Murat Gassiev vs. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk – Weights
By Jim Dower: IBF cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev weighed in at 199 pounds on Friday for his title defense against former IBF/WBC champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk on Saturday night in the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
(Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/Ringstar Sports)
Wlodarczyk (53-3-1, 37 KOs) weighed in at 199.5 lbs. Ringstar is promoting the event.
This is a difficult fight for Gassiev, considering he’s facing a guy with punching power, boxing skills and loads of talent in Wlodarczyk. The two things Gassiev has going for him is his youth and his punching power. But even Gassiev’s power isn’t that much better than Wlodarczyk’s. The Polish fighter can really crack.
Having the Gassiev- Wlodarczyk fight at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey clearly favors Wlodarczyk. Newark has a lot of Polish boxing fans that will likely be coming to see the fight, and they’re going to be cheering for Wlodarczyk the entire time. Gassiev will need to shut that out, and make sure the fight doesn’t go to the scorecards.
This is going to be a tough fight for the 24-year-old Gassiev (24-0, 17 KOs) to win, as he doesn’t have nearly the same experience as the 36-year-old Wlodarczyk in boxing. The Russian Gassiev has been a pro for just 6 years since turning pro in 2011. He’s trained by Abel Sanchez at Big Bear, California.
Sanchez also trains IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Wlodarczyk has been a pro for 17 years since 2000. Wlodarczyk was a good amateur with a record of 61-5 with 44 knockouts. He was known for his punching.
Wlodarczyk held the IBF cruiserweight title from November 2006 to May 2007. Wlodarczyk beat Steve Cunningham by a 12 round split decision on November 25, 2006 to win the IBF belt. Wlodarczyk lost the title in his next fight against Cunningham in losing by a 12 round majority decision on May 26, 2007. 3 years later, Wlodarczyk captured the vacant WBC World cruiserweight title in beating Giacobbe Fragomeni by an 8th round knockout on May 15, 2010. Wlodarczyk successfully defended his WBC title 6 times before losing it to Russian Grigory Drozd in a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision on September 27, 2014. Wlodarczyk has since won his last 4 fights, beating Valery Brudov, Lai Kurzawa, Leon Harth and Noel Gevor.
”I have my Russian brothers, plus Gennady Golovkin, who is definitely like an older brother to me,” said Gassiev. “My opponent has a lot of experience and has been in a lot of tough fights. He’s been in more fights than me. I’m prepared for 12 rounds or a short fight. This is what I train for. I will speak loudly with my fists on Saturday,” said Gassiev.
Gassiev could have problems trying to knockout Wlodarczyk. This guy has never been knocked out before during his career, and he’s been in there with some big punchers in Drozd, Cunningham, Rakhim Chakhkiev, Danny Green and Giacobbe Fragomeni. Of those fighters, Chakhkiev came the closest in stopping Wlodarczyk when he knocked him down in round 4 of that fight. However, Wlodarczyk came back to knock Chakhkiev down in rounds 6, 7 and 8. The fight was halted after the 8th round knockdown. That was 4 years ago though. Wlodarczyk has gone the distance in his last 2 fights against Noel Gevor and Leon Harth. Those were competitive fights.
“I have to be ready for anything. I know that he worked hard to get in there and hurt me so I’ll have to be ready to fight back against anything he does,” said Wlodarczyk.
“Training camp went very well and I am physically ready for this challenge. You will see how strong I am mentally when I get in the ring on Saturday.
Gassiev has had a lot of time off from boxing since winning the IBF cruiserweight title last December in beating Denis Lebedev by a 12 round decision. Gassiev says he’s been working out the whole time. We’ll see if the 11 months that he’s been out of the ring will hurt him or not.
”On Saturday, more people support Wlodarczyk because a lot of Polish guys here., but a lot of Russian guys coming from my city, Moscow,” said Gassiev. “I don’t feel alone. For a long time, I don’t have a fight. I do a lot of work. I show the work on Saturday. I want to be unified champion of the cruiserweight division, and after I will move up to the heavyweight division,” said Gassiev.
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