Former cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis will take on an unbeaten Australian standout in his next fight, but not the one you probably expected. The Courier-Mail reports that he’s “verbally agreed” to face heavyweight Justis Huni on October 29th in Brisbane.
Briedis (28-2, 20 KO), last seen warring his way to a hugely entertaining loss to Jai Opetaia, is no stranger to facing bigger men. Back in 2015, he famously overcame a 30-pound weight disadvantage to flatten Mahmoud Charr in one punch, and Huni (6-0, 4 KO) regularly weighs in below Charr’s 245 pounds.
The 23-year-old “JPH” looks a fair bit more fearsome than that incarnation of “Diamond Boy,” however. He was seen as one of Australia’s best hopes for an Olympic medal in Tokyo before aggravating a knuckle injury during a 10-round wipeout of Paul Gallen. Though Briedis is by far his toughest foe to date, his size and pedigree are not to be overlooked.
While Briedis was in position to jump right back into cruiserweight contention, I can’t really blame him for taking this fight. He’s 37 and hasn’t fought more than twice in a year since 2018; fighting Huni seems like the most lucrative option.