Abel Sanchez: “Usyk on his back before nine!”
Murat Gassiev’s coach Abel Sanchez has studied Aleksandr Usyk ahead of Saturday’s Ali Trophy Final in Moscow and predicts problems for the Ukrainian if he doesn’t improve from his performance in the semi-final against Mairis Briedis.
“Usyk got skills, he is a very good fighter,” said Sanchez, known for creating and training world class fighters in Big Bear, California.
Russian Murat Gassiev is one out several champions who have been under the wings of the Mexican legend and his training methods.
“Dorticos, Usyk, Briedis, any of those guys, they are all very physical themselves so we have to be more physical. And I feel that our exercises and system make us a little stronger, a little better, a little faster than most guys,” said Sanchez.
He has studied Usyk in detail ahead of the final and believes he has seen a chink in the armor of the first seed in the cruiserweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series.
“You can’t allow a fighter to be the one he wants to be and I believe Murat will be able to break Usyk down. Briedis allowed Usyk to move, allowed him to be first and when Briedis came close he was not effective.”
“But Usyk also allowed himself to be trapped and to be hit. If Usyk fights Murat the same way he fought Briedis he will be on his back before nine.”
“I always train my fighters to be the best they can be. It doesn’t matter what the other guys bring. How Usyk fought Briedis doesn’t mean he will fight Murat the same way. What you look for though is tendencies of what he likes to do and what he does after certain combinations. We have prepared Murat to be Murat and now Usyk will have to deal with him.”
The winner of Usyk-Gassiev at the Olympic Sports Complex will be the first boxer ever to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy and unify the cruiserweight titles in the four belt era.
The belts on the line will be the WBO, WBC, IBF and WBA Super and RING Magazine’s vacant cruiserweight championship strap.