Oleksandr Usyk vs. Mairis Briedis, 12 rounds
New Year fireworks: Usyk and Briedis face to face at kickoff press conference in Riga
WBO World Champion Aleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) and WBC World Champion Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs) had their first face-off in Riga before the Ali Trophy semi-final bout in the Latvian capital on January 27th.
“Briedis is a good fighter, but the only thing he has that I want is his belt,” said Usyk. “I am looking forward to fighting in Riga, it’s going to be a great event. I am sure there will be a lot of people coming from Ukraine to support me. People can look forward to an entertaining fight between two world champions both eager to qualify for the final and win the Muhammad Ali Trophy.”
Said Mairis Briedis: “It is one of my dreams as a fighter to be part of one of the greatest fights of all time. I hope this fight will be a Hall of Fame fight. It has all the ingredients to become a classic.”
“Usyk was excellent as an amateur and he has been great as a professional, so it will be a tough challenge, but I believe that I have what it takes to beat him.”
“It is lovely to be in Riga,” said Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer Kalle Sauerland. “This fight will be the biggest sports event ever on Latvian soil. We have to world champions, two amazing contenders, two sensational athletes. Briedis, the national hero of Latvia, the WBC Champion vs. Usyk, an Olympic Champion and World Champion. So the stage is set for a night full of drama.”
This biggest cruiserweight unification fight for several years takes place at the Arena Riga. The same place where Mairis Briedis booked his place in the semi-final by outpointing Mike Perez in front of a sold-out crowd of 10.000 fans.
His Ukrainian opponent went to Berlin in in the tournament opener and produced a spectacular display at the Max-Schmeling-Arena to stop former world champion Marco Huck in the 10th round.
Tickets for Usyk vs. Briedis, a semi-final in the cruiserweight division of the World Boxing Super Series, are on sale via bilesuserviss.lv.
The Ali Trophy semi-final bout in the cruiserweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series between WBO World Champion Aleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) and WBC World Champion Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs) hits the Arena Riga, Latvia on January 27, 2018.
“The stand-out atmosphere in the quarter-finals was the noise the fans made in the sold-out Arena Riga,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer.
“We are very excited to bring the Ali Trophy to Latvia on January 27. Usyk is Olympic Champion, World Champion and the number one seed in the tournament but when he collides with national hero and World Champion Briedis he will meet by far his toughest challenge in his career. This is the biggest unification fight in the division since many, many years.”
2012 Olympic Champion, 30-year-old Usyk expressed before the tournament his desire to unify the belts in the cruiserweight division and to take home the Muhammad Ali Trophy. And he kicked off in style:
The Ukrainian went to Berlin in Germany on September 9 in the tournament opener and produced a spectacular display at the Max-Schmeling-Arena to stop former world champion Marco Huck in the 10th round. Now he travels to another opponent’s backyard to face a current champion.
“I do not care where I fight,” said Usyk, the tournament’s number one seed.
“In Riga, there will be 10.000 fans and that’s great. The fans should expect a beautiful and interesting battle between two world champions.”
32-year-old Briedis excited an ecstatic hometown crowd at a sold-out Arena Riga on September 30 to score a unanimous decision in his quarter-final over the tough Cuban challenger Mike Perez.
“I had a gut feeling that the World Boxing Super Series might return to Riga because of the incredible crowd at the Arena Riga in the quarter-final bout against Mike Perez,” said Briedis, the tournament’s third seed.
“I’m really happy with how it has turned out. I am thankful to the Latvian fans who made it possible by being so passionate and devoted. Now it’s all about preparing for Usyk and put up a great show when January comes.”
Usyk and Briedis will soon come face-to-face at a kickoff press conference in Riga and tickets for the Ali Trophy semi-final between are going on sale next week with the exact time to be announced shortly. Fans are asked due to the huge demand to sign-up for ticket alerts at worldboxingsuperseries.com to avoid disappointment.