Briedis: WBSS Final Is A Great Opportunity For A Small Country With Big Hearts
Latvia’s Mairis Briedis (26-1, 19 KOs) talks about the magnitude of the WBSS Cruiserweight Ali Trophy final four weeks ahead of his hotly-anticipated encounter with Yuniel Dorticos (24-1, 22 KOs) at the Arena Riga.
“The camp is going well,” said Briedis after completing his first week of sparring. “With four weeks to the fight, we are at a stage where we still have time for the things we have planned. But the time is limited so we are trying to take full advantage of each training session.”
To reach the 200lbs final Briedis beat Germany’s Noel Mikaelian unanimously on points in his quarter-final in Chicago and stopped Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki in Riga via TKO in the third round of a dramatic semi-final. Every fight poses a different challenge to the tournament No. 1 seed.
“The final against Dorticos can’t be compared to the Glowacki fight for example,” told the former two-time world champion. “I am gaining experience from every elite fight I have, but the opponents are different in each fight, each has their own set of skills, their own style and we are preparing differently for each opponent.”
Briedis has stated that the final ‘is going to be a thrilling fight as I’m facing one of the very best cruiserweights on the planet.’ And he is going to face Dorticos, the Cuban KO artist in front of thousands of his countrymen at the Arena Riga.
“It’s been great to hear that the tickets sales are flying!” said the Latvian sports hero. “It makes me really happy that it looks like it will be sold out. This final for the Ali Trophy is a huge event for Latvia with the whole world watching. This will be a great opportunity to show that a rather small country like Latvia has big hearts, that we are big as a nation and ready to host the highest level of sports events in the world.”
Dorticos, the IBF champ, booked his place in the final via a points victory over Poland’s Mateusz Masternak in Orlando and a 10th round knockout of USA’s Andrew Tabiti in Riga – a KO that earned the ‘KO Doctor’ the IBF title and ‘Knockout of the Year’ prize across multiple media.