It has been an eventful quarterfinal round in the second season of the World Boxing Super Series and now the first round will conclude in Chicago on November 10 with the last two spots in the cruiserweight semifinals being decided.
In the main event, former WBC champion Mairis Briedis will look to punch his ticket into the semifinals when he faces off against Noel Mikaelian.
Briedis has always been considered one of the best cruiserweights in the world, but he was not able to win the first cruiserweight tournament. Briedis lost in the semifinals earlier this year when he gave eventual tournament winner and current undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk arguably the toughest fight of his pro career. Now Briedis is the favorite to win the second tournament and potentially could get another shot at Usyk, which in turn could mean a shot at the undisputed title.
Mikaelian lost his first pro fight in May 2017 when he lost a split decision to Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. Since then, Mikaelian won a wide unanimous decision against Isiah Thomas in September 2017, but has been out of action since then. After being out of the ring for 14 months, Mikaelian is perhaps the biggest underdog in the whole tournament when looking at the first-round matchups.
As for the co-main event, Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Maksim Vlasov is an interesting match between a former world champion in Glowacki and a former contender in Vlasov who has yet to pick up a signature victory.
Glowacki was arguably one of the best cruiserweights to not be a part of the World Boxing Super Series last year, but now has a chance to re-establish himself as a top cruiserweight by winning this second tournament. Glowacki has bounced back nicely since losing his WBO title to Usyk in 2016, winning his last four fights, three of which came by knockout.
Vlasov has been a pro boxer since 2005, but when it comes to getting career-defining victories, he's still looking for it. Vlasov has won a number of regional titles from super middleweight all the way up to cruiserweight, but will put his career at an all-time high if he defeats Glowacki.
While a spot in the semifinals is already enticing enough, the WBO created an incentive for the fight. Even though Usyk is defending his world title against Tony Bellew on November 10, the organization has gone on ahead and created an interim title. That interim title will be on the line in this fight, putting the winner in a good spot to become the full champion if the winner were to eventually vacate the belt whether it would be due to Usyk moving up in weight after the fight or Bellew retiring if he wins.
Tale of the Tape: Mairis Briedis vs. Noel Mikaelian
Record: 24-1 (18 KO)
Titles Won: WBC Cruiserweight World Title
Notable Fights: Oleksandr Usyk, Marco Huck, Manuel Charr
Record: 23-1 (10 KO)
Titles Won: WBO International Cruiserweight Title
Notable Fights: Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Tale of the Tape: Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Maksim Vlasov
Record: 30-1 (19 KO)
Titles Won: WBO Cruiserweight World Title
Notable Fights: Oleksandr Usyk, Steve Cunningham, Marco Huck
Record: 42-2 (25 KO)
Titles Won: WBC Silver Cruiserweight Title
Notable Fights: Gilberto Ramirez, Isaac Chilemba
Betting Odds (Provided By PaddyPower.com):
Mairis Briedis vs. Noel Mikaelian:
Mairis Briedis Win: 1/20 (Betting Favorite):
Noel Mikaelian Win: 9/1 (Betting Underdog):
Fight Ends In A Draw: 33/1
Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Maksim Vlasov:
Krzysztof Glowacki Win: 10/11
Maksim Vlasov Win: 5/6
Fight Ends In A Draw: 22/1