Murat Gassiev vs. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk – Results
By Jim Dower: In a devastating display of punching power, IBF World cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs) destroyed former 2-time cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-4-1, 37 KOs) in the 3rd round on Saturday night in their quarterfinals fight in the World Boxing Super Series tournament at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
(Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/Ringstar Sports)
Gassiev, who just turned 24-years-old this month on October 12, nailed Wlodarczyk with a left hook to the jaw followed by a left to the body to put him down face first on the canvas in round 3. The 36-year-old Wlodarczyk was too hurt to get back to his feet and he was counted out.
The Russian Gassiev looked as cool as ice after the fight was halted. He walked back to his corner with no emotion to speak with his trainer Abel Sanchez, while Wlodarczyk was still down on the canvas.
Gassiev controlled round 1, fighting behind his powerful jab and powerful left hooks and right hands. Gassiev landed only a small handful of shots in the first round. Wlodarczyk looked very timid, as if he was afraid to throw shots. He was circling away from Gassiev, trying not to get hit. The shots that Gassiev did land to the head and body of Wlodarczyk clearly bothered him in round 1.
In the 2nd round, Gassiev began to land more punches. Wlodarczyk landed a nice combination late in the round, but the punches did nothing to keep Gassiev off of him. The Russian fighter kept stalking Wlodarczyk, hitting him with lefts to the head and uppercuts. Gassiev seemed to stun Wlodarczyk briefly with a left hook to the head. Wlodarczyk took the shot and scurried to the opposite side of the ring. Gassiev then followed him, and nailed him with a left hook to the head followed immediately with a left to the body that sent Wlodarczyk down on the canvas. The fight was then stopped.
This fight was over before it ever really got started. Wlodarczyk never did much of anything, as he was circling the ring, looking afraid for most of the 3 rounds of action. Wlodarczyk looked genuinely scared of Gassiev in this fight, and he wouldn’t stand his ground and fight the way he needed to in order to give himself a chance. Wlodarczyk had the hand speed advantage in the fight, as well as the height and reach.
While Wlodarczyk’s power wasn’t as good as Gassiev, he had more than enough power to present the Russian with huge problems if he’d simply let his hands go and tried to do something in the fight. If nothing else, Wlodarczyk could at least say that he tried to win the fight.
Wlodarczyk’s large Polish crowd of boxing fans was in a state of shock when the fight ended suddenly. The fans were cheering Wlodarczyk the entire fight, and making all kinds of noise. It didn’t motivate Wlodarczyk enough to let his hands go, however. He wouldn’t do anything. Gassiev was the one that seemed to be more energized from the cheering from Wlodarczyk’s boxing fans, as he pressed the attack even more when they were cheering their loudest.
This is the first time in Wlodarczyk’s 17-year pro boxing career that he’s been knocked out. Wlodarczyk had been knocked down in the past by Grigory Drozd and Rakhim Chakhkiev. The last time that Wlodarczyk had been beaten was 3 years ago in his 12 round decision loss to the Russian Drozd in 2014. Wlodarczyk is still a very good fighter. He just met up with a fighter that had too much youth and punching power for him to deal with in 24-year-old Gassiev.
In hindsight, Wlodarczyk should have let his hands go a little more, because the guys that have given Gassiev problems in the past have been fighters that threw a lot of shots. When Gassiev is dealing with a lot of incoming fire like he was in his fights with Denis Lebedev, Felix Cora Jr. and Ismael Abdoul, it keeps from unloading with his enormous power shots.
With the victory, Gassiev will now meet unbeaten WBA World cruiserweight champion Yunier Dorticos (22-0, 21 KOs) in the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament in his next fight in early 2018. Dorticos had already been telling boxing fans after his last fight that he’s looking forward to meeting Gassiev in the semifinals of the WBSS tournament, and now he’s got his wish. Dorticos will be meeting Gassiev next.
“Dorticos is a very good fighter with great experience,” said Gassiev. “He’s undefeated and I can’t wait to give all the boxing fans the big gift of a great fight against Dorticos.”
That should be an interesting fight, as Dorticos is coming off an equally impressive 2nd round knockout win over Dmitry Kudryashov on September 23 in his quarterfinals match at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Dorticos is a good puncher as well, but with more hand speed and a better amateur background than Gassiev. What Dorticos doesn’t possess is the one-punch power that Gassiev has going for him. While Dorticos has knocked out almost everyone he’s faced, he doesn’t always KO them early. If Dorticos can’t stop Gassiev early, then he’s going to need to take some heavy shots to the head and body, and he might not be up to the task.
The way that Gassiev looked tonight, he not only could breeze through Dorticos to get to the finals, but he might even destroy WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk as well. The Ukrainian 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk is the No.1 seed in the tournament, and he’s widely expected to win the tournament with flying colors. But after the way that Gassiev obliterated Wlodarczyk tonight, you must give him a very good chance of knocking out Usyk. If you saw the problems that Usyk had with the punching power of British heavyweight Joe Joyce in their fight in the World Series of Boxing in the past, you must give Gassiev a good shot at beating Usyk if he can make it to the finals. Joyce was wearing Usyk with his heavy shots in the WSB in 2013, and that was before the British heavyweight made improvements in his game and in his power. Usyk looked completely worn out by Joyce. Gassiev might be able to do the same thing to Usyk if he pressures him the way Joyce did.