WBO Strips Briedis

Mairis Briedis is no longer the WBO cruiserweight champion, as the boxing sanctioning body has stripped of him of the title after failing to rematch with Krzysztof Glowacki.

The WBO ruled late last month that the pair must rematch within 120 days after their initial bout in June, held as a semifinal for the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), ended in major controversy. The organization ruled that if Briedis did not comply, he would be stripped of the title.

This ruling came as the result of a long appeal process enacted by Glowacki and his team. Glowacki was intentionally fouled by Briedis more than once during the second round of their fight before getting knocked down. Glowacki was knocked down a second time when referee Robert Byrd controversially let the fight continue after the bell, and Glowacki was finished in round three.

Upon their initial review in July, the WBO ruled that Glowacki was intentionally found and the referee made multiple errors in the fight, the sanctioning body was powerless to overturn the result but did state a rematch could occur 120 days after the tournament’s completion. After the Latvian commission stated it was the WBO who handled all the sanctioning of combatants, however, a three-person arbitration team took Glowacki’s appeal into consideration, with Glowacki given his desired immediate rematch on a 2-1 vote.

WBO Rules on Glowacki’s WBSS Appeal

Briedis ultimately is contractually obligated to the WBSS, leading to his stripping. Because of Glowacki’s appeal, a planned target date of Dec. 14 for the tournament final between Briedis and IBF champion Yunier Dorticos was scrapped. The two will now meet in a tournament final in early 2020.

The WBO is the second sanctioning body to pull out of the cruiserweight tournament. The vacant WBC cruiserweight title was set to be on the line as well in the Briedis-Glowacki fight, but the WBC pulled its sanctioning hours before the fight due to, coincidentally enough, concerns over the officiating.

Glowacki is now scheduled to fight for the vacant WBO title against the next highest-ranked contender. As of this moment, it is likely to be European cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie.

Original Story: ESPN

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