Cruiserweights - The story so far... | World Boxing Super Series
Cruiserweights - The story so far...

Cruiserweights - The story so far...

17th, December 2018

The cruiserweight edition of the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy has revealed close competition, no clear favourite and thrillers on the horizon.

The 200 lb tourney began in Ekaterinburg, Russia on October 13 with USA’s Andrew Tabiti facing Russia’s Ruslan Fayfer. ‘Beast’ Tabiti outpointed Fayfer over 12 close and sometimes messy rounds and the Las Vegas resident fighting under Mayweather Promotions won by scores of 116-111, 115-112 and 114-113.

“I love Russia, I love coming out here and fighting,” a smiling Tabiti told after the fight in Russia’s fourth-largest city.

A week later in Orlando, USA it was time for the Cuban KO-artist Yunier Dorticos (23-1, 21 KOs) to begin his hopeful journey to exchange last year’s WBSS semi-final with The Greatest Prize In Boxing. He faced tough opposition in Germany’s Mateusz Masternak who was chasing his dream of reaching the top in the cruiserweight division – coming into the cruiserweight tournament ‘The Master’ had won five fights in a row since losing a decision to Tony Bellew in 2015.

Dorticos and Masternak went all 12 rounds, after an entertaining back and forth bout, with the scores 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 all in favour of the ‘KO Doctor’ who for once was forced to prescribe a victory on points.

“The ‘KO Doctor’ is back,” said Dorticos. “And this year I am taking home the trophy.”

A cruiserweight doubleheader in Chicago on November 11 would decide the semi-final match-ups.

Number one seed, Latvia’s Mairis Briedis, who lost a close semi-final to Aleksandr Usyk in Season 1, faced Germany’s Noel Mikaelian in the first quarter-final of the evening in the ‘Windy City’.

The pair went the through all the rounds and the judges scored it 114-112, 115-111 and 116-110 for Briedis. The Latvian favourite and former WBC World champion had to dig deep and was struggling to find his rhythm against tricky Mikaelian who fought hard to the very end.

“Thank you, Chicago, thanks Latvia fans, thanks to my opponent,” said Briedis who felt the strong support of Chicago’s Latvian community.

Another former world champion, Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki powered past Russia’s Maksim Vlasov in the last cruiserweight quarter-final; a unanimous decision by scores of 118-110, 117-110 and 115-112.

Glowacki, who was backed by fans from Chicago’s big Polish community, dropped Vlasov in the third round with a left hand, but the Russian came back and showed a lot of heart in the remainder of the fight.

“He was a really tough fighter and he got up, but we persevered,” Glowacki said after the fight.

After four eminent quarter-finals we have an extremely clear conclusion; the fights have paved the way for some explosive and impossible to call semis:

Mairis Briedis vs Krzysztof Glowacki and Yunier Dorticos vs Andrew Tabiti.

Dates and venues for next year’s sensational semi-finals in the three divisions of Season II of the WBSS will be announced soon.

WBSS Season 2 Semi-Finals:

Bantamweight

  • Nonito Donaire vs Zolani Tete
  • Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez

Super-Lightweight

  • Regis Prograis vs Kiryl Relikh
  • Josh Taylor vs Ivan Baranchyk

Cruiserweight

  • Mairis Briedis vs Krzysztof Glowacki
  • Yunier Dorticos vs Andrew Tabiti