When the visiting finalist, Yuniel Dorticos, broke down and knocked out Andrew Tabiti in Riga in June to secure a spot in the 200lbs final, he gained fans in the hometown of his opponent, Mairis Briedis. The Arena Riga is not the lion’s den, but a home away from home.
“I truly feel at home in Riga,” said the Cuban IBF champ based in Miami, Florida.
“The people and fans in Latvia are amazing. I felt their support in June – I don’t expect them to support me against their hero – but I feel they respect what I’m capable of and I was received with open arms when I visited the city in January for the kickoff press conference. It Latvia they know what boxing is about.
“I’m training harder than ever and can’t wait to come back. It doesn’t get bigger than fighting for the Muhammad Ali Trophy at a sold-out arena. The fans can expect a fight that will go down in history books as a classic.”
Briedis and Dorticos can expect to battle it out in front of a capacity crowd in their WBSS Cruiserweight Ali Trophy final at the Arena Riga on March 21.
“Tickets are selling at phenomenal speed, this event is going to sell out!” said Kalle Sauerland, Chief Boxing Officer of the WBSS.
“Most of the low-price category are gone and the last batch of tickets has now been released. We can’t predict the outcome of the final, but we already know it’s going to be electric on March 21 inside the Arena Riga.”