Briedis outboxes Dorticos
In the end, Mairis Briedis had more game.
Briedis used movement and consistency thru 12 hard rounds against Yuniel Dorticos, dethroning the IBF champion and winning the WBSS Muhammad Ali trophy by majority decision at Plazemedia Studios in Munich, Germany Saturday night.
Scores were 117-111, 114-114, 117-111.
Maxboxing judged Briedis the winner by 116-112 tally.
In round one, Dorticos, with an advantage in height and reach, moved slightly and fired his jab. Briedis, a notorious slow starter, bounced and watched, but was clocked by a serious right hand by Dorticos. Briedis connected with a left at the bell.
The intensity went up a notch in round two. Briedis (27-1, 19 KOs) came out jabbing while Dorticos worked up and down. Briedis feigned and landed a combination. Dorticos, nicknamed ‘The KO Doctor” forced Briedis into the corner and let fly. A few shots glanced off the former champions jaw.
Briedis, 35, the quicker fighter, moved left and right in round three. He slipped in an uppercut. Dorticos (24-2, 22 KOs) stalked and rocked a right. Briedis opened up and landed a couple, and a shot to the body. Doritos landed a thudding hook to the gut, but also ate a right hand in round four. Briedis is awkward and crafty. Dorticos landed a hard right.
Dorticos, 34, continued to force the action in round five. Briedis did some good work in the opening minute of the stanza. Dorticos is powerful but predictable. Briedis, seemingly knowing this, was doing a little more, but the rounds were close.
Rounds six and seven were highlighted with more give and take. Briedis continued to use his faster hands and agility. Dorticos fought back with lefts and rights. Briedis connected with a sharp uppercut that knocked Dorticos back a step. Dorticos landed a whipping right to the hip. Briedis connected with a couple of straight rights. His jab was also on point.
Briedis was feeling it and again got off first in round eight. A combo connected. Dorticos, always dangerous, slammed home a shot to the chin. Briedis took it well. He fired his own right. Dorticos dug to the body. Briedis cracked Dorticos with a left and right – while Dorticos connected with another right. Briedis was busier and more consistent.
With three rounds to go in the contest, Briedis appeared to have the edge. His well-rounded boxing was opening up scoring opportunities. Dorticos moves forward but Briedis won’t stand still. He pops Dorticos with a stiff jabs and right hands. He’s more efficient in rounds 10 and 11. A body shot stops Dorticos in his tracks. Dorticos connects with a right but Briedis rolls with the blow and fights back.
Dorticos, told by his corner he was likely behind on the cards going into the 12th and final round, came out firing big hooks, desperately trying to hurt Briedis. The now three- champion faced the assault, which ceased after a minute, kept his head, and stuck with his plan.
“It feels like a dream,” said Briedis. “I thank my wife.”