By Ste Rowen
Murat ‘Iron’ Gassiev made light work of former world champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk to move to 25-0-0 (18KOs) and seal his place in the Cruiserweight World Boxing Super Series semi-finals.
Photo: Stephanie Trapp/ Ringstar
After a tentative first round at the Prudential Center in New Jersey, Gassiev began to take control, forcing the Polish veteran onto the back foot. Neither fighter threw many punches but the punches the IBF champion threw were clearer, cleaner shots. ‘Iron’ was choosing quantity over quality and it was working. By the end of round two Wlodarczyk had stopped firing back at the Russian. The Polish contingent of fans were chanting Wlodarczyk’s name to urge him on, but it did nothing to stop the Russian continue dominating the fight.
Round three continued where round two left off, though now Murat had picked up the pace. Gassiev’s left hand uppercut was landing more than not when Murat threw it, and it was that punch that helped seal Krzysztof’s fate when, with just over a minute left of round three, Gassiev landed an uppercut through the Pole’s guard and followed it up with a left hook to the body. That was all she wrote as Wlodarczyk never looked like getting back up to beat the count.
It means now Gassiev will take on Yunier Dorticos 22-0-0 (21Kos) for a place in the final, where their opponent will be either, WBO Champion Oleksandr Usyk, or WBC Champion Mairis Briedis.
On the prospect of fighting Dorticos, Gassiev said, ‘Dorticos is a very great fighter, he has good amateur experience. He’s a world champion, he’s undefeated and I’m sure we’ll give, for all boxing fans, a great fight.’
Dorticos was also interviewed in the ring after the fight saying through a translator, ‘I give credit to Murat and his entire team, but you know what? Now this is something I wanted, he kind of maybe wanted to avoid it but it is upon us … This is fight is for my family,
I’m going to knock you out.’
Either way, whether it’s Gassiev, Dorticos, Usyk or Briedis, two of the best fights that can be made currently in boxing are set to take place in early 2018.