By Jake Donovan
The last of the World Boxing Super Series Season Two semifinals action takes place Saturday evening in Riga, Latvia. The final leg offers a pair of pick-‘em cruiserweight bouts, with local favorite and Season One semifinalist Mairis Briedis squaring off versus Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki.
In the evening’s co-main event, Yunier Dorticos—who also advanced to the semifinals in Season One—faces unbeaten Andrew Tabiti.
The winners will meet in the tournament finals later this year.
Ricards Bolotniks picked up his third consecutive win, the latest coming in a 6th round stoppage of Russia’s Gasan Gasanov.
Three knockdowns in round six did the trick for the local light heavyweight, who was well on his way to victory in their scheduled eigh-round bout.
Bolotniks had the easiest fight of the night among the Latvian undercard participants, the only one of the lot who didn’t have to rally late or climb off the canvas. Gasanov (16-8-1, 13KOs) was game but ultimately outgunned both in terms of skill level and fire power despite boasting the glossier knockout to win ratio.
The emphatic end came early in round six, with Bolotniks doubled over Gasanov with a crippling body shot. The Russian journeyman beat the count, but was right back on the canvas courtesy of a left hook which landed just above the belt line.
Sensing the end was near, Bolotniks (14-5-1, 6KOs) went right after his weakened foe who was trapped in a neutral corner before crumbling to the canvas under pressure. The referee waved off the contest at 0:56 of round six.
Nikolaks Grisunins survived a major scare, recovering from a knockdown to score two of his own in a six-round decision over Czech Republic’s Vaclav Pejsar.
Scores were 58-53 across the board in favor of Grisunins in what turned out to be an entertaining cruiserweight scrap.
Things became interesting late in round two, when Pejsar (14-8, 12KOs) scored a surprise knockdown. The visiting Czech slugger had Grisunins pinned along the ropes, connecting with a right-left-right combo to floor the Latvian prospect.
Grisunins (11-1-1, 5KOs) not only recovered, but came back strong in twice flooring Pejsar in the very next round. A left hook to the body forced Pejsar to double over in pain late in the frame, beating the count but finding himself back on the deck shortly before the bell.
The two managed to remain upright for the remainder of the bout, but with Grisunins seizing control down the stretch. Pejsar danced as hard as he could to recapture the early magic. Instead, he was left with a cut outside of his left eye and running on fumes down the stretch, although offering a brave enough account to warrant future viewing.
Opening the telelast, local super middleweight prospect Jevgenijs Aleksejevs was considered fortunate to escape with his unbeaten record still intact in struggling to a split decision win over middle-aged Belarusian journeyman Siarhei Khamitski.
Scores were 58-57 each way, one card for the 44-year old Khamitski (32-18-3, 14KOs) and the other two in favor of Aleksejevs (11-0, 6KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox