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The Early Days H1R5L3T

Mairis Briedis (born 13 January 1985) is a Latvian professional boxer. He is a three-time cruiserweight world champion, having held the IBF and Ring titles from 2020 to 2022; the WBC title from 2017 to 2018; and the WBO title in 2019. Upon winning the WBC title in 2017, he became the first Latvian to hold a world boxing title. He was awarded the Order of the Three Stars in 2017.

As a professional, he has fought world champions Oleksander Usyk, Marco Huck, Krzysztof Głowacki, Manuel Charr, and Yuniel Dorticos. As of November 2022, he is ranked as the world’s third best active cruiserweight by The Ring magazine, BoxRec, and second by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.

Early career

Professional career

 At the age of 24, after previously serving as a Latvian State Police officer in Rīga, Briedis turned professional in 2009. He racked up multiple wins in his home country and abroad, including a second-round technical knockout (TKO) of former heavyweight title challenger Danny Williams.

He captured the IBA cruiserweight title along the way. Briedis’ first fight of note came in 2015 when he moved up in weight and traveled to Russia to face former heavyweight title challenger Manuel Charr. Briedis knocked out his much bigger opponent with a single punch in the fifth round. In 2016, Briedis knocked out hard-hitting Nigerian Olanrewaju Durodola in a slugfest to capture the WBC Silver cruiserweight title. This made him the mandatory challenger for the winner of Tony Bellew and Ilunga Makabu. Briedis was ringside for the fight and congratulated the victorious Bellew in his dressing room afterward. Briedis then fought in the UK for the first time in a stay-busy fight against Simon Vallily on the undercard of Bellew’s first title defense against BJ Flores. Bellew vacated his title in early 2017, meaning the vacant title would be on the line in Briedis’ next fight.

Briedis vs. Huck

Due to Tony Bellew fighting David Haye instead of taking on Briedis, the WBC ordered a match for the WBC interim cruiserweight title between Marco Huck and Briedis. The winner would earn a fight with Bellew for the full WBC title or possibly be elevated to full championship status if Bellew decided to vacate and stay at heavyweight. As Bellew didn’t plan to defend his title for a while, he vacated the title in March 2017.

On 1 April 2017, Briedis captured the vacant WBC cruiserweight title by defeating Huck via unanimous decision (UD) (118–109, 117–110, 116–111). Huck was deducted a point after an accidental clash of heads. Briedis was able to outbox the former two-time champion and prevent him from having any success on the inside during the fight. Some boxing pundits had Briedis winning every round in the fight. The IBO title, previously held by Huck, became vacant due to Briedis not paying the sanctioning fees.

2017–18: World Boxing Super Series 

On June 2, 2017, Briedis announced his participation in the first-ever World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), a tournament where the victor would be awarded a prestigious grand prize, including the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy. Briedis enthusiastically referred to this bracket-style competition as the ‘Champions League of boxing’.

Briedis vs. Perez

During the Draft Gala event held on July 8th in Monte Carlo, Mairis Briedis selected Mike Perez, a former heavyweight contender with a record of 22–2–1, including 14 knockouts, as his opponent for the quarter-finals. Perez had been absent from the ring for 25 months before making the decision to compete in the 200-pound limit division, where he won his first fight with an impressive first-round knockout on June 10, 2017.

Subsequently, on July 22, the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) announced that the bout would be hosted in Briedis’ homeland of Latvia at the Rīga Arēna in Riga, scheduled for September 30, 2017. Remarkably, this marked the eighth time Briedis would showcase his skills at the arena.

In a hard-fought contest, Briedis emerged victorious against Perez, securing a unanimous decision victory over twelve rounds (with judges’ scores of 116–110, 115–111, and 114–112). Both fighters were penalized with point deductions, with Perez losing a point in the third round due to an accidental clash of heads, and Briedis having a point deducted in the tenth round for excessive holding. With this impressive win, Briedis advanced to the semi-finals, where he would face the top-seeded Oleksandr Usyk.

