Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Oleksandr Usyk vs. Mairis Briedis: Afterthoughts

by Cliff Rold

It’s been so much fun watching the World Boxing Super Series field whittle down at cruiserweight, there has hardly been time to ask what comes after its over.

If the answer is the winner faces Mairis Briedis this fall, would anyone be disappointed? The answer might have been different after Briedis advanced in the quarterfinals over Mike Perez. What a difference a day makes.

It was the fight of the week on paper but one could wonder how Briedis would attack Oleksandr Usyk tactically going in. After twelve rounds of big time, big man action, the countering assaults of Briedis pushed the number one seed harder than anyone in his career to date.

usyk-briedis-fight (7)

Usyk replied with a rounded performance underlining his evolution from world-class amateur to dangerous professional. The pieces are all coming together for the Ukrainian southpaw but there is still enough vulnerability to make him less than a lock to win the WBSS.

Put another way, we saw a hell of a fight on Saturday.

Let’s get into it.

The Future for Usyk: The future for Usyk is crystal clear. He is going to the final of the WBSS now with two divisional titles around his waist. He added the WBC strap in his fourth WBO defense, beating Evander Holyfield to partial unification at cruiserweight by one fight. With a win in the final, he will be undisputed at an edge of three fights.

That wouldn’t make him better than Holyfield but Usyk (14-0, 11 KO) but it gives an idea how impressive this early run is for him. He’s not taking an easy path and the rewards are building. He will face the winner of Yunier Dorticos-Murat Gassiev. If he wins, he will have decisions to make.

Is there a heavyweight future for Usyk? He has to win the tournament first. That’s still if, not when.

The Future for Briedis: Briedis may have lost but he did himself proud in front of a home crowd in Latvia. He also raised his stock in the loss. Briedis fought his heart out and refused to wilt when Usyk seemed to take over the fight for a few rounds starting in the seventh after a close first half. His effort in the final minute of the fight was fantastic, showing why the fight was kept so close. Usyk was busier but Briedis was always there, waiting, a big power shot away from rallying.

Briedis is in a perfect spot to face the winner of the tournament if they elect to stay at cruiserweight. At 33, Briedis still has lots of time to add some big wins. Of course, he too could opt to go up. The WBA is supposed to stamp a seal of approval on Manuel Charr-Fres Oquendo for their not-Anthony Joshua belt. Briedis (23-1, 18 KO) already has a knockout of Charr on his record. With his speed and canny timing, he could make noise in the unlimited class.

Rold Picks 2018: 2-0

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Clegg on 01-29-2018

According to an article posted here a few days ago, 2 other hard punching undefeated guys (Mehry and Goulamirian) are fighting for the WBA regular title in March. So that most likely means after Dorticos-Gassiev they will recognise the winner…

Comment by john l on 01-29-2018

Wow they block out Fight news????????????

Comment by john l on 01-29-2018

[QUOTE=DuckAdonis;18446444]Yeah you can trust boxrec on factual stuff...this is factual stuff. Nothing subjective like ratings. It says Gassiev-Dorticos is for the IBF and WBA super world title. Look it up[/QUOTE] Yea I seen it but they have been off on…

Comment by DuckAdonis on 01-29-2018

[QUOTE=john l;18446434]I think WBSS is just selling Dorticos 'regular' title and boxrec I only trust for records.Have you seen their ratings?Horn #2at 47 and canelo pfp#1 smdh.But anyways like I said I hope its true but how can they strip…

Comment by john l on 01-29-2018

[QUOTE=DuckAdonis;18446410]Thats what it says on boxrec and the WBSS website[/QUOTE] I think WBSS is just selling Dorticos 'regular' title and boxrec I only trust for records.Have you seen their ratings?Horn #2at 47 and canelo pfp#1 smdh.But anyways like I said…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (22)
Top Headlines Photos: Michael Dutchover, Bergman Aguilar Ready For Battle Chocolatito Wants To Take Things Slow, Adapt More To 115 Lemieux on Canelo: I'll Be The Underdog, I Can Surprise Everyone Photos: Victor Ortiz, John Molina Come Together For Media Day Amir Khan: People Think I Can't Take a Shot Jhonny Gonzalez vs. Tomas Rojas on October 6, Mexico City Trey Lippe-Morrison Back in Training With Roach at Wild Card Joe Noynay Breaks Foe To Retain, Toyogon Vaporizes Bolcio Photos: Yuriorkis Gamboa, Miguel Beltran - Go Face To Face Alimkhanuly, Ualikhanov Set To Make Top Rank Debuts Joe Cortez Joins Devin Haney Promotions Magsayo, Brian Norman, Mendoza, Brandun Lee Back on 10/6 Lomachenko-Pedraza Shifts To MSG on 12/8, New Plans For 12/1 Gamboa: Me and Juanma Felt Marlins Park Was Perfect For Event HBO's Lampley: Overwhelming Majority Saw Golovkin Win, Twice Photos: Price vs. Kuzmin, Campbell vs. Mendy - Face To Face Charr Shocked as Positive Drug Tests Cancel Oquendo Fight Photos: Joshua, Povetkin - Face To Face at Final Press Conference O'Shaquie Foster Motivated To Shock Jon Fernandez on ShoBox Joshua Prepared For 'Good Scrap;' Hopes to Stop Povetkin in 8th Ryan Garcia Believes Tyson Fury Will Upset Deontay Wilder Bob Arum: HBO and Showtime Don't Belong In Boxing Anymore Whyte: I'll Get In Joshua's Head, Knock Him Out In Our Rematch Hearn: If Fury is KO'd By Wilder, The Joshua Fight Never Happens James Tennyson Aims To Dominate, Pressure Tevin Farmer Hearn Warns Team Wilder: Hurry Up, You Haven't Got Long Golovkin Opponents Split on Canelo Rematch Outcome Ngabu vs. Merhy in Play For EBU Strap After Jur KO Loss Joshua vs. Povetkin: The Joys of Disappointment Abel Sanchez Not Surprised Canelo Withstood Golovkin's Power Mikey Garcia: My Main Target, Focus and No. 1 Goal is Spence! Adonis Stevenson vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk Card Coming Together Pacquiao Says No Tune-Up Needed, Mayweather May Have One Miguel Roman: Miguel Berchelt Will Not Withstand My Pace Yuriorkis Gamboa, Juan Manuel Lopez Doubleheader on 11/10 Sergio Martinez Discusses Unbeaten Prospect Jon Fernandez Photos: Luke Campbell, Yvan Mendy, Okolie, Askin - Workouts Photos: David Price, Sergey Kuzmin - Open Workouts Photos: Anthony Joshua, Alexander Povetkin - Putting in Work Fury on Wilder: Klitschko Hit Really Hard Too, It Didn't Affect Me!
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement