Mairis Briedis is returning to familiar territory in the World Boxing Super Series.
The former WBC cruiserweight champion won the vacant WBC Diamond title after defeating Noel Mikaelian by unanimous decision in the quarterfinals of the second WBSS cruiserweight tournament. Briedis won with scores of 112-114, 111-115 and 110-116.
The fight was bizarre with Briedis unable to effectively land anything well throughout the fight and Mikaelian didn't help himself in the scorecards by committing fouls. Mikaelian was docked a point in the fourth round for hitting behind the head when Briedis appeared to start to turn away from Mikaelian. Mikaelian did manage to hurt Briedis at certain points in the fight, including a right-hand punch to Briedis' chin late in the seventh round. By that point, Briedis was also dealing with a bloody nose.
But Mikaelian wasn't the only fighter who lost a point because Briedis tried to throw an illegal punch during a headlock. Mikaelian also had to deal with a cut over his right eye after an accidental headbutt in the ninth round that seemed to have affected him. Since the headbutt, Briedis won the remaining three rounds on one of the three scorecards, and two of the three remaining rounds on another scorecard, helping Briedis to get the narrow victory.
This was Briedis' second straight win after losing a title unification bout against current undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk in the World Boxing Super Series semifinals earlier this year.
Briedis will now fight interim WBO champion Krzysztof Glowacki in the semifinals, set to start in 2019. Glowacki defeated Maksim Vlasov in their quarterfinal matchup, which also took place on that same card at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.