RIGA, LATVIA – Mairis Briedis and Yuniel Dorticos punched their way to the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight final, but not without plenty of controversy.
Briedis recorded a third-round TKO of Krzysztof Glowacki in the main event, but it came after an insane second round.
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The second-round madness sparked when Glowacki hit Briedis in the back of the head to which Briedis responded by elbowing him. Briedis had a point deducted for it and after the ref seemingly sorted out the chaos, Briedis dropped Glowacki, with the Latvian crowd roaring “‘Mairis! Mairis! Mairis!” in delight. The bell to end the round continuously rang for several seconds, but ref Robert Byrd and the boxers failed to hear it. That gave Briedis the opening to blast Glowacki and knock him down again.
With Byrd, Briedis and Glowacki having no idea what was going on in the ring, the officials ringside got involved and the fighters took to their corners to prepare for the third round. Glowacki caught Briedis early, but Briedis (25-1, 19 KOs) dropped Glowacki once again moments later, leading Byrd to stop the fight and award him with the third-round TKO and WBO cruiserweight title.
“That was crazy! It was such an atmosphere tonight with the Polish fans and the Latvian fans, it was like a football match,” Comosa AG’s Chief Boxing Officer Kalle Sauerland said. “It was crazy the referee didn’t hear the bell, the fighters didn’t hear the bell. I think that [second] round went on for an extra 20 seconds. Briedis landed some telling shots, Glowacki didn’t recover. When they came out for the third, he caught Briedis with a great shot, but then Briedis put him to sleep.”
Meanwhile, Dorticos scoring a 10th-round KO of Andrew Tabiti in the co-main event came with its fair share of controversy, too. Dorticos (24-1, 22 KOs) controlled the fight from the opening round when a clash of heads in the sixth opened a cut over his right eye. Tabiti even had a point deducted for a low blow later in the same round, but Dorticos took it all in stride.
During the seventh round, it was Dorticos who was warned for a low blow. But three rounds later during the 10th, the Cuban boxer lived up to his nickname of “KO Doctor” when he caught Tabiti with a massive right hand to the chin to knock the American out for the first loss of his career. Dorticos snatched the interim IBF cruiserweight strap in the process.
“I thought Tabiti started well, but the clash of heads seemed to fire up Dorticos and when he lands those shots, one of them is going to get through and you saw the result,” Sauerland told Sporting News prior to the post-fight press conference. “It was a real war, but once again Dorticos has shown why he is one of the biggest punchers in boxing.”
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