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WBSS on DAZN Preview: Briedis vs. Mikaelian, Glowacki vs. Vlasov


By: Hector Franco

This weekend at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois the World Boxing Super Series will be in full effect with the quarterfinals of the Cruiserweight division portion of the tournament. In the main event, Latvia’s Mairis Briedis (24-1, 18 KOs) will be taking on Germany’s Noel Mikaelian (23-1, 10 KOs) for the WBC cruiserweight diamond belt. Join DAZN free for 30 days and live-stream fight night anywhere!

Fans may remember Briedis for his stint in the first season of the World Boxing Super Series. At the time of the tournament, Briedis was the WBC cruiserweight champion winning the vacant title from former cruiserweight champion Marco Huck in early 2017. Entering the tournament, Briedis was considered one of the tournament favorites including Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev. In the first round, Briedis won a clear unanimous decision over former heavyweight contender Mike Perez. The Latvian cruiserweight would then go on to face the eventual winner of the tournament in Usyk. Looking back at the level of dominance Usyk has displayed thus far throughout his career, Briedis was able to give the Ukrainian his toughest test falling short in a close majority decision loss.


Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account

Briedis’ ability to give one of the best fighters in the sport a run for their money makes him this year’s tournament favorite this season. Briedis’ opponent, Noel Mikaelian, is not well known in the United States; however, his only defeat came at the hands of Poland’s Krzysztof Wlodarczyk who also participated in last season’s cruiserweight tournament. What will be detrimental to Mikaelian is that he has been inactive for the last 14 months with his last victory coming in September of 2017 against Isiah Thomas. The fight with Briedis will be Mikaelian’s first time-fighting in the United States and just the second time for the Latvian fighter.

For a first-round opponent, it may not get any tougher than having to face Briedis. For that reason, he will be the heavy favorite to advance to the semi-finals.

The main co-feature fight will be another quarterfinal tournament bout in the cruiserweight division featuring former WBO cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki (30-1, 19 KOs) taking on Russia’s Maksim Vlasov (42-2, 25 KOs). Glowacki is best known for his exciting, action-packed style that has provided fans with some of the best cruiserweight fights of this era. The Polish fighter’s 2015 bout with Marco Huck was one of the best fights of that year and showed that he could bounce back from being knocked down earlier on to come back to win by knockout. As is the case with a vast majority of top cruiserweights, Glowacki’s only blemish on his record stems from a bout with Usyk in September 2016.

Glowacki’s opponent Vlasov has fought as low as the middleweight division with his last defeat coming at the hands of current WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez in 2015. Since then, Vlasov has won 12 fights in a row with ten of those victories by way of stoppage. The only other defeat on Vlasov’s record is against light heavyweight contender Isaac Chilemba. Needless, to say that while Vlasov has not faced the elite at cruiserweight the gap in competition between him and Glowacki is not as extensive as one would think.

The city of Chicago has one of the largest Polish immigrant populations in the United States, and as seen in his fights with Huck and Steve Cunningham, Glowacki will have a large contingent of supporters in the arena. Fans in attendance can expect an action-packed battle between Glowacki and Vlasov who are the same age (32) and will continue the international rivalry between Russia and Poland.

The fights will stream live on DAZN this Saturday, November 10th at 8:00 pm ET.

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World Boxing Super Series Featuring Glowacki and Briedis Headed to Chicago


By: Jake Donovan

The sixth and final leg of the World Boxing Super Series Season Two quarterfinals is now officially set.

A cruiserweight doubleheader will occupy the November 10 slot, which will take place at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois. Former cruiserweight titlists Krzysztof Glowacki and Mairis Briedis will appear in separate bouts, both undoubtedly eager to scout the other as there stands the likelihood of facing off further down the line in the WBSS Cruiserweight tourney.


Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account

The billed main event pits Briedis—a semifinalist in WBSS Season One— verus Noel Mikaelian, whose own dreams of entering the inaugural WBSS Cruiserweight tournament were thwarted in a preceding loss to eventual entrant Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. The co-main event—and more favorable local attraction, given the city’s thriving Polish community and its proven track record of supporting boxing in the area—pits Season One alternate Glowacki versus Russia’s Maksim Vlasov.

