latvia) 2017 –
WBC TOP 10 CRUISERWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONS
1. Evander Holyfield (US)
2. Zsolt Erdei (Hungary)
3. Juan Carlos Gomez (Cuba-Germany)
4. Krzystof Wlodarczyk (Poland)
5. Tony Bellew (GB)
6. Carlos De Leon (P. Rico)
7. Wayne Braithwaite (Guyana)
8. Grigory Drozd (Russia)
9. Anaclet Wamba (France)
10. Jean Marc Mormeck (France)
GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE CRUISERWEIGHT DIVISION IN THE HISTORY OF THE WBC
20 world champions have been recognized by the WBC, of whom only two have regained the title: Carlos de Leon (Puerto Rico) three times, Jean Marc Mormeck (France) one time.
72 cruiserweight world championship bouts have been held in the history of the WBC.
Apr. 1, 2017 Mairis Briedis W12 Marco Huck – Westfalenhalle, Germany
May 29, 2016 Tony Bellew TKO3 Ilunga Makabu – Liverpool, England
Sep. 27, 2014 Grigory Drozd W12 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk – Moscow, Russia
May 15, 2010 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk TKO8 Giacobbe Fragomeni – Lodz, Poland
Oct. 24, 2008 Giacobbe Fragomeni TW8 Rudolf Kraj – Milan, Italy
Mar. 8, 2008 David Haye TKO2 Enzo Maccarinelli – London, England
Jan. 7, 2006 O’Neil Bell KO10 Jean Marc Mormeck – New York, New York
Apr. 2, 2005 Jean Marc Mormeck W12 Wayne Braithwaite – Worcester, Massachusetts
Oct. 11, 2002 Wayne Braithwaite TKO10 Vincenzo Cantatore – Lombardia, Italy
Feb. 21, 1998 Juan Carlos Gomez W12 Marcelo Fabian Dominguez – Buenos Aires, Argentina
July 25, 1995 Marcelo Fabian Dominguez TKO9 Akim Tafir – Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France
July 20, 1991 Anaclet Wamba TKO11 Massimiliano Duran – Palermo, Sicily
July 27, 1990 Massimiliano Duran WDQ11 Carlos DeLeon – Capo d’Orlando, Sicily
May 17, 1989 Carlos DeLeon TKO9 Sammy Reeson – London, England
Apr. 9, 1988 Evander Holyfield TKO8 Carlos DeLeon – Las Vegas, Nevada
Feb. 24, 1982 Carlos DeLeon TKO8 Marvin Camel – Atlantic City, New Jersey
Mar. 31, 1980 Marvin Camel W15 Mate Parlov – Las Vegas, Nevada
Dec. 8, 1979 Marvin Camel D15 Mate Parlov – Split, Croatia
WBC Statistics by Luis Medina.
Usyk Q&A: Briedis’ style is a bit boring, but I respect him
WBO World Champion Aleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) talks about his upcoming semi-final against WBC World Champion Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs) at the Arena Riga on January 27.
The Ukrainian superstar went to Berlin in September last year and opened the first season of the World Boxing Super Series by producing a spectacular display at the Max-Schmeling-Arena to stop former world champion Marco Huck in the 10th round.
Usyk’s training camp before the biggest unification fight in years in the cruiserweight division took place in Bukovel, on the ridge-lines of the Carpathian Mountains under the guidance of his trainer Sergey Vatamanyuk.
Now the 2012 Olympic gold medallist is traveling to Riga – to the backyard of the Latvian hero Mairis Briedis.
How are you looking forward to fighting in Riga?
“Let Briedis think about that, not me. All I know is that there will be a lot of my countrymen coming to Riga to support me.”
How big is the fight against Briedis when you look at your career?
“It is a big fight and it is going to be a big day in my career. It’s a unification fight. The fight for the Muhammad Ali Trophy is about the best fighting the best. I have the WBO belt and he has WBC – I like the colour green and the WBC belt is green so I can’t wait to get that belt.”
What do you think of your opponent?
“I have nothing bad to say about Briedis. His style is a bit boring, but I respect him. Briedis is a world champion so he has to be good.”
Why do you respect him?
“In principle, I respect all of my opponents. I even respect Marco Huck who spoke bad about me and pushed me at a press conference. I know what fighters are going through in order to be able to enter the ring. It takes a lot of training, a lot of work and I will always respect that.”
Kongolo and Scandi stars Nielsen and Wallin on Usyk-Briedis undercard
The undercard for the Ali Trophy semi-final in Riga on January 27 between Aleksandr Usyk and Mairis Briedis features both established and rising stars.
Switzerland’s Yoann Kongolo (10-0, 4 KOs) will defend his WBC International Silver title against hometown hero Andrejs Pokumeiko (16-12-1, 12 KOs), over ten rounds in the Light Heavyweight division.
The former WBC International Cruiserweight champion, Micki Nielsen (24-1, 15 KOs) from Denmark will take on Latvia’s Ricards Bolotniks (10-3-1, 4 KOs) in an 8-round contest. Nielsen has been sparring with Mairis Briedis in preparation for this bout, and the Danish star hopes to upset the hometown fans and make it three wins in a row.
