As the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament is about to wrap up its semifinal bouts this weekend, new developments have added a lot more stakes to the overall tournament.
While the likes of Mairis Briedis and Yunier Dorticos were unsuccessful in winning the 2018-19 tournament and becoming the undisputed cruiserweight champion, they will now have the opportunity to recapture world titles in this tournament.
With last year’s finalists Aleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev making the trek to the heavyweight division, this left a massive void in the cruiserweight division and this edition of the World Boxing Super Series will not only look to crown the division’s next king, but also the next unified champion.
In recent weeks, the WBC and WBO titles were no longer in Usyk’s hands, leaving them up for grabs. The WBO elevated Krzysztrof Glowacki from interim titleholder to full champion and then the WBC announced Glowacki and Mairis Briedis will fight for the vacant world title, meaning two belts will be on the line when they meet.
Out of everyone remaining in the tournament, Briedis may have the biggest to be the tournament’s favorite. Not only was he a former world champion, but he arguably gave Usyk the toughest fight of his pro career, fighting to a majority decision loss in last year’s semifinals.
As for Glowacki, the now two-time world champion has faced a number of reputable cruiserweights throughout his career, including Usyk, Marco Huck and Steve Cunningham. Glowacki entered the tournament as one of the favorites and despite an impressive resume, he was never considered the top dog at 200 pounds. With Usyk and Gassiev competing at heavyweight, Glowacki could finally cement his place as the true best cruiserweight in the world by not only beating Briedis but also winning the WBSS.
The other semifinal bout, taking place on the same card, will have Dorticos look to advance to the semifinals by facing unbeaten contender Andrew Tabiti.
Dorticos may be the hardest puncher in this tournament and is looking to become a two-world champion and one-time WBSS finalist after falling short in last year’s semifinals. Since a loss to Gassiev in an early “Fight of the Year” contender in February 2018, Dorticos is looking at the WBSS as perhaps his last opportunity to win another cruiserweight championship.
Tabiti entered the tournament as perhaps the odd man out given that he is the only American to enter the cruiserweight tournament. Tabiti already had a fairly tough outing in the quarterfinals, winning a close decision against Ruslan Fayfer in Russia last year.
Should Tabiti win this fight, he would have a very impressive win on his resume and the momentum could potentially put him in a great position to win the whole thing. If Tabiti pulls off a run to the tournament finals and win, not only would he crash the cruiserweight division by becoming the division’s next big star, but also give boxing something rare: an American cruiserweight world champion.
The card, taking place in Riga, Latvia, will be streamed on DAZN on June 15 starting at 2 p.m. ET, meaning viewers will also see a select number of undercard fights.
Below are the main card fights on DAZN:
- Mairis Briedis vs. Krzysztof Glowacki: Unified WBO and WBC Cruiserweight Titles/World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight Semifinals
- Yunier Dorticos vs. Andrew Tabiti: World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight Semifinals
Tale of the Tape:
Mairis Briedis vs. Krzysztof Glowacki
Record: 25-1 (18 KO)
Notable Opponents: Aleksandr Usyk, Marco Huck, Mike Perez, Manuel Charr
Titles Won: WBC Cruiserweight Title
Record: 31-1 (19 KO)
Notable Opponents: Aleksandr Usyk, Maksim Vlasov, Steve Cunningham, Marco Huck
Titles Won: WBO Cruiserweight Title
Yunier Dorticos vs. Andrew Tabiti
Record: 23-1 (21 KO)
Notable Opponents: Murat Gassiev, Dmitry Kudryashov, Mateusz Masternak
Titles Won: WBA Cruiserweight Title
Record: 17-0 (13 KO)
Notable Opponents: Steve Cunningham, Ruslan Fayfer
Titles Won: NABF Cruiserweight, USBA Cruiserweight Titles