Andrew ‘The Beast’ Tabiti is ready for a comeback and believes Mairis Briedis will take home the Muhammad Ali Trophy in the WBSS cruiserweight final against IBF champion Yuniel Dorticos on March 21 at the Arena Riga.
“I see this final going the distance with Briedis winning unanimously,” said Tabiti who was stopped by Dorticos in the 10th round with a one-shot, right-hand finish in their semi-final in June in Latvia’s capital.
“The only thing Dorticos has is a punchers chance. He tries to be aggressive but Briedis needs to stick to boxing and apply pressure. I wish both fighters good luck.”
Tabiti outpointed Russia’s Ruslan Fayfer in the quarter-final in Ekaterinburg in Russia before Dorticos destroyed his dream of winning the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
“I do want to thank the WBSS for the opportunity. I had an amazing experience during the tournament,” said the 30-year-old American residing in Las Vegas.
The brutal defeat has not dampened the ambitions of a man once considered one of the division’s most exciting prospects. Tabiti still sees a bright future for himself.
“The Beast’ will be back in the ring soon and I’m staying ready so I don’t have to get ready!
“Whoever I’m in the ring with will see a new and improved ‘Beast’! Taking a loss was a humbling experience but it only made me better and more confident and dangerous! I’m going to be world champ without a doubt! I want all the belts and I’m coming for them.”
Dorticos: “I can’t wait to come back to Riga!”
When the visiting finalist, Yuniel Dorticos, broke down and knocked out Andrew Tabiti in Riga in June to secure a spot in the 200lbs final, he gained fans in the hometown of his opponent, Mairis Briedis. The Arena Riga is not the lion’s den, but a home away from home.
“I truly feel at home in Riga,” said the Cuban IBF champ based in Miami, Florida. “The people and fans in Latvia are amazing. I felt their support in June – I don’t expect them to support me against their hero – but I feel they respect what I’m capable of and I was received with open arms when I visited the city in January for the kickoff press conference. It Latvia they know what boxing is about.
“I’m training harder than ever and can’t wait to come back. It doesn’t get bigger than fighting for the Muhammad Ali Trophy at a sold-out arena. The fans can expect a fight that will go down in history books as a classic.”
Briedis and Dorticos can expect to battle it out in front of a capacity crowd in their WBSS Cruiserweight Ali Trophy final at the Arena Riga on March 21.
“Tickets are selling at phenomenal speed, this event is going to sell out!” said Kalle Sauerland, Chief Boxing Officer of the WBSS. “Most of the low-price category are gone and the last batch of tickets has now been released. We can’t predict the outcome of the final, but we already know it’s going to be electric on March 21 inside the Arena Riga.”
Tickets for the incredible Mairis Briedis vs Yuniel Dorticos Ali Trophy showdown are on sale from €29 via bilesuserviss.lv here.
The final will be broadcast live on DAZN in the U.S. Fans can visit DAZN.com or download the DAZN app to their preferred connected device.
The road to Riga:
Mairis Briedis and Yuniel Dorticos took parallel routes to the cruiserweight final of the WBSS. Briedis beat Noel Mikaelian on points in his quarter-final in Chicago and stopped Krzysztof Glowacki in Riga via TKO in the third round of a dramatic semi-final. Dorticos claimed a points victory over Mateusz Masternak in Chicago and a 10th round knockout of Andrew Tabiti in Riga – a KO that earned the ‘KO Doctor’ the ‘Knockout of the Year’ prize across multiple media.
Muhammad Ali Trophy champions:
2018-19: Naoya Inoue, Bantamweight
2018-19: Josh Taylor, Super-Lightweight
2017-18: Aleksandr Usyk, Cruiserweight
2017-18: Callum Smith, Super Middleweight