By: Shane Willoughby
Mairis Briedis by many is seen as the number 1 fighter in the cruiserweight division. The former WBC champion has an amazing professional record with 26 wins and a single split decision loss to former undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk.
At first sight, it may seem as if his resume is far from but, but when you look at some of the names he has defeated it becomes apparent that he is a top fighter. Marco Huck, Manuel Charr, Mike Perez and a controversial knock out over Glowacki, are good names to have on anyone’s resume.
With all that said, Briedis has always been a forgotten entity in the sport by most fans, but now he has become invisible to the governing bodies. This time last year Briedis was on the verge of becoming a unified champion. Less than 9 months later he has zero belts despite the fact that he hasn’t lost.
The WBSS have done tremendous things in boxing and I’m pretty sure they have paid Briedis some heavy purses. However, In my humble opinion, his affiliation with the series has done him a massive disservice in terms of his legacy.
Briedis was the WBC champion and is now the WBC diamond champion, and has been since 2018. The WBC title was vacant for over a year. Any normal organization would have just awarded Briedis the title or given him the opportunity to fight for it.
Instead, the WBC withdrew their title from the WBSS semi-final, which meant when Briedis beat Glowacki he wasn’t about to regain the title he lost the year before. In the WBC’s defence, they had good grounds to withdraw the belt, as the refereeing was more than questionable for that fight.
However, at the time there appeared to be a silver lining, because whilst he wasn’t the WBC champion he did take Glowacki’s WBO belt. However, it was just another chance for the sport to forsake Briedis. Four months later the WBO ordered Briedis to rematch Glowacki despite the fact that they knew he was contractually obligated to the WBSS.
Unfortunately, this meant that Briedis lost his one and only world title. But at least amongst the hardcore boxing fans, Briedis was still considered as the WBC cruiserweight. He has the diamond belt and he theoretically won the WBC title in the semi-final.
Anyone with Common sense will think after all of that, the governing bodies can’t abandon him again. So the WBSS final between Briedis and Dorticos is the perfect opportunity to make a unification and finally award someone the title after almost 2 years of being vacant.
Nope, Ilunga Makabu is now the WBC cruiserweight title after defeating Michal Cieslak. It will take 1,000 years to understand the logic behind that decision. And none of us should be surprised; the only thing consistent about boxing rules is its unpredictability.
To say the Latvian has been dealt a bad hand is an understatement. His last 12 months have been nothing but a mess around. So for the Briedis fans out there, if he does defeat Dorticos in what will be an amazing triumph, don’t celebrate too soon. Expect the IBF to order him to fight Anthony Joshua to keep their belt.