In a terrific fight, Oleksandr Usyk landed more total punches and was the busier fighter in terms of total punches. Mairis Briedis threw 144 more power punches and had a slight edge in power connects. Usyk dominated the jab department, landing 91 of 550 to 46 of 137 for Briedis.
Arena Riga, Lativia - In the first semi-final bout of the cruiserweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series tournament, Aleksandr Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs) won a twelve round majority decision over previously undefeated Mairis Briedis (23-1, 18 KOs) to unify the WBO,WBC cruiserweight titles in a very exciting contest where both boxers had their moments. The scores were 114-114 for the draw, 115-113, 115-113 for Usyk.
Usyk will now moved forward to the final fight of the WBSS, and faces the winner of next Saturday's semi-final unification between WBA champion Yunier Dorticos and IBF champion Murat Gassiev - which takes place in Russia.
A very hot crowd, mostly for Briedis, was loud from the every start as both boxers were giving their best to control the pace of the fight. Usyk was working a very good jab, but it appeared that Briedis landed the more effective punches in the first round.
Briedis continued to push the pace with the harder punches in the second round and was really taking the fight to Usyk. The Olympic gold medal winner was starting to warm up and was landing some solid shots of his own.
As the second half of the fight came around, Briedis' workrate slowed down and Usyk began to take over the contest.
The eleventh saw Usyk come out with a lot of pressure, looking to close out strong on the final two rounds. Briedis would eventually let those hands go and they were back to trading hard shots. This time it was Briedis who had the edge with some solid hits. Usyk came back out with the pressure in the twelfth, but then it was Brieidis who was pushing him back. Usyk returned fire with some solid combinations. Usyk was really controlling things, until it appeared that Briedis may have stunned Usyk and then rallied hard for the entire final minute.