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Mairis Briedis: The king of explorer class

Cruiserweight king Mairis Briedis spoke with Boxing Social’s Luke G. Williams about the long road to his final WBSS win against Yuniel Dorticos, and why a rematch against Oleksandr Usyk could be the “fight of the century”…

“Human nature is to forget everything that was bad or wrong and remember the good things,” Mairis Briedis mused, as she looked back on the most fulfilling fight of her professional boxing career.

The Latvian folk hero admits that the euphoria generated by his win against Yuniel Dorticos last month has erased memories of 15 months of unrelenting frustration.

After his controversial win against Krzysztof Głowacki in the cruiserweight semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series in June 2019, Briedis’ fight with the Cuban boxer was tentatively scheduled for December 2019.

After being rescheduled for March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic hit. The brief switch to May proved unworkable and some began to wonder if the tournament would ever end at all.

Finally, however, September 26 behind closed doors in Munich ended the monotonous training and remained sharp without Briedis knowing when he would be fighting next.

“It was really tough,” the 35-year-old told Boxing Socia l, his words translated by manager Raimonds Zeps. “It wasn’t just once the fight was moved either. There is always preparation going on and changing over the months. It was very difficult for me both physically and mentally.

“For March, we have completed our training and preparations. I’ve had some really tough debates with the likes of England’s Chris Billam-Smith, who are very good prospects. We don’t have easy days.

“It was dark and cold outside when we were training so it was also difficult. But we continue to restructure things so that we can face whatever is in front of us. The situation required us to show character, which we did.”

The humble Briedis showed more than character in the ring last Saturday night. Indeed, his performance was a masterclass of aggressive counter-punching, movement and footwork, as he deservedly won the Ali trophy and the IBF and Ring magazine 200lbs belts.

unnamed 4 - Mairis Briedis: The king of explorer class

How much a win means to Briedis – now 27-1 (19 KOs) and certainly worth considering for the pound-for-pound top ten – is clear.

“The dream of maybe thousands of professional boxers is something I can live with now,” he said with a smile. “It’s fantastic and makes me very happy. It’s great that I’ve accomplished something that will be in the history books. Looking back on all the work I did, it’s an amazing feeling that I accomplished something really special.

“This has taught me that if you have a goal, you have to be persistent. Even if you don’t achieve it the first time, you have to stay focused, remember your goals and then you can achieve them. It might take a long time, maybe 10 years or in my case it’s been 20 years working to get to this point.”

Back in January, when I last spoke to Briedis, he had given me insight into his usual Spartan methods and sacrifices when preparing for a fight.

“The difference between me and a lot of other boxers is that during camp even here in Riga I stay with my coach and my team,” he told me via Facetime, while enjoying a signature meal after a training session consisting of fish, rice, avocado and cheese. mozzarella.

“[I am] away from my family, away from my children. It’s like an army camp. Get up early, exercise, eat, sleep. It’s the same routine over and over again. There was no chance for me to see and play with my kids during camp.

“Sunday I was off and that was the only day I could see my family but now one of my kids is sick so I can’t go and see them. It’s a bit like being in the army. As a team, we go to church on Sundays, my team is with me and around me every day.”

Honestly refreshing and devoid of some of the grueling theatrical excesses of the game and the reverse psychology that many boxers use, Briedis is open from the start about how he will try to combat Dorticos and his right-hand man, the fearsome weapon that is largely responsible for Cuba’s impressive record. from 22 stoppages of his 24 professional wins.

“We know the Dorticos have a really hard hit,” Briedis said in January. “He’s a very experienced fighter and everyone knows his strengths. Obviously we will look for his weaknesses and we will try to avoid his strong sides.

“First of all we focus on the power of his punch. Basically, the focus is on the big punch and avoiding it as much as possible by moving as much as possible to dodge the hit. All of our work is focused on avoiding its power.”

