The WBSS has produced spectacular fireworks. Especially in the cruiserweight tournament. The unification match-up between IBF cruiserweight champ Murat Gassiev and WBA titleholder Yunier Dorticos was perhaps the most entertaining fight of the WBSS thus far. Perhaps producing more fireworks and spectacular moments than last weeks WBC/WBO unification bout between Usyk and Briedis which was an exceptional nonstop action fight.
Dorticos, nicknamed “The KO Doctor,” got off to a strong start and seemed to control the tempo of the fight and was effective with a jab and right upstairs and combination, he did not get away from. His basic 1-2, as powerful as it became predictable and stopped landing cleanly, as Gussiev adapted and broke Dorticos down. Gassiev was continually able to adapt, he fought much of the fight off his back foot, but at times walked Dorticos down and eventually broke the big Cuban down with ferocious power shots to the head and body. Gassiev landed 190 of 608 punches, including 139 power punches. Meaning Gassiev landed almost twice as many power shots as the “KO Doctor” and landed more power shots than Dorticos landed shots altogether 139 to 132. As the fight progressed it became clear that Gassiev’s power was taking a toll on Dorticos and breaking him down as the Russian seized control of the fight and won round after round in the second half of the fight.
Gassiev’s power shots eventually lead to the dramatics of the 12th round, Gassiev nailed the Cuban with a clean left hook to the jaw and dropped him for the first time with about a minute left in the fight. Dorticos was knocked down for the second time seconds later from an accumulation of punishment with Referee Eddie Claudio looking closely. Moments later, Gassiev unloaded a barrage, including a devastating right hand that sent Dorticos through the ropes. With mere seconds left in the final stanza, Dorticos was knocked halfway out of the rung and Claudio had no chose but to waive it off.
The cruiserweight division hosted its first world title fight on December 8, 1979. The division is now perhaps the best and most competitive as it has ever been. For the division which is often ignored, especially in the US, it has come back to center stage due to the best fighting the best, and with an undisputed unification bout set for May between two world-class world champions with contrasting styles. in a fight which promises to have a fight of the year quality. The cruiserweights are becoming the talk of the town. The Usyk-Gassiev unification fight has a lot of luster and is a drawback to a classic cruiserweight showdown. One of the best scraps in any weight class occurred in the cruiserweight division on July, 12th, 1986 in Atlanta, Georgia. Over 30 years ago a 23-year-old undefeated Evander Holyfield challenged the WBA World cruiserweight champ Dwight Muhammad Qawi and the two put on a 15 round performance of epic proportions that captivated the audience and is still considered one of the best battles of skill and heart the sport had ever seen.
According to CompuBox, Gassiev landed nearly double the power shots of Dorticos, who connected with 71. Dorticos landed 132 of 602 punches overall (22 percent). As the punch stat numbers bear out It was a thrilling, non-stop all action fight from opening bell to the violent finish. Where Dorticos was eventually broken down. Setting up the bout for ultimate supremacy in the 200-pound division between Gassiev and Uysk. Just like in Qawi’s defense against Evander Holyfield the bout features a uniquely talented and complete fighter in Oleksander Uysk and a non-stop brute of a fighter in Murat Gassiev, who like the “Camden Buzzsaw” looks for the knockout and has the ability and power to score the knockout on any given shot. Can Usyk use his complete all-around skill to survive the power of Gassiev, can he absorb Gassiev’s power, as well as Dorticos, did or as well as Holyfield did against Qawi, and can he outbox him for 12 rounds?
The Qawi/Holyfield far exceeded its high expectations. The public did not know what they were going to get, due to Holyfield’s inexperience and the major contrast in styles between the two fighters. which lead to, and understandably widely different scorecards, However, but the fans knew they were going to get a great action fight. The epic results of the 1986 WBA Crusierweight title fight spoke for itself. In the weeks and months to come the Usyk/Gassiev unification bout will be highly anticipated by fight fans throughout the world, and if the results are half as action filled and dramatic as Holyfield and Qawi were. The fight world will cerainly get their monies worth.