Briedis vs. Usyk 

Briedis had the next fight against Usyk (13–0, 11 KOs), following the latter’s win over Marco Huck. In November 2017, it was reported the fight would take place on 27 January 2018 in Riga, Latvia, a week before Gassiev vs. Dorticos would take place. Arēna Rīga was confirmed as the location by Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer Kalle Sauerland. Usyk came in at 199.5 pounds and Briedis weighed 199.1 pounds. Usyk moved on to the final of the tournament after defeating Briedis via majority decision (MD). With a high work rate, Usyk controlled most of the fight with his jab, putting on pressure when needed. Briedis was credited with landing the harder punches. The opening four rounds where closely contested and Usyk was cut from a head-butt over his right eye in round three. From round five, Usyk became busier and took control of the fight, although he was still hit with some hard shots to the head from Briedis. One judge scored the fight 114–114, whilst the remaining two judges scored the fight 115–113 in favour of Usyk. After the fight, Usyk stated it was the hardest fight of his career. According to CompuBox stats, Usyk landed 212 of 848 punches thrown (25%) and Briedis was more accurate, landing 195 of his 579 thrown (33.7%). Usyk landed 40% of his power punches. Many boxers and pundits praised the fight.

2018–19: World Boxing Super Series 

In August 2018, Briedis, along with Yuniel Dorticos, entered a second edition of the WBSS. Unlike the inaugural tournament, there was no world champions, as Usyk had unified all the titles. Mateusz Masternak, Krzysztof Głowacki, and Maxim Vlasov were other top contenders to join.

Briedis vs. Gevor 

As the #1 seed, Briedis chose to fight German boxer Noel Gevor (23–1, 10 KOs). Gevor was ranked at #14 by the WBC. On 26 September, it was announced that the Briedis vs. Gevor bout, along with the Głowacki vs. Vlasov would take place as a doubleheader on 10 November at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, US

 

 

Briedis vs. Głowacki

On 15 June 2019 Briedis won the WBO cruiserweight title in a controversial fight against Głowacki (31–1, 19 KOs). Briedis won by TKO in the third round but appeared to intentionally foul his opponent with an elbow strike after being hit on the back of the neck in the second. The WBO’s report on the fight also stated that the referee Robert Byrd made ‘multiple errors’ in officiating the fight and ordered a rematch. Briedis was later stripped of the title after refusing to defend it in a direct rematch fight with Głowacki rather than proceeding with the WBSS tournament Final.2017–18: World Boxing Super Series 

On June 2, 2017, Briedis announced his participation in the first-ever World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), a tournament where the victor would be awarded a prestigious grand prize, including the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy. Briedis enthusiastically referred to this bracket-style competition as the ‘Champions League of boxing’.

Briedis vs. Dorticos 

Briedis was scheduled to face Yuniel Dorticos on 26 September 2020 at the Plazamedia Broadcasting Center in Munich, Germany, for the WBSS tournament final. Mairis Briedis beat Yuniel Dorticos by majority decision in their 12-round contest on Saturday 26 September 2020 at Plazamedia Broadcasting Center in Munich. The scorecards were announced as 111-117, 114-114, 111-117 in favor of winner Mairis Briedis. The fight took place over rounds in the Cruiserweight division, which meant the weight limit was 200 pounds (14.3 stone or 90.7 KG). This was the final of the World Boxing Super Series. This was a unique fight as there were almost no spectators because of the coronavirus precaution in the EU.

Briedis vs. Mann 

Briedis was booked to defend his IBF and The Ring cruiserweight titles against the former WBO International titlist and one-time IBO Cruiserweight title challenger Artur Mann. The bout was scheduled for 16 October 2021, at the Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia. Briedis made quick work of his opponent, beating him by technical knockout near the end of the third round. The stoppage was preceded by two knockdowns, one coming with 10 seconds left in the second round, while the second came 39 seconds before the knockout itself. Briedis called out the reigning WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie in his post-fight interview, stating: ‘Eddie Hearn, give Okolie the money, and we’ll make the fight. If this happens, it will be a mega fight in the UK.

Briedis vs. Opetaia Briedis was scheduled to make his second IBF and The Ring title defense against the undefeated mandatory title challenger Jai Opetaia on 6 April 2022, at the TBD venue in Australia. The bout was postponed on February 16, as Briedis tested positive for COVID-19. The bout was rescheduled for 11 May and was expected to take place at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia. The bout was once again postponed on April 8, as Opetaia suffered a rib injury, and rescheduled for July 2. Briedis lost the fight by unanimous decision, with scores of 116–112, 116–112, and 115–113. He had a late surge in the fight, during which he managed to break Opetaia’s jaw, but was unable to win enough rounds on the judges’ scorecards.