It was a tactical plan that never deviated from Latvia’s months of waiting before the final.

Even more impressively, over the 12 rounds of fighting last Saturday, none of the frustrations of the last 15 months of waiting and training, training and waiting, proved.

Briedis’ performance focused on skill, power and ringcraft was fairly rewarded on two scorecards with an accurate score of 117-111 to his advantage (a third card of 114-114, frankly, makes no sense and should be ignored).

“Yeah, the tactic is to defend against his right hand so he will use it to the minimum and can’t land anything with it,” Briedis confirmed with satisfaction as he contemplated his performance. “Her right hand is her greatest attribute. Our tactic is to move as much as possible – everyone knows that it’s easier to hit a standing target, whether you’re shooting or in a sport like boxing.

“We planned to attack and hit back right at the eighth moment when he attacked. I would rate my performance at about 50 percent. My corner and my coach always tell me to stay behind, not to take risks because he is very dangerous. We’re playing it safe.”

Briedis was already a huge hero in his homeland of Latvia, but his fame will now reach greater heights among the proud Baltic nation of nearly two million inhabitants.

Back in 2017, he was awarded one of the country’s highest state awards – the Class III Three-Star Order. In addition to his ring exploits, his many years of work as a police officer in Riga, coupled with his determination to be a suitable role model for young Latvians, has earned him the wide admiration and worship of the young.

Briedis has spoken in the past about the “code of conduct” he hopes to adhere to himself and his supporters and the high expectations he holds for himself and others.

The support he received in Latvia, as a result, gave new meaning to the term ‘spirit’. I know of at least two British boxing writers who insisted that the atmosphere created by Riga fans when Briedis faced Oleksandr Usyk in January 2018 was the best they had ever experienced in a prize fight.

It’s no wonder that Briedis – who is often serious and sometimes hides his warm and witty personality – calls his supporters “legal doping”.

Due to Coronavirus restrictions, Briedis missed the chance to take part in the WBSS final on Latvian soil, or show off his newly won belt and Ali cup through the streets of Riga upon his return from Munich.

However, in a highly symbolic gesture, one of the first places he visited upon his return to his homeland was the Freedom Monument, a magnificent and sturdy 42-meter-tall building honoring the soldiers who died during the Latvian War of Independence (1918). -1920).

“This is probably our most iconic place in Latvia,” said Briedis manager Raimonds Zeps.

As he stands in the shadow of the structure – topped by the Statue of Liberty, arms high, holding three gold-plated stars, the triumphant pose mirrored by the boxer as he lifts the Ali trophy – Briedis admits it is still a work in progress. exactly what victory meant to him and his country.

“I don’t think I or the people around me really understand what I’ve achieved,” he mused. “It took me some time to understand what a trophy is and what it means to be a stripes champion. For Latvians and me, it’s still something we need to understand and understand how great an achievement it is.”

However, it was not the feat that Briedis saw as his swansong.

“I’m fine. I definitely want to move on,” he stressed, “I’ll have a discussion with my promoter Sauerland, we’ll look at the options and see what’s on the table and make the right decision after talking to my family, consulting with my coach and my team and doing the right thing.

“But I feel really good right now and don’t want to end my journey here. You won’t get rid of me too soon. We will still chat more often!

One interesting option is a rematch against his old foe Usyk – whom he narrowly missed in the classic WBSS Season 1. One judge judged the fight to be a draw, the other two gave it to Ukraine by one round. Ringside observers were divided.

Usyk is now campaigning at heavyweight, of course, which won’t be a problem for Briedis, who fought six of his first ten pro fights at unlimited heavyweight. “That rematch could possibly be the fight of the century,” Briedis said. “I have a different team now. I changed it after the Usyk fight. Looking back that change was needed and it was for the better. I am very confident in my new coach [Dmitrijs iholajs]. I think he is the number two boxing coach in the world, only behind [Anatoly] Lomachenko.”

