It’s hard to comprehend what the happened in Saturday’s World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament semifinal bout between Latvia’s Mairis Briedis (26-1, 19 KOs) and Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki (31-2, 19 KOs). This fight lasted less than seven minutes but was about as chaotic as it could get.
In the final minute of round two, Glowacki was clinched up with Briedis and landed a bad punch directly to the back of Briedis’ head. Briedis responded by turning it into an MMA fight, landing a wicked elbow flush on Glowacki’s face. Glowacki went down face-first on the canvas, leading referee Robert Byrd to dock a point from Briedis for a ludicrous retaliatory act. Even if you thought Glowacki was milking it for a DQ, the intent was pretty clear from Briedis, and he’s probably fortunate that it was only one point deducted.
Then things got crazier from there.
Shortly after the restart, Briedis used legal tactics to floor Glowacki with right hands. Glowacki beat the mandatory eight-count, and the bell sounded seconds later.
Oh you thought it was over?
Briedis and Glowacki continue to trade shots well after the bell has sounded, and Byrd didn’t intervene. He’s the one who’s supposed to step in and stop the fight when the bell sounds, as we see in MMA. Instead, he appears to move in while they’re exchanging, then backs out, and Glowacki hits the deck again. The knockdown counts, the round officially ends, and Glowacki’s corner is irate. Byrd later claimed that he never heard the bell, which is something you never want to hear from an official.
Glowacki is still clearly hurt entering round three, and with the fight turning into a ridiculous slugfest, Briedis put him away for good with the third knockdown. Absolute madness that’s all captured in the videos below:
@BriedisMairis with one of the CRAZIEST endings to a fight, and is on to the @WBSuperSeries Cruiserweight Final #BriedisGlowacki pic.twitter.com/XIcxanrMpV— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) June 15, 2019
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more wacky, Briedis admitted in the post-fight interview that he indeed heard the bell sound to end round two, but kept on swinging anyway.
"No, I heard the bell .." -- @BriedisMairis #BriedisGlowacki pic.twitter.com/imi1xm9ifp— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) June 15, 2019
Robert Byrd is really culpable for what transpired. Not just for the handling of the rabbit punch-back elbow sequence, but the subsequent failure to hear the bell is completely unacceptable. MMA fans know him as the man in charge of Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, and the 74-year-old is a veteran of the sport, but that type of failure to do your job is fight-changing. Presumably Glowacki will file a protest over that mess.
Briedis also won the WBO cruiserweight title in the process, setting him up for a showdown with IBF champion and Cuban power puncher Yunier Dorticos (24-1, 22 KOs), who had a KO of the Year contender against Floyd Mayweather-promoted Andrew Tabiti in the other semifinal.