Boxing has long been the daring of cinema but this Saturday night live boxing will be coming to you from a film studio in Munich, Germany.
Plazamedia Broadcasting Center will play host to the World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight final, this time between Latvia’s Marius Breidis and Cuba’s Yuniel Dorticos.
This is the fifth final of the WBSS and the second at Cruiserweight, relaunched after the previous winner, Oleksander Usyk, relocated to heavyweight.
The combatants will be competing for the unified cruiserweight championship of the world, with the IBF & The Ring belts on the line, as well as the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
In this fight week, we will look at the strengths and weaknesses of each fighter and the SimBoxx team will predict what may transpire this Saturday night.
The Champion: Yuniel Dorticos
The 34 year old ‘KO Doctor’ has had a long and storied career that has seen him progress to 24-1 and pick up two versions of the world cruiserweight title.
He held the WBA belt 2017 to 2018 beating Dmitry Kudryashov but promptly losing it to Murat Gassiev. In 2019 though he bounced back knocking out Andrew Tabiti to win the IBF version of the title.
That bout served as the semi final of the WBSS competition and not only propelled him into this final but also demonstrated where his strengths lie.
Although the fight wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing fight, Dorticos showed his balance and poise when in the 10th round he delivered a spectacular right hand knockout.
Timed perfectly he showed that as is the case with most Cubans, he is excellently schooled and has an ability to judge when and where his opponent will be in order to execute the knockout.
Power too is a key ingredient of Dorticós’ game. 22 of his 24 career wins have come by way of knockout, a KO percentage of 88%. Breidis will have to be extremely cautious of this power if he wants to see the final bell.
Dorticos is also very big for the weight, standing at 6”3 with an 80 inch reach he will have a 2 inch height advantage and a 5 inch reach advantage, something he is sure to try and exploit.
It’s hard to draw too many conclusions about his weaknesses when his only loss came in the 12th round of a hard fought battle against Murat Gassiev.
That said he has shown a susceptibility to a left hook, the shot that ultimately caused his downfall in that fight. This is something Breidis may well be looking to capitalise on.
The Challenger: Mairis Briedis
It’s hard to label the 35 year old Briedis as the challenger because of his long championship run, that said he does enter this fight without a championship belt.
The former WBC Champion ‘The Latvian Punisher’ Won vacant WBC and IBO cruiserweight titles beating Marco Huck and defended them against Mike Perez, before losing to Oleksander Usyk.
He is also the former WBO champion, winning and then quickly being stripped of the title, after his last fight against Krzysztof Głowacki.
At 26-1 he has a very similar record to Dorticos and has also faced top tier opponents, and in these fights developed a top tier set of skills.
He has a phenomenal gas tank and is very well conditioned, going the full 12 rounds in 5 of his last 6 fights. He tends to be able to go the full distance well, something we saw in his losing effort against Usyk where he continued to throw punches up until the final bell.
His combination punching is also one of his major strengths, his ability to mix it up to both body and head has served him well. We saw this in his stoppage of Simon Vallily and his dominating performance against Huck.
His weaknesses are few and far between but one that was glaringly obvious in his last fight is his temper. Against Głowacki, in a reaction to a rabbit punch, he saw red and launched a vicious elbow and punches after the bell.
He won the fight on account of poor refereeing but due to the controversy that erupted in the wake of that fight I’m sure the referee on Saturday will be more vigilant.
This is something a vetran like Dorticos will be looking to use to his own advantage.
SimBoxx Team Predictions:
Editor in Chief Luke Carney: “Dorticos will be behind on the cards but will come from behind to score a KO between rounds 9-12”
Content Writer Ewan Breeze: “I think Dorticos will be too sharp, he will use his size advantage to force an opening and punish Breidis. Dorticos by TKO, rounds 6-10”
Correspondent Bobby Gunn:“Dorticos will be most dangerous earlier, but I think Briedis is a better boxer and will break him down through the middle rounds, stopping him late. Bredis rounds 10-12”
Content Writer Aaron Ludford: “I think Briedis will get the job done stopping Dorticos later on in the fight”
Preview by Ewan Breeze for SimBoxx