Saturday, April 1, 2017
Briedis decisions Huck-Boxing Challenge
Briedis didn't score a knockdown,but seemed to hurt Huck on several occasions (especially in 8th and 9th round action) and carried the action with pressure that consistently kept Huck off balance and unable to get any serious power behind his punches.
Huck did rally in the final few rounds,but never seriously threatened to hurt Briedis.
My score was in the realm of the judges scoring as I saw it 117-111 (9-3) in rounds.
Now with Briedis holding the WBC belt and two other champions having some American television backing with WBO champ Oleksandr Usyk (HBO) and IBF beltholder Murat Gassiev having a past association with PBC,there is suddenly some life injected into the often sluggish cruiserweight division.
If not for the clueless decision by the WBA to allow Denis Lebedev to not have to defend his title against Gassiev in the bout for the vacant IBF belt (Gassiev won a deserved decision),there would be three undefeated fighters holding the four titles in the the division.
All three are good punchers with Usyk being the most skilled of the three and any combination of fights (and add WBA champ Lebedev too) would make entertaining fights to watch,
The issue might be that there is more money to be made for these guys in Europe or in the former Soviet states as all could build a rivalry built around nationalistic pride.
Gassiev (and Lebedev) are from Russia,Usyk is a Ukraine native and Briedis is a product of Latavia,so I'd think any potential unification fights would be good box office in any of other countries.
Should those battles occur,you could make a case that any of the three could be considered to be the best of the bunch with any combination being a pick 'em bout.
The cruiserweight division has the talent at the top,the biggest question of all is this-can the best fights be made?
Or is it more important to make decent money fighting at home against lesser challengers?
I'm hoping for the former,but for the short-term,betting on the latter...
Ramon Malpica and I each added one point in the boxing challenge with the Briedis victory to move the total to 32-30 for the year.