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 where he will take on IBF champion Yuniel Dorticos.
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.