 

date opponent location result
02-07-2022 Jai Opetaia Gold Coast Convention Centre, Queensland, Australia LUD
16-10-2021 Artur Mann Arēna Rīga, Riga, Latvia WTKO
26-09-2020 Yuniel Dorticos Munich, Germany WMD
15-06-2019 Krzysztof Głowacki Arēna Rīga, Riga, Latvia WTKO
10-11-2018 Noel Gevor UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, U.S. WUD
21-07-2018 Brandon Deslaurier Olympic Stadium, Moscow, Russia WUD
27-01-2018 Oleksandr Usyk Arēna Rīga, Rīga, Latvia LMD
30-09-2017 Mike Perez Arēna Rīga, Rīga, Latvia WUD
01-04-2017 Marco Huck Westfalenhallen, Dortmund, Germany WUD
15-10-2016 Simon Vallily Echo Arena, Liverpool, England WTKO
14-05-2016 Olanrewaju Durodola Arēna Rīga, Rīga, Latvia WTKO
21-02-2016 Danie Venter Arēna Rīga, Rīga, Latvia WTKO
06-11-2015 László Hubert Palais, Frankfurt, Germany WTKO
22-08-2015 Manuel Charr Akhmat-Arena, Grozny, Russia WKO
28-07-2015 Emre Altintas Fruchthalle, Kaiserslautern, Germany WTKO
10-04-2015 Björn Blaschke Kongress Und Sportzentrum, Hessen, Germany WTKO
14-11-2014 Ismail Abdoul Olympic Hall, Liepāja, Latvia WUD
26-09-2014 Csaba Faur Palais, Frankfurt, Germany WKO
26-07-2014 Joey Vegas Ķīpsala Exhibition Centre, Rīga, Latvia WTKO
22-11-2013 Luboš Šuda Olympic Hall, Liepāja, Latvia WRDT
05-07-2013 Jérémy Ouanna Olympic Hall, Porto Carras, Greece WUD
23-03-2013 Danny Williams The Ritz, Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S. WTKO
20-10-2012 Marko Angermann Arēna Rīga, Rīga, Latvia WTKO
16-06-2012 József Nagy Sports Complex Majori, Jūrmala, Latvia WTKO
24-03-2012 Ruslan Siniavskij Arēna Rīga, Rīga, Latvia WTKO
08-10-2011 Andrejs Naglis Arēna Rīga, Rīga, Latvia WKO
02-06-2011 Josip Jalušić Arēna Rīga, Rīga, Latvia WTKO
12-06-2010 Gábor Zsalek Hala Sportowa, Krynica Zdrój, Poland WTKO
12-06-2009 Raulis Racilauskas Rīga Hanza Secondary School, Rīga, Latvia WUD

Professional boxing record

30 fights 28 wins 2 losses
By knockout W20 L0
By decision W8 L2

Mairis Briedis VS Usyk

Briedis had the next fight against Usyk (13–0, 11 KOs), following the latter’s win over Marco Huck. In November 2017, it was reported the fight would take place on 27 January 2018 in Riga, Latvia, a week before Gassiev vs. Dorticos would take place. Arēna Rīga was confirmed as the location by Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer Kalle Sauerland. Usyk came in at 199.5 pounds and Briedis weighed 199.1 pounds. Usyk moved on to the final of the tournament after defeating Briedis via majority decision (MD). With a high work rate, Usyk controlled most of the fight with his jab, putting on pressure when needed. Briedis was credited with landing the harder punches. The opening four rounds were closely contested, and Usyk was cut from a head-butt over his right eye in round three. From round five, Usyk became busier and took control of the fight, although he was still hit with some hard shots to the head from Briedis. One judge scored the fight 114–114, whilst the remaining two judges scored the fight 115–113 in favor of Usyk. After the fight, Usyk stated it was the hardest fight of his career. According to CompuBox stats, Usyk landed 212 of 848 punches thrown (25%) and Briedis was more accurate, landing 195 of his 579 thrown (33.7%). Usyk landed 40% of his power punches. Many boxers and pundits praised the fight.

 

 

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