Mairis Briedis, Latvian sports hero and Season II Cruiserweight Muhammad Ali Trophy winner, opens up on his WBSS success, Oleksandr Usyk, next career move, and much more in this honest Q&A with the World Boxing Super Series.
How have been since winning the Ali Trophy?
“I’ve been feeling very relaxed about it as with the global pandemic I’ve been very limited in enjoying the victory, meeting people who supported me, or really doing anything at all. But nevertheless, my team and I are very happy about the success in the tournament.”
What have you been thinking in regards to your future?
“In the nearest future, we should understand if we stay in the Cruiserweight division and go for interesting fights there or if we should move to heavyweight but there we want to be sure that we will fight with the very best heavyweights.”
How do you think Oleksandr Usyk has handled the move from Cruiserweight to Heavyweight?
“After the WBSS I think he had his best fight of the career against Tony Bellew and one of the best fights I’ve seen where a heavyweight is facing a cruiserweight. I certainly enjoyed watching it.
“Further I was looking forward to seeing him against Tyrone Spong but he got a different opponent and I don’t think he enjoyed that fight too much. Against Chisora I think he showed himself good enough but it didn’t seem like the usual Usyk to me. I don’t know what was the reason behind it, probably Usyk could tell you that himself but I don’t think it was the best version of Usyk out there.”
Looking back at the tournament what is your favourite memory?
“I guess I’m most happy about the fact that the Final did take place considering how difficult it was to get there. Germany is continuing to build great memories for me – I won my first belt there against Marco Huck and now the WBSS Final.“
What are you most happy with from your Season II success?
“As you saw in the tournament, every bout was different for me in the second season. In the first fight, I was fighting injuries and couldn’t show good boxing, the second fight turned out scandalous but I felt in really good shape and the third one was very tactical and technical for me.”
How have your Latvian fans responded to the victory?
“Due to pandemic I’ve not been able to meet them in person but I’ve gotten tons of messages and I appreciate every single one of them and hopefully rather sooner than later I get to do some public appearances with my fans as well.”
You look like you are back in training, how motivated are you to come back into the ring?
“Of course I want to get back to boxing as soon as possible. There’s that athlete drive in me that wants to go forward and achieve more. Hopefully, we can get back in the ring within the next few months!”