Tuesday, March 28, 2023  |


Mairis Briedis and Marco Huck to fight for vacant WBC title Saturday

Fighters Network

In light of Tony Bellew’s upset of David Haye earlier this month, the WBC has elevated an intriguing cruiserweight clash between Mairis Briedis and Marco Huck on Saturday for a vacant interim title to a vacant world title, the WBC announced on Tuesday. And no, this isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke, even if the fight is taking place on April 1.

Those who don’t care about the sanctioning bodies’ constant fidgeting might ignore this revelation and focus on the merits of the bout between the RING’S No. 6 (Huck) and seventh-ranked (Briedis) cruiserweight. But the WBC felt the need to intervene in light of Bellew’s massive upset of Haye on March 4 in London and the possibility he might not defend his cruiserweight title for some time.

Bellew (29-2-1, 19 Kos) was a cruiserweight titleholder when he challenged Haye in a lucrative bout at heavyweight. With Bellew unable to do a quick turnaround and defend his strap after his 11th round stoppage against Haye, who tore his Achilles tendon in the duel, the WBC decided to keep things moving by vacating Bellew’s title (don’t worry, he’s still “champion emeritus”) and promoting Huck-Briedis, which is scheduled for Saturday at Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany.

Latvia’s Briedis (21-0, 8 KOs) was already Bellew’s mandatory and Germany’s Huck (40-3-1, 27 KOs) is ranked No. 2 by the WBC. Bellew, as champion emeritus, has the right to challenge for the cruiserweight title “at any given time,” according to the WBC, “while maintaining his rights as a world champion.” The WBC suggested he’s still debating his next move. However, it seems conceivable he could fight the winner of Briedis-Huck if he chooses based on the wording of the WBC’s announcement.