Gassiev-Dorticos & Usyk-Briedis WBSS semifinal dates
By Marcus Richardson: The dates are ready to be announced for the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight semifinals fights involving Murat Gassiev vs. Yunier Dorticos and Oleksandr Usyk vs. Mairis Briedis.
IBF World cruiserweight champion Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs) will be fighting unbeaten WBA champion Dorticos (22-0, 21 KOs) on January 20th.
WBO champion Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) will be battling WBC champion Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs) on January 27th.
The winner of these two fights will meet in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series. It’s expected that Usyk will beat Briedis without any problems to book his spot in the finals. Gassiev is seen by many boxing fans as the guy that will emerge as the winner in his unification fight against the 31-year-old Dorticos.
Briedis, 32, did not look all that great in defeating Mike Perez y a 12 round unanimous decision in their quarterfinals fight on September 30 in Riga, Latvia. Briedis did enough to get the 12 round decision, but it was a really sloppy performance from him. The judges scored the fight 116-110, 114-112 and 115—111. It was perhaps the least impressive performance in Briedis’ career.
The Cuban Dorticos looked great in stopping Dmitry Kudraashov in the 2nd round in their fight on September 23 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. If that fight had gone any length of time, there would have been a good chance that Dorticos would have been knocked out by Kudraashov. As an amateur, Dorticos struggled at times when facing big punchers. Artur Beterbiev stopped Dorticos in the 1st round in World Cup competition.
The 24-year-old Gassiev looked very good in stopping former IBF/WBC champion Krzsztof Wlodarczyk (53-4-1, 37 KOs) in the 3rd round in their quarterfinals match in the WBSS on October 21 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Gassiev took Wlodarczyk out with a hard body shot in the 3rd. There was no way that Wlodarczyk was going to be able to get up from the knockdown.
Usyk defeated former WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck by a 10th round knockout on September 9 in their quarterfinals match in the WBSS in Germany. It wasn’t a competitive fight. Huck has seen better days and he’s no longer the guy that he once was.
Briedis will need to pressure Usyk for him to have a chance to beat him. Letting Usyk stand on the outside and jab and pot shot will result in Briedis losing the fight by a wide margin.
The winner of the WBSS will be the unified champion in the cruiserweight division. Usyk is already talking about moving up to heavyweight.