After losing out on his chance to advance to the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight finals, Mairis Briedis will at least get to be a part of the event.
It was announced Briedis has been selected as an alternate for the July 21 WBSS cruiserweight finals in case any of the finalists, Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev, pull out of the fight for any reason. As such, in case the finals do proceed as planned, he will fight on the undercard, facing once-beaten Brandon Deslaurier.
Briedis is the first Latvian to win a boxing world title having won the WBC cruiserweight title in April 2017 before he would sign on to fight in the tournament. Briedis defeated Marco Huck by unanimous decision to win the WBC title. The 33-year-old Briedis retained his title with a relatively close unanimous decision win over Mike Perez in the WBSS quarterfinals. Briedis would then lose a majority decision to Usyk in January, unifying the WBC and WBO titles.
Deslaurier, a 25-year-old fighter from France, will be make an extremely high jump in competition. Deslaurier is riding a nine-fight win streak, albeit against low-level opposition. His last fight, which took place in April, was a six-round decision win over Besarion Khutuashvili, who came into the fight with a 5-3-1 record.
Usyk and Gassiev will have their fight for the WBSS Muhammad Ali Trophy as well as the undisputed, unified WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine cruiserweight title, which would be a first for the sport’s cruiserweight division, in Moscow, Russia.