Undefeated Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin (18-0, 12 KOs) faces the man-mountain Srdan Govederica (6-5, 5 KOs) from Bosnia.
Undefeated Latvian, Jevgenijs Aleksejevs (7-0, 6 KOs), has made a very impressive start to his professional career so far. But there is no doubt that he faces his toughest test so far in Maurice Possiti (17-12, 7 KOs) from France.
Latvia’s Nikolajs Grisunins (6-0-1, 3 KOs) will aim to return to winning ways when he faces the dangerous big punching Jozsef Darmos (8-1-2, 7 KOs) from Hungary.
In a mouth-watering 8-round Heavyweight contest, 2016 Olympic games Bronze medallist Filip Hrgovic (2-0, 2 KOs) from Croatia meets United Kingdom’s Tom Little (10-4, 3 KOs). Hrgovic has made a very impressive start to his professional career with two sensational first-round KO victories. However, in Little he faces a very confident challenger.
Araik Marutjan (1-0), who represented Germany in the 2016 Olympics takes on the very tough Hungarian Richard Hegyi (4-2, 3 KOs) in a Middleweight contest.
The undercard also features the talented cruiserweight Mikael Lawal (4-0, 3 KOs) from London, United Kingdom, who has been sparring Aleksandr Usyk in preparation for this bout. He takes on the experienced southpaw Istvan Orsos (16-43-2, 5 KOs) from Hungary.
Tickets for the Usyk vs. Briedis, a semi-final in the cruiserweight division of the World Boxing Super Series, are on sale via bilesuserviss.lv.
New Year fireworks: Usyk and Briedis face to face at kickoff press conference in Riga
WBO World Champion Aleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) and WBC World Champion Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs) had their first face-off in Riga before the Ali Trophy semi-final bout in the Latvian capital on January 27th.
“Briedis is a good fighter, but the only thing he has that I want is his belt,” said Usyk. “I am looking forward to fighting in Riga, it’s going to be a great event. I am sure there will be a lot of people coming from Ukraine to support me. People can look forward to an entertaining fight between two world champions both eager to qualify for the final and win the Muhammad Ali Trophy.”
Said Mairis Briedis: “It is one of my dreams as a fighter to be part of one of the greatest fights of all time. I hope this fight will be a Hall of Fame fight. It has all the ingredients to become a classic.”
“Usyk was excellent as an amateur and he has been great as a professional, so it will be a tough challenge, but I believe that I have what it takes to beat him.”
“It is lovely to be in Riga,” said Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer Kalle Sauerland. “This fight will be the biggest sports event ever on Latvian soil. We have to world champions, two amazing contenders, two sensational athletes. Briedis, the national hero of Latvia, the WBC Champion vs. Usyk, an Olympic Champion and World Champion. So the stage is set for a night full of drama.”
This biggest cruiserweight unification fight for several years takes place at the Arena Riga. The same place where Mairis Briedis booked his place in the semi-final by outpointing Mike Perez in front of a sold-out crowd of 10.000 fans.
His Ukrainian opponent went to Berlin in in the tournament opener and produced a spectacular display at the Max-Schmeling-Arena to stop former world champion Marco Huck in the 10th round.
Tickets for Usyk vs. Briedis, a semi-final in the cruiserweight division of the World Boxing Super Series, are on sale via bilesuserviss.lv.
The Ali Trophy semi-final bout in the cruiserweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series between WBO World Champion Aleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) and WBC World Champion Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs) hits the Arena Riga, Latvia on January 27, 2018.
“The stand-out atmosphere in the quarter-finals was the noise the fans made in the sold-out Arena Riga,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer.
“We are very excited to bring the Ali Trophy to Latvia on January 27. Usyk is Olympic Champion, World Champion and the number one seed in the tournament but when he collides with national hero and World Champion Briedis he will meet by far his toughest challenge in his career. This is the biggest unification fight in the division since many, many years.”
2012 Olympic Champion, 30-year-old Usyk expressed before the tournament his desire to unify the belts in the cruiserweight division and to take home the Muhammad Ali Trophy. And he kicked off in style:
The Ukrainian went to Berlin in Germany on September 9 in the tournament opener and produced a spectacular display at the Max-Schmeling-Arena to stop former world champion Marco Huck in the 10th round. Now he travels to another opponent’s backyard to face a current champion.
“I do not care where I fight,” said Usyk, the tournament’s number one seed.
“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.”
32-year-old Briedis excited an ecstatic hometown crowd at a sold-out Arena Riga on September 30 to score a unanimous decision in his quarter-final over the tough Cuban challenger Mike Perez.
“I had a gut feeling that the World Boxing Super Series might return to Riga because of the incredible crowd at the Arena Riga in the quarter-final bout against Mike Perez,” said Briedis, the tournament’s third seed.
“I’m really happy with how it has turned out. I am thankful to the Latvian fans who made it possible by being so passionate and devoted. Now it’s all about preparing for Usyk and put up a great show when January comes.”
Usyk and Briedis will soon come face-to-face at a kickoff press conference in Riga and tickets for the Ali Trophy semi-final between are going on sale next week with the exact time to be announced shortly. Fans are asked due to the huge demand to sign-up for ticket alerts at worldboxingsuperseries.com to avoid disappointment.