Mairis Briedis and Yuniel Dorticos were defeated semi-finalists in Season I of WBSS cruiserweight tournament, but tonight one of them will go home with the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Another WBSS bracket-style elimination tournament is reaching its conclusion, this time to answer the question of who the best cruiserweight in boxing is today.
Briedis lost an extremely tough and hard-fought battle to Aleksandr Usyk in the semi-final of Season I as the official scores were 114-114 and 115-113 twice for the future tournament winner.
In Season II, Briedis bounced back and entered the decider via a unanimous decision against Noel Mikaelian and a dramatic third-round TKO of Krzysztof Glowacki.
“I was down after Usyk-fight,” said Briedis. “Looking back I can see that a lot of things around me and in my team have changed. And everything has gone better since that fight. I really don’t know I would have won that night if my career who have advanced the way it has.
“I’m satisfied with how it has been advancing. Usyk was better that night, it is what it is, and I’m hoping to be involved in another classic in the Season II final.”
After a valiant and relentless battle, Dorticos was floored three times by Murat Gassiev in the 12th and final round of his Season 1 semi and the fight stopped with just eight seconds remaining. Nevertheless, the Miami-based Cuban emerged with his reputation enhanced and his fighting heart validated.
Dorticos dusted himself and came back strong in the second edition of the WBSS and qualified for the cruiserweight final through a decision win against Mateusz Masternak, and a knockout of Andrew Tahiti – a one-punch KO in the 10th regarded as one the KO’s of 2019.
“My semi-final loss in Season 1 was a learning experience,” said Dorticos. “I matured a whole lot from that fight. I’m grateful for being in the final, to showcase why I am the best, to be able to redeem myself, and take that trophy home. And who knows, maybe one day I get a Gassiev-rematch,”
The World Boxing Super Series Season II Cruiserweight Final between Mairis Briedis and Yuniel Dorticos takes place tonight behind-closed-doors at the Plazamedia Studios in Munich at 23:00 pm (CET).
On the line: The Muhammad Ali Trophy, IBF World Championship, and vacant Ring Magazine 200 lbs belt.
The final will be shown live on DAZN in the U.S. & Canada, Sky Sports in the UK, and Bildplus in Germany.