IBF cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis (28-1, 20 KOs) demolished challenger Artur Mann (17-2, 9 KOs) in three rounds at the Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia.

After controlling the first round, Briedis dropped Mann in the second round with a hard right hand near the end of the three minute mark. The reigning champion would push forward to close the show in the third after two more knockdowns.

Arena Riga has been the hometown fortress of unforgettable nights for Briedis, where he held fights against Mike Perez, Oleksandr Usyk and Krzysztof Glowacki in recent years.

The 36-year-old returned to the venue for the first time since his June 2019 victory over Glowacki to defend the belts he claimed when defeating Yuniel Dorticos in the final of the World Boxing Super Series in September 2020 to establish himself as the number one cruiserweight in the sport.

Mann, the former WBO International champion and IBO world cruiserweight title challenger, was a 50-1 underdog according to several betting sites. 

Mann defeated countryman Leon Harth to capture the WBO International title in July 2017 and remained undefeated until he travelled to South Africa to challenge Kevin Lerena for the IBO World Title in March 2019. Lerena stopped him in three rounds.

Since his sole defeat, the 30-year-old ‘Thunderman’ from Hannover had recorded back-to-back wins to set up the world title showdown with Briedis.

Briedis may now look ahead to a potential showdown with WBO world champion Lawrence Okolie in 2022.