In a main event that didn't start until 1 am local time in Riga, Latvia, hometown hero Mairis Briedis took a final step to a cruiserweight world title fight, stopping Olanrewaju Durodola at the end of the ninth round in a WBC eliminator.
Briedis (20-0, 17 KO) really gave Durodola (22-3, 20 KO) a beating in the fight, starting especially in the fourth round when he started to consistently hurt the Nigerian slugger. Durodola absorbed a ton of punishment going forward, and also lost a point in the third round for hitting on the break, while Briedis lost one in the sixth for holding.
Durodola was down in the sixth round, and took another count in the ninth. His legs were pretty well gone for at least the latter half of the bout, as he just continued to take punishment, though he did sometimes fire back and clip Briedis during an attack. It wasn't nearly enough, though, and the end result was the referee stepping in to call a halt to the bout late in the ninth round, having given Durodola plenty of opportunity.
The WBC cruiserweight title is currently vacant, and will be decided on May 29 at Goodison Park Stadium in Liverpool, England, when Tony Bellew (26-2-1, 16 KO) faces Junior Makabu (19-1, 18 KO). The winner of that fight is now obligated to face the power punching Briedis, which is really quite a prize.