Briedis beats Dorticos for IBF cruiserweight title


Mairis Briedis defeated Yuniel Dorticos by majority decision (117-111, 117-111 and 114-114) to win the IBF cruiserweight world title — and the Muhammad Ali Trophy — in the World Boxing Super Series final Saturday night at the Plazamedia Broadcast Center in Munich, Germany.

The bout began with the hard-punching Dorticos (24-2, 22 KOs) controlling the center of the ring as he moved forward on Briedis (27-1, 19 KOs), who was very respectful of Dorticos’ right-hand power and moved around the ring.

There were many close rounds in the fight, which featured a particular pattern: Dorticos being the aggressor, with Briedis finding spots to counterpunch and land right hands, followed by jabs.

By the middle rounds, Briedis seemed to be more comfortable and began to layer his attack with right uppercuts. While neither man every truly dominated the action for long stretches, it was Briedis who landed the more noticeable blows. Dorticos had a methodical attack, but he could never noticeably hurt Briedis with any particular shot. Meanwhile, Briedis patiently waited for openings and made his punches count.

Both Briedis and Dorticos were involved in the previous cruiserweight tournament of the WBSS. Briedis’ only professional defeat came to the eventual winner of that tournament, Oleksandr Usyk, in a close bout in the semifinals in January 2018.

This time around, he walks away as the winner of the WBSS.

“It feels like a dream,” Briedis said.

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