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Gassiev vs. Dorticos: WBSS The Day After


By Jeff Aranow: unification fight between IBF World cruiserweight champion Murat ‘Iron’ Gassiev (26-0, 19 KOs) and WBA World cruiserweight champion Yunier ‘The KO Doctor’ Dorticos (22-1, 21 KOs) in their fight at the Ice Dome in Adler, Russia.

It was one of the best fights of 2018 thus far, and it ended with Gassiev stopping Dorticos in the 12th round of their semifinals match-up in the WBSS tourney. The video shows glimpses of the pre-fight, the bout, and the aftermath with Gassiev showing huge respect to the beaten Dorticos.

Gassiev is seen giving back his belt after the fight for Dorticos. It was a nice show of sportsmanship by Gassiev to Dorticos, who gave it all he could but came up short in the end.

Dorticos’ work rate made the fight with Gassiev much closer. Gassiev was blocking a lot of the shots from Dorticos, but the Cuban was throwing so many shots that many of them were finding their marks, especially in the later rounds.

Gassiev’s harder shots were the more telling on the night. Towards the end of the fight, Dorticos lost power on his punches. The second half of the fight saw a much different Dorticos with his power having dropped off considerably. Gassiev was less hesitant to go on the attack once Dorticos weakened. There was less for Gassiev to worry about.

Dorticos’ best chance of winning came in the first 5 rounds when he throwing with big power with both hands. When Dorticos failed to get the knockout in the first half of the fight, he lost his best chance of getting the ‘W’ against Gassiev. Still, Gassiev took some big shots from Dorticos that would have knocked out a lot of fighters in the division. Gassiev’s punch resistance was excellent.

Gassiev and Dorticos both delivered huge shots in each round of the fight. It was an all-action affair with lots of big power shots being thrown. The Cuban Dorticos was hurt in the 11th round from an uppercut by Gassiev that had him holding on to make it out of the round. It still didn’t stop Dorticos from going on the attack in the 12th round in the early moments. With the way Dorticos came out looking strong in round 12, the fight looked far from finished.

Gassiev’s big win over Dorticos means he’s heading to the WBSS finals to face number 1 seed Oleksandr Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs) on May 11 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Gassiev, 24, is the underdog in the fight, but his punching power that we saw in the Dorticos fight gives him a real chance to get the victory.

Dorticos would have beaten most cruiserweights in the division last Saturday.

Dorticos showed the kind of offensive skills that would presented huge problems for a fighter like Usyk. That would have been a better match-up for Dorticos than him facing Gassiev, whose power enabled him to win rounds despite being out-hit.

Dorticos will be one of the guys in the division that goes after the cruiserweight world titles after the winner of the Usyk vs. Gassiev fight vacates them. Usyk and Gassiev have both said they plan on moving up to heavyweight to go after world titles in that weight class. Gassiev needs to move up sooner or later due to his huge size for the cruiserweight division. Usyk wants to move up to go after a title fight with Anthony Joshua. That would be a big money fight between 2 Olympic gold medalists.

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