Saturday, 27 January 2018
Usyk unifies cruiser crown and earns place in WBSS final with points win over Briedis.
In an exceptional bout with a place in the Cruiserweight super series final up for grabs, WBO Champion Oleksandr Usyk 13-0 (11 Ko’s) scored a razor thin majority decision over Mairis Briedis 23-0 (18 Ko’s) to unify two titles and secure his place in the Muhammad Ali trophy final, tonight in Riga, Latvia..
Briedis started fast and drew the taller Usyk into a close quarters affair, enjoying an early advantage.. Usyk found his range in the fifth and began to force the home fighter onto the back foot, bloodying the Latvian fighters nose.. By round 7 it appeared all square with neither man giving an inch, only Briedis’s bravery was matched by Usyks relentless pressure.. many of the later rounds were extremely close, with both fighters digging deep in what was one of the most important Cruiserweight title fights in recent memory.. At the conclusion Usyk looked to have just done that little bit more to earn the win, with most onlookers in agreement that a rematch must be inevitable outside of the tournament.. Usyk will now meet the winner of the other semi final between Yunier Dorticos and Murat Gassiev which takes place next week in Sochi..
Judge Craig Metcalf couldn’t split the two with a 114-114 card..
Although judges Robert Tapper and Robin Taylor seeing it 115-113 to Usyk..