Briedis entered the first WBSS tournament as an undefeated titlist, advancing to the semifinal round before dropping a competitive decision to eventual tournament winner Oleksandr Usyk this past January in his homeland of Riga, Latvia. He returned to the win column on the undercard of Usyk’s tournament win in July, taking a 10 round decision over Brandon Deslarurier.

The forthcoming clash versus Mikaelian (23-1, 10KOs) will mark just his second pro bout in the United States. This occasion comes with far more notoriety than a club fight in North Carolina in his 9th pro bout—but in his mind, just as hungry and with a lot to prove.

“I am really looking forward to fighting in Chicago,” said Briedis (24-1, 18 KOs), who beat Marco Huck in March ’17 to begin a cruiserweight title reign which lasted just 10 months. “I am happy to be back in the World Boxing Super Series, and I am looking forward to fighting in front of a U.S. crowd.

“I am sure there will also be a lot of Latvians in the arena to help create a fantastic atmosphere.”

There will also be an opponent with a lot to prove after just missing out on the parade last time around.

Mikaelian (better known as Noel Gevor) came up just short in a title eliminator versus former champ Wlodarczyk last May, the split decision loss costing him a place in the cruiserweight tournament. The 28-year old contender from Germany has fought just once since then, a shutout win over Isiah Thomas last September.

Neither his aforementioned loss or a year-long inactive period has the boxer the least bit concerned about what is undoubtedly the stiffest test of his seven-year career.

“There are only world class fighters in this tournament, but I believe my ring IQ will give me the edge to win it,” Mikaelian insists.

The main event participants are hardly the only boxers on the bill looking to send a message.

With 13 years in the game, Vlasov (42-2, 25KOs) comes in as the most experienced among the eight-man cruiserweight field. He also has the last to show for it, coming up short during his years as a super middleweight in respective losses to Isaac Chilemba and Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez, the latter whom serves as an unbeaten super middleweight titlist.

The latter setback came in Jan. ’15, having since moved up to the cruiserweight division where he has won his last 12 starts. The most notable have come in separate knockout wins over revered punchers Rakhim Chakhkiev (Dec. ’16) and most recently Olanrewaju Durodola this past February in Russia.

In Glowacki (30-1, 19KOs), Vlasov faces his most dangerous challenge to date—even more so with his opponent eager to return to the top of the cruiserweight mountain.

The 32-year old southpaw from Poland grabbed headlines with his off-the-canvas knockout win over Marco Huck to become cruiserweight champion in their Aug. ’15 Fight of the Year-level war in New Jersey. His rabid Polish supporters in attendance cheered him through a 6th round knockdown, with Glowacki peeling himself off the canvas to later drop and eventually stop Huck, thus ending his record-tying cruiserweight title reign in the process.

Just one successful defense came of his reign, a 12-round points win over former two-time titlist Steve Cunningham in April ’16. His days as a titlist came to an end in a decision defeat to Usyk in their Sept. ’16 clash in Poland, having since won four straight.

Fittingly, his bout with Vlasov comes on the same night that Usyk will defend his undisputed World cruiserweight championship, several time zones away and earlier in the day versus Tony Bellew in London.

It only adds fuel to his fire.

“The plan is simple: take it all, give nothing back,” Glowacki promises. “I have been waiting for a long time for my chance, and I am full of power and great energy.

“I am going to win this tournament and become world champion again!”

Season Two of the World Boxing Super Series showcases three weight classes—bantamweight, super lightweight and cruiserweight—with the quarterfinals round featuring doubleheaders every weekend from October 7 through November 10.

