Germany’s Noel Mikaelian believes he has what is takes to beat former WBC cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis in their World Boxing Super Series quarterfinal at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
“Boxing is a really tough sport and somehow you get addicted to it,” said 28-year-old Mikaelian (24-1, 10 KOs). “If you are a boxer, you are a boxer for life. Boxing taught me that I am really disciplined; I got a dedication for the sport and I never give up.”
Mikaelian is a former WBO Youth champion and WBO International Cruiserweight Champion, but his biggest test to date is only days away.
“The quarterfinal against Briedis… it is going to be a tough fight. He is the favorite, he is a really good fighter. He has a good school, the Soviet school, punching power. He is also a thinker in the ring, but I think I am the smarter one.
“I will do what is necessary to win. I fight after the model; hit and not get hit. That is boxing to me and how boxing should be.”
“I’ve been giving a second chance,” said Briedis (24-1, 18 KOs) one of the stars of Season I of the World Boxing Super Series.
And the Latvian sports hero is undoubtedly a favorite to take home this season’s Ali Trophy in the 200 lb division.
“I want to use this second opportunity. I am going to use it, and let us see how far I get. Each one of us in the tournament is different. It’s a very big test for myself. Both physically and psychologically.”
Last year in October the former WBC World Champion was awarded as Commander of the Order of the Three Stars, the highest state award in Latvia, for ‘outstanding achievements in sports and significant contribution to the promotion of Latvia in the world.’
“I want to show by my example that there is a need for Latvians, and not only Latvians, but for everyone in general to pull together. That people need to have fighting spirit,” said the 33-year-old.
“There are many things I have to work on myself, both physically and psychologically. I am not getting any younger, but I am going to do everything I can.
“Physically I feel good in myself. My physical indexes are good. Now, the most important thing, with God’s help, is to work hard with all my boxing techniques. I want to show what I am capable of in boxing and show what I am like.”
Mairis Briedis vs Noel Mikaelian and Krzysztof Glowacki vs Maksim Vlasov are the two cruiserweight quarterfinals when the World Boxing Super Series comes to the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.