By Jake Donovan
Yunier Dorticos has not had a fight outside of the World Boxing Super Series in more than three years—and isn’t thinking about any other matchup beyond the tournament finals.
It was a goal of which he fell one bout short in season one but is now on the doorstep following a highlight reel-worthy 10th round knockout of previously unbeaten Andrew Tabiti.
The stoppage win Saturday evening in Riga, Latvia advanced Dorticos to the WBSS season two cruiserweight finals, accomplishing two more goals in the process—winning a second major title, and also ending this bout in spectacular fashion.
“We came for the knockout,” Dorticos stated afterward. “Not to take anything away from Tabiti, he came prepared but I returned to the tournament to win the whole thing.”
In scoring the one-punch knockout, Dorticos (24-1, 22KOs) advanced one round further than was the case a year ago. His WBSS journey and cruiserweight title reign ended with a 12th round knockout loss to then-unbeaten Murat Gassiev in their unification clash and semifinals match last February.
Barring an overturned verdict in the evening’s main event, Mairis Briedis will be next up for the Miami-based Cuban knockout artist. Latvia’s Briedis prevailed via 3rd round knockout in a wild shootout that will likely find its way to an officially filed protest. Glowacki was the victim of a blatant elbow to the chin—although coming after he landed a left hand to the base of Briedis’ skull—after which he was sent to the canvas for the bout’s first knockdown.
Referee Robert Byrd didn’t hear the bell to end the round, allowing action to continue long enough for the Polish southpaw to get sent to the canvas for a second time. Brieidis finished him off early in round three to dethrone the recently crowned World Boxing Organization (WBO) cruiserweight title, thus becoming a two-time titlist in his own right.
“I said before the fight, may the best man win and the best man won,” Dorticos said of his future rival’s performance. “It was a great victory, now we have a finals between two two-time world champions.”
Whatever comes of the paperwork following the main event, Dorticos left with what he set out to accomplish.
“I’m just so happy, this one is for everyone in the 305,” stated the 33-year old, referencing Miami’s famed area code. “I think I earned my applause here, Latvia! I gave you all another big knockout.”
A date and location has yet to be assigned for the finals. All that ultimately matters is providing a ring and a pair of gloves.
“I never care where the fight takes place,” Dorticos told BoxingScene.com through a translator. “A knockout ends the fight the same way anywhere in the world.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox