Usyk and Briedis poised for unification

The highly-anticipated World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) opens its semifinal-round action this Saturday, when undefeated WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) and WBC cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs) battle in a title unification this Saturday, airing live from Latvia. Sadly, no TV in the USA, but Super Channel is presenting the WBSS fights to readers in Canada.

In addition to Canada, the unification fight can be seen in Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, the Baltics, Netherlands, Russia, Scandinavia, Singapore, Turkey, the UK, Ukraine and the former Yugoslavian states. There may also be a live stream.

Oleksandr Usyk: “Briedis is a good fighter, but the only thing is he has what I want, his belt. I am looking forward to fighting in Riga (Latvia). It’s going to be a great event. I am sure there will be a lot of people coming from Ukraine to support me. People can look forward to an entertaining fight between two world champions, both eager to qualify for the final and win the Muhammad Ali Trophy.”

Mairis Briedis: “It is one of my dreams as a fighter to be part of one of the greatest fights of all time. I hope this fight will be a Hall of Fame fight. It has all the ingredients to become a classic. Usyk was excellent as an amateur and he has been great as a professional. It will be a tough challenge but, I believe, that I have what it takes to beat him.”

The Usyk-Briedis winner will advance to the WBSS championship final in May to fight the winner of the other WBSS semifinals match, Feb. 3 in Russia, between IBF World Champion Murat “Iron” Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs) and WBA World Champion Yunier “The KO Doctor” Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs).

In the co-featured event, Noel Gevor (23-1, 10 KOs) faces 2008 Nigerian Olympian Olanrewaju Durodola (27-4, 25 KOs) in the WBSS Cruiserweight Substitute fight. Undercard matches also scheduled to air live on Super Channel include light heavyweight Yoann Kongolo (10-0, 4 KOs) in his WBC International Silver title defense against local favorite Andreis Pokumeiko (15-12-1, 11 KOs) in a 10-round bout, and Croatian heavyweight prospect Filip Hrgovic (2-0, 2 KOs), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, faces the United Kingdom’s Tom Little (10-4, 3 KOs) in an eight-round match to open the Super Channel broadcast. An eight-round match between Latvian cruiserweight Nikolais Grisunins (6-0-1, 3 KOs) and Jozsef Darmos (8-1-1, 7 KOs), of Hungary, is the swing bout.

All fights and fighters are subject to change.

All WBSS semifinals and championship fights will also be available on Super Channel On Demand.

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