Issues With WBSS Cruiserweight Semifinals:
One of the strangest world title fights in recent memory ended with Mairis Briedis capturing the WBO cruiserweight title.
Briedis knocked out Krzysztof Glowacki early in the third round to not only win the WBO title but also advance to the World Boxing Super Series finals.
The fight was nothing but controversial as a result of a number of bizarre moments that can only be best summarized as inept refereeing. In the second round, Glowacki hit a punch to the back of Briedis which resulted in Briedis immediately connecting a hard elbow to Glowacki’s chin and knocking him down. Referee Robert Byrd told Glowacki to get back up and to resume fighting. The two kept fighting, but with Glowacki still reeling from the elbow shot, Briedis dropped Glowacki with just seconds remaining in the round.
Glowacki got back up and the round ended but Byrd claimed he never heard the bell and so the two hesitantly continued fighting and Briedis dropped his opponent to the canvas once more. Despite the round already being over and Glowacki going down roughly 10 seconds after the bell sounded, the fight continued. Early in the third round, Briedis took advantage of a clearly hurt Glowacki and landed a series of punches that ended with a right hand that knocked Glowacki out for good, ending his short reign as the WBO champion.
The fight concluded what has been a very unusual past few hours regarding the WBSS semifinals. The WBC title was originally supposed to also be on the line, but the WBC withdrew its sanctioning for this fight as a result of a dispute between it and the WBO in regards to selecting the officials for this fight.
Now Briedis, a two-time cruiserweight champion, will face Dorticos in the finals later this at a venue to be decided as well. The winner would win the unified WBO and WBC cruiserweight champion and the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
The end result of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight semifinal fight between Briedis and Glowacki has left the entire sport in a state of confusion over the series of events that led to Briedis beating Glowacki.
Glowacki spoke with The Ring through Jacek Szelagowski of Knockout Promotions and confirmed he would try and appeal the decision.
“It is hard to accept such a situation. I would never expect an elbow. I have never fought anyone who would fight like that. I was not interested in acting. I wanted to continue and win this fight with classic boxing. The elbow was really strong and clear to the chin. I did not know what happened. I do not remember a lot after that. I did not hear anything. I was trying to take my chance in a direct war. I am extremely disappointed I am not in the finals. I sacrificed everything to win that title," Glowacki said.
Even if there is a change in the fight result, whether it would be a no contest or a retroactive disqualification win for Glowacki, there's no telling if the cruiserweight finals will change. Kalle Sauerland said the plan is to have the three WBSS finals be main event bouts on their own respective shows running in September, October and November.
As for the other semifinal bout, Yuniel Dorticos advanced to the finals with an impressive outing against Andrew Tabiti
The Cuban fighter scored a vicious right to Tabiti’s chin with less than 30 seconds remaining in the 10th round and knock him out. Dorticos not only becomes the new IBF cruiserweight champion but also advance to the WBSS cruiserweight finals where he will take on Briedis
The fight started off slow with both men barely landing anything. The sixth round was by far the most eventful of the entire bout. An accidental clash of heads left Dorticos with a cut right next to his right eye and there was some fear that he was not able to continue.
Dorticos was given an option to end the fight right then and there and the fight would go to a technical decision, but he decided to keep fighting. Tabiti was also docked a point foe excessive holding and landed a couple of low blows on Dorticos.
The second half of the fight saw Dorticos be more confident and pressed the action forward on Tabiti. The fight ended near the conclusion of the 10th round when Dorticos landed a 1-2 combination that had Dorticos land a right hand to the point of Tabiti’s chin, knocking him out immediately.
Although a spot in the WBSS finals was already huge stakes in this fight, the stakes were raised significantly just hours before the fight took place. WBSS officials announced that Aleksandr Usyk vacated the IBF title, the last of his four world titles at 200 pounds, and that the vacant belt would be on the line for this matchup.
Dorticos is now a two-time world champion, having held the WBA title. Dorticos was also in last year’s WBSS cruiserweight tournament, but lost in the semifinals when he was stopped in the final round by Murat Gassiev.
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