Briedis’s other ambition is to have a big fight in England, where her twin sons from a previous relationship live and “speak Latvian with an English accent”.

“You have to remember that there are a lot of Latvians living in England. This fight [against Dorticos] is on Sky Sports. The British media should see it and show interest in it. I would love to one day have a magical and very big fight in England,” he said.

“That would be great for me. England fans will see how much the Latvian fans brought in and how their bananas went. Maybe it will also help some local British fans to cheer on me too!”

Briedis’ desire to fight in England has been fueled by his previous performances on this beach – when he beat Simon Vallily on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s WBC cruiserweight title defense against BJ Flores at Liverpool’s Echo Arena in October 2016.

“I really enjoyed the atmosphere,” Briedis enthuses, as his serious mask falls and he sings a song, not from the Z Cars theme, but from another song played on a heady night on Merseyside – Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes.

“I’ve been studying guitar now for a year and I’ve learned how to play it,” he explains.

Maybe, I suggest, he can play his own guitar while making his own entry ring.

The serious mask returned when Briedis said: “That would be tricky with gloves on…”

But then he laughed again.

There is a time for jokes and a time for business, and Mairis Briedis’ judgment is perfect.


The 5 Best Gambling Sites for Finnish Bettors

Sports have many fans around the world, in addition to there are so many types of sports such as golf, football, baseball and many more. And because of its popularity, sports betting were created, and these betting houses are really very popular. This article is about betting sites but if you are looking for online slots then we strongly suggest Ninja Casino.

One of the countries where this type of gambling is legal is in Finland, and that’s why here we leave you some of the best gambling sites for Finnish bettors:


It’s one of the most popular betting centers in Europe, with a lot of sports to choose and bet; from soccer to volleyball. It also has live broadcasts, which many clients like, but above all, what clients prefer is the odds and statistics section they have on certain equipment so they can be sure who to bet on.

betsafe - The 5 Best Gambling Sites for Finnish Bettors


Betfair is another betting house originally from the United Kingdom but also available in Finland. It has many great options for customers at the time of betting, with various sports to choose from and various forms of payment.

betfair - The 5 Best Gambling Sites for Finnish Bettors


This is one of the most popular betting centers in Europe and one of the most popular in Finland because of the various options offered to bet such as a bonus of 3x £10 free bets.

ladbrokers - The 5 Best Gambling Sites for Finnish Bettors


This is a Swedish betting house that you can also find in Finland, with various services, a wide range of sports to bet and more great options for clients. But this, unlike others, doesn’t have live broadcasts.

betsson - The 5 Best Gambling Sites for Finnish Bettors


Unibet is one of the betting houses that you can find in Finland, but it really belongs to a gaming operator that owns this and other brands, called Kindred Group. These line bets are among the most popular in Europe, in addition to having even live betting transmissions and with different options to pay.

Finland is undoubtedly one of the places where sports betting is one of the popular, especially on Hockey, and that’s why there are so many international betting sites that considered this country to put one of its branches.

unibet - The 5 Best Gambling Sites for Finnish Bettors
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3 Things to Know to Bet on Any Sport in Finland

Finland is located in Europe and also being part of the European Union.  With more than 5 million citizens and visitors walking and exploring the country of Finland, and they have reported having a great time in the nation since they say is an incredible place to live and explore. As well their residents have stated that they enjoy the high standard of life there.

With that being said, and seeing how well the economy is in Finland, one of the favorite ways for citizens to spend their money is by betting in their favorite sport. And being different than other EU members, Finland has strict but fair laws about gambling, for that, we have a couple of tips that you should know before betting in a sport in Finland.

The Best Sport Betting Sites In Finland

The good thing about Finland is that while there’s isn’t too much selection in sport betting sites and bookmarkers. The ones that are available are incredibly good in comparison with other places, for that, bookmarkers such as Pinnacle or Betfair are commonly used among the citizens of Finland thanks to their live streaming service and in-play wagering.

ladbrokers - 3 Things to Know to Bet on Any Sport in Finland

But remember that if you are looking for a great wagering option, you should check Veikkaus first since they offer the best services for Finnish, so much which is rarely the occasions where they prefer a foreign service.

