The 2018-19 World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight tournament continues on June 15 at the Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia.
The tournament began with the quarterfinal round that was staged in several countries beginning September 2018. After four boxing matches, Mairis Briedis, Krzysztof Glowacki, Yunier Dorticos and Andrew Tabiti advanced to the semifinal round with unanimous decision wins over their respective opponents. Now the four will dispute which two among them will slug it out for the Ali Trophy in the finals which will be held on a date still to be determined.
Let’s take a look at how the four remaining fighters are matched up in the semifinals of the 2018-19 World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight tournament:
Mairis Briedis vs Krzysztof Glowacki
Briedis will return to the same venue where he suffered the first loss of his professional boxing career. It can be recalled that then WBC cruiserweight champion Briedis faced then WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in the semifinal round of the inaugural World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament. Usyk won a tightly contested affair by majority decision. Usyk would go on to win the Ali Trophy and unify the cruiserweight title.
The Latvian fighter bounced back with a shutout unanimous decision win over French boxer Brandon Deslaurier in July 2019. He re-entered the second season of the WBSS cruiserweight tournament and defeated Noel Gevor to win the WBC (silver) cruiserweight title. Now he faces Krzysztof Glowacki for the interim WBO cruiserweight belt.
Briedis has a record of 25-1 with 18 knockouts. He stands 6-1 tall and has a reach of 75 inches while fighting out of the orthodox fight. With undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk teasing a move up to the heavyweight division, this is a chance for Briedis to prove that he is the new man to beat at 200-pounds.
Odds from Mybookie.ag as of 5/17/19
Glowacki won the WBO cruiserweight belt in 2015 with a dramatic 11th round knockout of Marco Huck. After a successful first title defense against American Steve Cunningham, Glowacki lost the belt to Oleksandr Usyk who defeated him by unanimous decision in 2016.
Glowacki has won five bouts in a row, including last November’s win over Maxim Vlasov in the WBSS cruiserweight tournament quarterfinals which earned him the interim WBO cruiserweight title. Like Briedis he is trying to return to the top of the cruiserweight picture with Usyk perhaps leaving the weight class for good.
The 32-year old Polish boxer has a record of 31-1 with 19 knockouts. Glowacki stands 6-feet tall and has a reach of 75 inches while fighting as a southpaw. This will only be the fifth time in his career that Glowacki will be fighting outside of his native Poland and only the second time that he will be fighting in Arena Riga.
This is an interesting match-up between former cruiserweight champions who both lost their belts to Oleksandr Usyk who is their only common opponent. If we compare their performance against Usyk, Briedis took him to the limits and almost beat the Ukrainian in tightly-fought contest. On the other hand, Usyk and Glowacki engaged in an equally exciting match but in the end Usyk won the bout at least 9 rounds to 3.
But just because Briedis did better against Usyk doesn’t necessarily mean he will beat Glowacki on June 15. We know that in boxing, styles make fights and these two have different styles.
Briedis looked lackluster in his last fight and while they said he was dealing with an injury, there were reports that he wasn’t training seriously. If the latter is the case, that’s going to be a problem. On the other hand, Glowacki might not have stopped Vlasov but he showed good power punches in that fight. He won impressively and based on what I saw, it looked like Glowacki has more power and looks hungrier.
I think Briedis bounces back from a poor outing and stamps his class against Glowacki. The man has better boxing skills and is the more athletic fighter between the two. Briedis is going counter Glowacki and keep him off his rhythm. I’m not sure of a knockout but I’m confident that Briedis win this time around in front of his countrymen. Prediction: Mairis Briedis
Yunier Dorticos vs Andrew Tabiti
Dorticos was the former WBA cruiserweight champion who lost the belt to Murat Gassiev in the previous WBSS cruiserweight tournament semifinals. The 33-year old Cuban has a record of 23-1 with 21 knockouts. Known as the KO Doctor, Dorticos stands 6-3 tall and has a reach of 80 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.
Odds from Bet365 as of 5/17/19
Tabiti is the undefeated American who was the NABF and USBA cruiserweight boxing champion. The 29-year old from Chicago in the United States owns wins over Steve Cunningham and Lateef Kayode. He stands six-feet tall and has a reach of 78 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.
While Tabiti is the betting underdog here, he is the younger and fresher fighter between the two. He also has explosive punching power plus speed and reflexes not found in other boxers his size. However, Tabiti didn’t look so good against Ruslan Fayfer in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Dorticos faced a tough challenge in Masternak but showed enough grit to take home the victory. To me that victory showed that he hasn’t lost the fire after the Gassiev loss and that’s going to be key here.
I think that Tabiti will try to walk down Dorticos in the early rounds but if Dorticos survives the early onslaught, he will have the advantage the longer this fight goes. The Cuban isn’t just a power puncher but he is an excellent counter-puncher as well. He’s going to time Tabiti and the accumulation of punch volume and power is going to wear down the American. I think Dorticos stops Tabiti late. Prediction: Yunier Dorticos