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PBC on NBC Results: Browne wins controversial SD; Glowacki defends his Title & Spence dominates in 5


PBC on NBC Results: Browne wins controversial SD; Glowacki defends his Title & Spence dominates in 5
By: Matt Becher

Live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Premier Boxing Champions put on an exciting fight card live on NBC Primetime. Undefeated Light Heavyweights Marcus Brown and Radivoje Kalajdzic mixed it up, looking to take another step up the ladder in their weight division. The fight was ugly and ended with a controversial decision

Krzysztof Glowacki was able to defend his WBO Cruiserweight title for the first time against fading veteran Steve Cunningham. Though Cunningham was able to put up a valiant effort, the story of the night was how tough Glowacki really might be.

The main event was a showcase for Spence Jr. The former Olympian may just be the next big thing to hit the sport. He lived up to his reputation and maybe even surpassed it. Knocking out a former world champion with relative ease, something that Provodnikov, Pacquiao and Khan could not do.

Photo Credit: Lucas Noonan / Premier Boxing Champions

Marcus Browne (17-0 13KO) v. Radivoje Kalajdzic (21-0 14KO): Light Heavyweight

This fight started off ugly, and pretty much stayed that way for its entirety. Browne was able to score a knockdown in the first round, but it looked more to have been a slip by Kalajdzic. Both fighters fought recklessly through the fight, throwing wild punches, with little defense.

Browne looked more like an amateur and not a fighter moving his way up. Kalajdzic fought in enemy territory and was able to floor Browne with a very nice combination that legitimately hurt Browne.

The final three rounds were Kalajdzic hitting Browne and Browne holding on. The score cards were close, but it seemed to have swung the wrong way. Even the crowd booed the local man’s Split Decision victory.

Browne SD8 76-75 & 76-74 Browne, 76-74 Kalajdzic

Krzysztof Glowacki (25-0 16KO) v. Steve Cunningham (28-7-1 13KO): WBO Cruiserweight title

A great deal may have been seen tonight in the Cruiserweight division, and that is the newest champion Krzysztof Glowacki is going to be around for a while.

Glowacki started out fast landing a counter left in the second round, putting Cunningham down within the first 30 seconds of the round. Another exchange quickly there after saw Cunningham go down for a second time in the second round. Glowacki has great power. Cunningham was able to land his jab effectively for most of the fight, but would get caught with a power counter at the end of most of his exchanges.

Glowacki took some power shots that would have put most Cruisers on their backs, maybe even some heavyweights, but he never wavered. Glowacki showed that his chin was just as strong as his left hand.

In the 9th round Cunningham showed a bit of a comeback, but seemed to be bothered by a swelling over his right eye caused by an accidental head butt. In the 10th Glowacki was able to land a short right hook that put Cunningham down for a third time. Cunningham came back fiercely with two flush right hands to the chin of Glowacki, but to no effect.

The final round was action packed, both guys going for a knockout, Glowacki again came out with the better shots in the final round, dropping Cunningham and winning a Unanimous Decision.
Glowacki UD10 116-108, 115-109(2x)

Errol Spence Jr. (19-0 16KO) v. Chris Algieri (21-2 8KO): Welterweight

Spence came out of the corner with a chip on his shoulder. He immediately showed off his speed and power. He landed thunderous body blows to the ribs and mid-section of Algieri. Algieri would occasionally test Spence’s chin, but it was to no avail. Spence had no respect for any of Algieri’s power.

In the fourth round Algieri ate a crisp left hand on the jaw that sent him to the canvas. He was able to survive the round. It wouldn’t last much longer. The fifth round had Spence come out fast and knock down Algieri. A worn down former champ, Algieri, gamely got up, only to be swarmed by Spence, who knocked down Algieri again. Spence may be the next big thing to the sport, he certainly proved himself tonight.

