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Mairis Briedis vacates WBO belt, will fight Yunier Dorticos next

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By Barry Holbrook: Mairis Briedis has vacated his WBO cruiserweight title, and will face IBF champion Yunier Dorticos in the final of the WBSS tournament , instead of defending the belt in a WBO-ordered rematch against Krzysztof Glowacki.

Briedis, 34, has no choice but to vacate his WBO title, because he’s under contract to complete the World Boxing Super Series tournament, and he can’t walk away from that obligation. ‘The KO Doctor’ Dorticos (24-1, 22 KOs) will be facing Briedis in the final of the tournament.

Briedis couldn’t face Glowacki in rematch

The WBO wanted Briedis to give Glowacki, 33, and immediate rematch to clear up the controversy surrounding their fight last June in the quarterfinal of the WBSS tourney, but it’s not possible.

If Briedis did what the WBO wants him to, he delay the completion of the WBSS tourney. He’s supposed to be fighting Dorticos next, not going back to fight a guy he just knocked out in Glowacki. Briedis would obviously like to keep his WBO belt, but he’s not going to do that at the expense of the WBSS tournament.

Lawrence Okollie and Glowacki to fight for vacant WBO title

The vacant WBO title will be fought over by #1 Glowacki (31-2, 19 KOs) and #2 Lawrence Okolie (14-0, 11 KOs). It’s a chance for 2016 Olympian Okolie to prove that he’s as good as his promoter Eddie Hearn believes him to be. Hearn has been talking up Okolie’s chances to win a world title in the last year, and now he’ll be getting the shot to live up to his promoters’ expectations.

This is a BIG step up for the 26-year-old Okollie, who has quickly developed a reputation for being a clincher. Although Okollie is blessed with a lot of power, the excessive holding he does in his fights makes it hard to watch him. Thus far, Okollie has been getting away with his holding by the referees, but this won’t go on forever if he doesn’t stop.

Glowacki is an advanced level cruiserweight, and Okollie might not be ready for this type of fighters. Unfortunately, Okollie has been matched carefully by Hearn, who has been picking out domestic level guys that have little talent for him to beat. The hope has been that Okollie would get his feet under him, and be able to compete once he’s thrown into the deep end of the cruiserweight division against good fighters.

Glowacki fits the description of a good fighter, but Okollie hasn’t fought anyone a step up level fighter to get him ready for the power of the hard-hitting Polish fighter.

These are the best guys that Okollie has fought since turning professional in 2017: Isaac Chamberlain, Matty Askins, and Yves Ngabu. None of those guys could live with Glowacki. They’re not good enough, and lack the chin and the talent to compete with a guy like that.

Briedis vs. Glowacki = pure chaos 

Briedis (26-1, 19 KOs) beat the 33-year-old Glowacki by a 3rd round knockout in the semifinal of the World Boxing Super Series last summer on June 15 in Riga, Latvia. The fight had a controversial ending though, as Briedis was hit in the back of the head by Glowacki with a rabbit punch in the 2nd round.

In response to that, Briedis retaliated with an elbow to the jaw of Glowacki. In a delayed reaction, Glowacki went down from the elbow. It didn’t look like Briedis had thrown the elbow hard, but Glowacki hit the deck nonetheless. It looked to some like Glowacki was trying to force a disqualified of Briedis. However, the referee Robert Byrd merely docked a point from Briedis rather than disqualify him. Had Glowacki not been able to continue, Briedis would have been disqualifed.

When the action resumed, Briedis dropped Glowacki with a right hand to the head. Glowacki was able to continue fighting, and the two stood to toe-to-toe slugging. When the bell sounded to end the 2nd round, both fighters continued to punch away.

The referee Byrd was obvious to the fact that the round had ended, and he let both fighters swing away until Briedis dropped Glowacki. When Glowacki got back up, he was staggering as he went back to his corner. In the start of the third, Briedis went after Glowacki and dropped him with a hard right hand to the head. The fight was then stopped by the referee Byrd.

Chain of events in Briedis vs. Glowacki fight:

  1. Glowacki hits Briedis with left hand rabbit punch in round 2
  2. Briedis nails Glowacki with elbow in retaliation. Glowacki falls face first on the canvas and lays there while referee Robert Byrd tells him get up
  3. Briedis loses point for elbow
  4. Mairis knocks Glowacki down with a right hand in 2nd
  5. Glowacki dropped by Briedis AFTER bell in round 2. Referee Byrd failed to hear the bell ending the round, and allowed both fighters to continue to slug.
  6. Briedis knocks Glowacki down in round 3. The fight then stopped.

The referee lost control of the fight, and the chain of events led to Briedis winning by a knockout It’s very likely that Breidis would have knocked Glowacki out even if the fight hadn’t played out the way it did. He was the more rugged of the two, and he had his home fans in Riga rooting him on.

The Cuban Dorticos earned his way to the final of the WBSS tournament in beating Mateusz Masternak and Andrew Tabiti.


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