Mairis Briedis eyes March return, possibly at heavyweight
Last September, Mairis Briedis won The Ring and IBF cruiserweight titles with a 12-round majority decision over big-punching Yuniel Dorticos in the final of the World Boxing Series.
The win is widely recognized as the Latvian’s crowning moment in an impressive career.
“In the cruiserweight division, I think yes,” Briedis (27-1, 19 knockouts) told The Ring through his manager Raimonds Zep. “But I hope for more in the future.”
After returning to his home in Latvia, where he completed the mandated 10 days in quarantine, he was due to jet off on a family holiday.
“We were going to go [to Turkey],” he explained. “But with the pandemic it got crazy complicated and the only option was to go one specific way and the tickets were costing €20,000 Euros. The trip was cancelled because of the pandemic.”
Things got worse in late 2020, when Briedis contracted COVID-19.
“I was ill for four days,” he said. “Two days [with a] headache, two days [with a] fever and then I couldn’t smell. This was all. It was a mild version. I think the kids from school is how I got the virus.”
The recently turned 36-year-old is remaining positive and knows his situation could be worse.
“Every day I say, thanks to God, I won the tournament, got money and it is easier for me than many other people around the world,” he said. “They go to work and live paycheck to paycheck, it’s stressful for them, it’s a challenge. I am thankful for the position I am in.”
Briedis is looking to the next chapter of his career, up at heavyweight. He has a list of five names from which he will select his next opponent.
“We’re planning maybe we are going to heavyweight; this is a new challenge for me,” he said. “With this situation in the world, every day something changes. I hope to be back in the ring at the end of March. Probably at heavyweight.
“I don’t really care where the fight takes place, preferably in Europe.
“The most important thing is for people to stay healthy. This is a good time for people to understand how happy we were without restrictions. [We must] believe and stay positive and everything should be fine in the end.”