The World Boxing Super Series makes their latest stop in Adler, Russia as they bring us the second of the semifinal bouts in the cruiserweight tournament. The fight pits IBF world champion Murat Gassiev against WBA titlist Yunier Dorticos in title unification action.
The match is a bookend to last week’s semifinal that saw WBC world champion Oleksandr Usyk take the WBO belt from then undefeated Mairis Briedis of Latvia. The finals are expected in the May timeframe and everything is on course to deliver a unified champion in the weight class. Usyk, the tournament’s number one seed, advanced via majority decision in a tightly fought, technical contest that saw no knockdowns scored.
That is not what is expected this Saturday. Both Gassiev and Dorticos displayed their firepower in the tournament’s opening round and fireworks are expected. Gassiev stopped Poland’s experienced Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in the third round of their bout while Dorticos finished Russia’s Dmitry Kudryashov in round two. Whoever is behind in the fight will have his power punch as an equalizer.
It is Gassiev who has several intangibles working in his favor however. At 24 years old, he is 7 years younger than Dorticos. Gassiev comes into the fight with the nickname “Iorn Man” and he fits the bill. His chin is there and he seems to maintain a high level of energy in the later rounds. While it is Dorticos who may find himself having to box in this one, Gassiev may in fact be the better technical boxer. Dorticos still shows some point-punching habits from his amateur days. If he thinks he is going to hold off an advancing Gassiev with taps he is going to find himself mistaken.
Below are the odds as they stand at the time of this writing. Several of the undercard bouts are already getting attention at the sports books as well, check your book for the latest lines.
WBSS Semifinal – Cruiserweight 12 rounds – Bolshoy Ice Dome – Adler, Russia
Yunier Dorticos +155
Murat Gassiev -175
Lightweight 12 rounds –
Craig Evans +500
Roman Andreev -900
Cruiserweight 12 rounds –
Olanrewaju Durodola +625
Maksim Vlasov -1275