Latvian puncher Mairis Briedis is currently treading water until his opportunity to claim the WBC cruiserweight title happens in the early part of 2017.
The 31 year-old, who is 20-0 as a pro with 17 stoppages, is mandated to fight the winner of the Tony Bellew v BJ Flores clash on October 15 in Liverpool and fights former Team GB member Simon Vallily on the undercard.
On the back of his UK debut becoming a reality, WBN caught up with Briedis to gather his thoughts on being forced to delay his chance and also get his take Bellew’s knockout victory over Ilunga Makabu at Goodison Park in May.
“Of course, I was hoping to fight Bellew next but the situation has changed. I am staying patient and waiting on the fight result between Bellew and Flores,” Briedis exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Only God knows my path but I’m trying my best to be the best I can. We have an official confirmation from the WBC that I will fight the winner so that’s my goal.”
On the Flores and Makabu encounters, Briedis added: “In my opinion, Bellew should win as BJ didn’t show much in his last fight against Shumenov, whereas Bellew beat Makabu.
“I think Makabu maybe took the fight for granted as he had a very long camp due to cancellations with the Grigory Drozd injuries, but Bellew performed a miracle. I was at the fight and it was impressive,” he added.
As it stands, Briedis seems likely to be fighting for the vacant green and gold belt, rather than facing Bellew, as the champion eyes a massive fight at heavyweight against David Haye.
Haye, 35, has failed to follow through on his promise to face Shannon Briggs in September, leading to speculation that the ex-cruiserweight king is playing a waiting game until after Bellew v Flores takes place.