The Most Popular Sports In Finland To Bet

Finland loves sports in general, that’s why there are a lot of sports that have the spotlight in Finland, such as Harness racing that is incredibly popular among fans of horse bettors and other sports that follows that similitude.  But Ice hockey being almost a national pride for Finland has the most attention, as well with soccer when there’s an exciting season.

unibet - 3 Things to Know to Bet on Any Sport in Finland

Online Sports And Betting

A  commonly ask question among those who are interested in betting to e-sports and other sources of online sports is that since Finland have a strong connection with the laws of betting and they mostly cover the traditional sports of their country and horse racing. The question itself is ¿Is it legal to bet on an online sport?

Online Sports And Betting - 3 Things to Know to Bet on Any Sport in Finland

The answer is yes, it is legal to bet on an online sport, since the laws referring the bookmarkers says that is legal to bet with foreign operators, so with that being said is a safe practice to bet on  your favorite team of CS:GO or other popular sport that has a lot of attention and followers behind.

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3 Unusual Sports Practiced in Scandinavia

Scandinavia is known as an old-fashioned place that possesses many traditions thanks to their rich culture that possess that grasp of a Nordic flair to many of their citizens. Since they are really close to their traditions, most tourists travel a lot to Scandinavia just to enjoy the ambient and see for them the Scandinavian folklore.

That’s why fascinating a day participating or watching some of the unusual sports and sports events that they enjoy in their free time and for us can be seen as a strange conduct or tradition, that’s why we are going to take a look at the sports of Scandinavia, that is part of their tradition and form part of their culture.

Ice Yacht Races

Now, Scandinavia possesses a great cold climate that can be considered as comfortable weather, this can be more enjoyable if you happen to see a match of an Ice Yacht race. Sweden has been known for being passionate about Ice Yacht races across their frozen lakes and other ice landscapes.

Ice Yacht Races - 3 Unusual Sports Practiced in Scandinavia

But most ice Yacht races of today consider on going on a sleek or a well-designed craft that can measure a great speed once is tested o an iced street walk or just a frozen river, some of the more contemporary Yatch can hold more than six people, creating a great balance once is tested on the track.

Wife Carrying

wife carrying - 3 Unusual Sports Practiced in Scandinavia

This is a really unusual sport that can be considered as the spotlight of Scandinavia when we talk about weird sports. Being originated from Sonkajarvi, Finland, where the world championship of wife carrying has been held on these lands from more than 1997. Now this sport is wastched as a funny activity each time is presented around, but is celebrated as a great hobby among Scandinavians.

The activity is simple, and consist about the Finnish men running around their town and trying to find their wife, after that, they must simply run around the town with their wife on his shoulder and try to pass the goal first, with obstacle traps and decorations to make the challenge a little more difficult.

Rink Bandy

A popular sport in Sweden that has his roots in the ’50s, and as many Sweden sports, this is played on an Ice hockey stadium or at least a facility that has this ambient, consist about playing hockey but with a rink ball, this is by far safer that Ice hockey, since most games are played in a small area and has fewer players as well.

rink bandy - 3 Unusual Sports Practiced in Scandinavia

Scandinavians really know how to follow their culture and enjoy the traditions of their lands by just enjoying their match of sports that may be unusual for most tourists. Believe in us.

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5 Reasons Why Ice Hockey is Really Big in Finland

With Ice Hockey being a quite known and loved sport and also being by far the most watched winter sport in the world, it makes sense that in some places it has a greater weight than expected.

