Mairis Briedis - champion of the world!

Mairis Briedis has become Latvia's first ever world boxing champion. Briedis won the prestigious WBC and the IBO Cruiserweight titles with an outstanding display in Germany against local favorite Marco Huck.

Briedis, in only his 22nd professional fight was surprisingly dominant against his more experienced opponent and received a clear and unanimous verdict from the judges after 12 rounds.

Briedis doubled up on his jab to good effect throughout to stop Huck getting in close. The Latvian challenger also showed he was the physical equal of his opponent and Huck was unable to bully him, whatever tricks he tried.

The contrast in the fighters' corners was just as telling as that in the center of the ring with Huck's seconds screaming at him to advance while Briedis' trainers offered instruction in quiet tones that could have been a physics lecture.

Briedis' clever footwork negated the threat of Huck's renowned right hand and he showed a combination of ring craft and strength that clearly surprised commentators and the partisan Dortmund crowd as much as his opponent.

With Briedis having completely dominated the early rounds, in the 8th Huck tried to be more positive, landing a few jabs, but Briedis responded with a beautiful right upper-cut to close out the round.

The later rounds were slightly scrappy but already well ahead, Briedis smothered the increasingly desperate attempts by Huck to get into the fight while doing enough to make sure the judges could not deliver a home-friendly decision.

Despite a few tense moments while the judges' score cards were tallied, at the end of the fight, Briedis, clothed in the Latvian flag, had his hand raised by the referee and became his country's first ever world boxing champion.

It was a deserved victory and marks the former policeman's arrival in the big time of world boxing.

Congratulations Mairis!

 

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