With five seconds remaining in the fifth round at the Akhmat Arena, Grozny, Russia, perennial contender Manuel Charr was devastatingly knocked out by undefeated Latvian Mairis Briedis on Saturday, 22nd August, 2015.
The lighter (213¾lbs) Briedis has often campaigned in the cruiserweight division but tonight showed heavyweight power, as a crunching right uppercut followed by a left hook had the man from Beirut sprawled completely out, over the bottom rope.
Referee Irakly Malazonia instantly waved the fight off. He could’ve counted to a hundred and Manuel (245lbs) wouldn’t have got up unaided.
The orthodox Briedis was having a pretty comfortable night up to the finish, as he moved well and showed plenty of variety.
Jabs got home as did crunching rights, though he often tapped but always found range. Charr (28-4, 16 KOs), having a frustrating night, was made to look slow and clumsy and often missed.
The 30-year-old “Diamond Boy” had gained a reputation of being tough and rugged, since a brave but unsuccessful WBC title-shot against Vitali Klitschko in 2012. Since then, he had defeated the likes of Kevin Johnson, Michael Grant and Alex Leapai. Though stopped by the on-fire Alexander Povetkin in 2014, it came as a bit of a surprise when he was outpointed by Johann Duhaupas in his last fight. The Duhaupas loss the best indicator of Charr’s level.
Mairis Briedis (17-0, 14 KOs), started his career in October, 2009 weighing just above the Heavyweight limit. He’s undefeated but the names on his record are journeymen and ancient fighters like Brixton’s Danny Williams. At 30 years of age, and 6’1, he has just scored his best career win and though at heavyweight; it may suit him better to go back to cruiserweight and secure a big fight.
The KO is a definite candidate for Knockout of the Year 2015, along with other memorable ones like Courtney Blocker vs Dominic Goode, Canelo Alvarez vs James Kirkland, Francisco Santana vs Kendal Mena to name a few. Briedis vs Charr is the front runner in the heavyweight category.