And that is the exact case in Finland, it may not be the national Finnish sport but when talking about it Finnish people can get excited, so, here are the reasons why Ice Hockey is really big in Finland

The Representation

We could understand the power that the Finnish ice hockey has by mentioning that their highest professional league (the Sm-Liiga) is considered as the second strongest league in Europe.

Leijonat Or The Lions

The Finnish men’s national ice hockey team, nicknamed as Leijonat (The Lions) is a highly respected team that is part of the Biggest six national teams in the history of the sport, making them a strong team worldwide.

Leijonat Or The Lions - 5 Reasons Why Ice Hockey is Really Big in Finland

World Championships

Throughout the years they’ve participated in the world championships and they’ve won the gold medal twice, in 1995 and more recently in 2011 beating their always rivals from Sweden, also they’ve won the silver medal 8 times and the bronze one 3 times, keeping their high spot.

Euro Power

Even though they’ve only won 2 Gold medals in championships, in Europe it is another case, during the Euro Hockey Tours they have collected a total of 9 Gold medals, 6 Silver medals and 6 Bronze ones, also keeping their place in the European Big Four.

Development Throughout The Years

Obviously one isn’t perfect at something since the beginning, from time to time people, teams and even sports get better and better, during the 1970s the teams received help from foreign coaches and new training installations and by the 1980s it was a success in Finland.

Finally, I can just add that all the love that has been delivered from the Finns to the ice hockey comes from the story behind it all, and the fact that it is something they are very good at, achieving things that not any team can really do.

Development Throughout The Years - 5 Reasons Why Ice Hockey is Really Big in Finland

The representation that the ice hockey gives them through the whole world and Europe is sure to be one that they appreciate and feel special about because one thing to know is that they’re the Best at doing it and that is what makes them love ice Hockey


5 Facts about Sports Betting in Scandinavia You Probably Didn’t Know

Scandinavia is a geographical region that’s located in Europe and is made up of three countries such as Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Possibly not many even knew about this particular place, but its history of betting is very interesting.

That’s why here we leave you some facts about sports betting in Scandinavia you probably didn’t know:

Origin of Gambling

The gambling and bettings curiously have a strong connection with Scandinavia, because according to history, it’s said that at the beginning of 1020, the kings of the countries that make up this region they used dice to dispose of the territories of the place, which were later banned.

origin of Gambling - 5 Facts about Sports Betting in Scandinavia You Probably Didn't Know

Online Gambling

online gambling - 5 Facts about Sports Betting in Scandinavia You Probably Didn't Know

Currently, Online Gambling is an illegal activity in Scandinavia, but it has some exceptions. Because it’s a place owned by three different countries and each has its own laws, in Norway particularly if this type of games is valid but only if they’re executed in some of only the two authorized international suppliers.

If they aren’t made in these two companies in charge of managing betting centers, it’s totally illegal in Norway. They’re in charge of offering sports bets and lotteries as well, but they also have their legal limits.

Legal Gaps

Really in Scandinavia, there are many legal gaps with regard to betting. But above all, there is a lot of noncompliance by citizens of this region about betting, as it isn’t a strong or determining norm, which is why citizens continue to attend illegal gambling sites.


Although Scandinavia, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are places that have many legal prohibitions on betting in general, it’s really a very popular activity between citizens. Which is a little ironic, but it tells you about a custom that has been installed in the Scandinavian society that originates from thousands of years ago.

Sweden is one of the least radical places on bets in general, it has a slightly more flexible regulation where it allows games of chance in sports, casino, lotteries, and poker, it also has online games.

Sports Fanatics

In Scandinavia, there are many fans of sports. Soccer is one of the most admired sports in this region, and most of the citizens are fans of the Sweden national soccer team that’s the team that most attended at World Cups or Euros of the three countries.

sports fanatics - 5 Facts about Sports Betting in Scandinavia You Probably Didn't Know

But also other sports like basketball or hockey are much followed. Although sports’ betting isn’t as popular, it’s practiced; but the most popular betting is poker.