The second World Boxing Super Series semifinal in the cruiserweight tournament finally has a date and location.
The cruiserweight semifinal matchup between WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk and WBC Mairis Briedis will take place on January 27. The site of the bout will be at the Arena Riga in Briedis' hometown of Riga, Latvia, World Boxing Super Series organizers announced. It is the same arena at which Briedis won a unanimous decision against Mike Perez in the quarterfinals of the eight-man tournament before a capacity crowd on September 30.
When the fight was first announced, promoter Kalle Sauerland said this fight, which will unify the WBO and WBC titles, will be the biggest unification bout the division has seen in years.
"We are very excited to bring the Ali Trophy to Latvia on Jan. 27. Usyk is (an) Olympic champion, world champion and the No. 1 seed in the tournament, but when he collides with national hero and world champion Briedis he will meet by far his toughest challenge in his career. This is the biggest unification fight in the division since many, many years," Sauerland said.
Usyk, a former Olympic gold medalist and the top-seeded boxer in the tournament, retained his title and won his quarterfinal match against Marco Huck on September 9. Usyk is 13-0 as a pro boxer, having held the WBO title since September 2016.
The winner of this fight will advance to the WBSS cruiserweight finals in Saudi Arabia sometime in May, facing off against the winner of the Murat Gassiev vs. Yunier Dorticos fight, which will take place in Sochi, Russia on February 3. The winner of the tournament will be considered the world's best cruiserweight and expected to hold the WBA "regular," WBO, WBC and IBF world titles.