Spence KO5 2:12

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PBC on NBC Preview: Browne v. Kalajdzic, Cunningham v. Glowacki & Spence Jr. v. Algieri


PBC on NBC Preview: Browne v. Kalajdzic, Cunningham v. Glowacki & Spence Jr. v. Algieri
By: Matthew N. Becher

This Saturday, Premier Boxing Champions will present an exciting boxing card from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Packed with Olympians, former titlist and the WBO Cruiserweight champion. Teammates on the 2012 US Olympic team Errol Spence Jr. and Marcus Browne will reunite and put their undefeated records on the lines against each owns respected opponents. While the Co-Main event will see the return of former two time Cruiser weight world champion Steve “USS” Cunningham, in his first fight back from a brief stint at heavyweight, he will attempt to win back a world title against the undefeated Kzysztof Glowacki.

spence

Marcus Browne (17-0 13KO) vs. Radivoje Kalajdzic (21-0 14KO): Light Heavyweight

Marcus Browne is a 25 year old, undefeated Southpaw, who was a member of the 2012 US Men’s Olympic team. Browne has an impressive record and has faced some tough fighters on his quick rise up the light heavyweight division. He fought four times in 2015, winning all of his fights, including a knockout out of former titlist Gabriel Campillo and retiring veteran Aaron Pryor Jr. Browne has a very good amateur background and knows how to box, but he also carries heavy hands, with 13 of his 17 wins coming by way of the knockout.

Kalajdzic is also a young, undefeated fighter, with heavy hands. His opponents have not been up to the same standard as Browne’s, but Kalajdzic possesses stopping power in his right hand and he will look for the upset on Saturday night. Kalajdzic also fought 4 times last year with wins over Larry Pryor, William Johnson, Gilberto Domingos, and Fabio Garrido. This would be a big upset if Kalajdzic could pull it off, but he is undefeated and relatively unknown. This would be his chance to show what he is made out of on national television.

Krzysztof Glowacki (25-0 16KO) vs. Steve Cunningham (28-7-1 13KO): WBO Cruiserweight Title

Cunningham first became a world champion in 2007, traveling to Poland and winning a Majority decision against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. He defended that title against Marco Huck and ended up losing the title to Tomasz Adamek in 2008. He regained it 3 years later in Germany against Troy Ross, before losing it to eventual lineal champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez. After that fight, Cunningham decided to make a run at the heavyweight titles. Even though he was much smaller than his competition, Cunningham stayed in the division for three years, going 4-3-1, with wins over Manuel Quezada, Amir Mansour, Natu Visinia and a draw with Antonio Tarver. Cunningham was never able to put on enough weight to fully compete in the division against the very large men and decided to come back down to his natural Cruiserweight division and attempt to become a 3 time world champ.

Glowacki is a 29 year old who is coming off the biggest fight of his life. In August of last year, he ended a historic championship run by Marco Huck, coming from behind and picking himself off the canvas to Knockout Huck in incredible fashion in the final round of their “fight of the year” candidate match. Last year’s fight against Huck was Glowacki’s first fight outside of his native Poland and he proved his mettle. This has the promise to be a very exciting fight, with an old and young champion coming to stop the other with a possible unification bout later this year.

Errol Spence Jr. (19-0 16KO) vs. Chris Algieri (21-2 8KO): Welterweight

Chris Algieri is the former WBO Jr. Welterweight champion of the world. He won that title after upsetting hard hitting Russian Ruslan Provodnikov. That night certainly changed Algieri’s life forever. After hitting the deck twice in the first round and his eye swelling completely shut, Algieri proved that he could not only re adjust to a fight in very quick fashion, but that he had the heart of a champion. He turned that fight into a three year run that has seen him face Manny Pacquiao, lose a tough nosed brawl against Amir Khan, and then duke it out last year against a very game Erick Bone. Algieri has gone from the “underdog” to the “gate keeper” of the welterweight division. He will be Spence Jr.’s toughest opponent to date, and many think that Algieri could derail the former amateur standouts road to a title fight this year.

Spence Jr. is what many are calling the future of the welterweight division. Spence is a 26 year old southpaw that seems to have it all, the hand speed, footwork and power to give anyone from 140-154 trouble. Spence is riding a 5 fight knockout streak against Javier Castro, Samuel Vargas, Phil Lo Greco, Chris Van Heerden and Alejandro Barrera. Spence Jr. is a very exciting fighter, whose future looks extremely bright. He will be fighting a former champion against Algieri, and the two seem to match up well on paper. This is a big moment for Spence to shine on the big stage of a primetime nationally televised audience, and if he fights the way he is capable of, this could lead to a big fight later on this year.

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