The ultra-entertaining World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) Cruiserweight semifinals-round concludes this Saturday, when undefeated world champions Murat “Iron” Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs) and Yunier “The KO Doctor” Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs) throw-down in a unification fight, at Bolshov Ice Dome in Adler, Russia.
The Gassiev-Dorticos winner will advance this May to the WBSS Cruiserweight championship final in Saudi Arabia, to fight WBO/WBC world champion Aleksandr “The Cat” Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs), winner of this past Saturday’s WBSS semifinals match against Mairis Briedis (23-1, 18 KOs).
The WBSS’ Muhammad Ali Trophy winner will become the first world Cruiserweight champion to hold all four major championship belts at the same time.
The 23-year-old Gassiev captured his International Boxing Federation (IBF) crown a year ago with a 12-round split decision victory over three-time world Cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev (29-1). In the WBSS quarterfinals, Gassiev knocked out two-time world Cruiserweight champion Krsysztof Wlodarczysk (53-3-1) in the third round of his initial world title defense.
Dorticos is a well-schooled fighter,” Gassiev noted. “”He has many amateur fights, good speed, and fast hands. He is a great opponent and I have prepared for 12 tough rounds.
“The World Boxing Super Series is a great tournament that gives me the opportunity to unify all the Cruiserweight titles. On Saturday, I am going to take another step towards that dream in front of my proud countrymen.”
A Cuban defector who now lives in Miami, Florida, Dorticos stopped interim World Boxing Association (WBA) Cruiserweight champion Youri Kalenga (22-2) in the 10th round of their 2016 fight, and he was later elevated to “regular” WBA world champion. Dorticos put Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1) to sleep in the second round of their WBSS quarterfinals match.
“I’m ready to show Gassiev what a champion looks like and give him a challenge he’s never faced before. I want to take his belt. In other words; Gassiev is my next victim. I am preparing my body and soul for the most important fight in my career. Because the only thing I’m going to accept is the victory.
“I have worked hard to be able to be a part of this tournament, I have worked hard to be able to prove that I am the best cruiserweight in the world. I believe I am the best in the world, and I can’t wait to fight again and show the fans all over the world once again what ‘The KO Doctor’ is about.”
Murat Gassiev vs. Yunier Dorticos
Roman Andreev vs. Craig Evans
Maksim Vlasov vs. Olanrewaju Durodola
Vage Sarukhanyan vs. Hurricane Futa
Fedor Chudinov vs. Timo Laine
Mikhail Aloyan vs. Alexander Espinoza
Vladimir Sarukhanyan vs. Zoltan Szabo
Alan Khugaev vs. Abdurashid Pirimberdiev
Header photo by World Boxing Super Series