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WBSS: Mairis Briedis beats Noel Mikaelian with dubious decision

Briedis took the official decision, but it was certainly suspect.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Wow! I started this recap before the official scorecards were read out loud and I was sure that Noel Mikaelian had upset the World Boxing Super Series’ #1 seed in Mairis Briedis. That didn’t turn out to be the case. Briedis would end up winning a unanimous decision on official scores of 116-110, 115-111, and 114-112. Those scorecards stunned ringside announcers, the fans in attendance, and Noel Mikaelian. BLH scored the fight 115-111 for Mikaelian.

Whatever you make of the scores, Briedis certainly didn’t look like himself. He either put up an uninspired performance or he was just largely befuddled by Mikaelian’s awkward boxing style. The bout was mostly a sloppy affair, with a lot of clinching, but it was clear that Mikaelian was getting the kind of fight he preferred, using his lateral movement to dictate the engagements with Briedis and keeping him on the defensive with his counter punching.

In the fourth round Mikaelian was deducted a point for hitting behind the head when Briedis sort of turned away, which was sort of a tough break. But that evened itself out in the 10th when the referee took a point from Briedis for trying to sneak in a punch as he had Mikaelian in a headlock.

But all in all I thought that by the mid-point in the fight that Mikaelian had found his groove and was keeping Briedis on the defensive. I suppose the official judges just saw something else. So with the win Briedis moves on to the semifinals round of the WBSS tournament and takes home the WBC’s “diamond” title.

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