Oleksandr Usyk defeats Murat Gassiev – Results
By Jim Dower: WBC/WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs) made it look easy in beating previously unbeaten IBF/WBA champion Murat Gassiev (26-1, 19 KOs) by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night to capture the World Boxing Super Series tournament at the Olimpiyskiy, in Moscow, Russia. Usyk is now the unified cruiserweight champion in holding the IBF, WBA, WBC, WBO titles. Unfortunately, Usyk will be moving up to heavyweight now instead of sticking around to defend against all comers.
The judges scored the fight 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109. Boxing News 24 scored it for the 31-year-old Usyk by a 119-109 score. Gassiev hurt Usyk with a big right hand to the chin in round 3. Usyk immediately tied Gassiev up and was able to get out of the round without getting hit again. Usyk staggered back to his corner at the end of the round. That unfortunately was the high point of the fight. The rest of the match saw Usyk using his jab and left-right combinations to outwork the 24-year-old Gassiev, who couldn’t pull the trigger on his punches. Usyk’s long jab kept Gassiev completely bottled up. Usyk did a good job of keeping his left far out in front of him to keep Gassiev from getting close enough to land his power shots.
Gassiev’s trainer Abel Sanchez was frustrated at his fighter’s inability to let his hands go. Sanchez urged Gassiev to throw more punches, but he simply couldn’t do it do to the nonstop jabs and combinations that Usyk was hitting him with. Gassiev had to walk through a massive amount of shots just to get in range to throw one shot. Once Gassiev would throw a punch, Usyk would dance away.
All in all, the fight failed to be as exciting as it was billed as. Usyk’s light punches and his frequent movement didn’t help matters. That’s the way that Usyk always fights so it’s not surprising that he fought like this. Usyk isn’t a power puncher. He wins his fights by moving around the ring, jabbing and throwing rapid fire shots to outwork his shorter-armed opponents.
With the victory, Usyk now wins the Muhammad Ali Trophy in capturing the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament. Usyk now plans on moving up to heavyweight to go after a world title.
Gassiev’s performance was disappointing. He did a worse job than Usyk’s last opponent Mairis Briedis did in the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series last February. Although Gassiev had talked of wanting to move up to heavyweight, he probably should hold off on doing that. The way Gassiev fought tonight, he would be easy work for the top heavyweights. They would beat Gassiev simply by being better. Gassiev needs to learn how to punch while his opponents are punching, because he has a bad habit of waiting until his opponents stop throwing before he lets his hands go. That was never going to work against a fighter like Usyk, who took advantage of that by throwing nonstop shots. A good counter puncher would have given Usyk nightmares tonight by countering him. Gassiev couldn’t do that because he doesn’t counter. Gassiev fought in a similar manner as former super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham.
In the co-feature bout, former World Boxing Council cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis (24-1, 19 KOs) defeated Brandon Deslaurier (11-2-1, 10 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision. The fight was totally one-sided.
In other boxing results on the card:
Cecelia Braekhus UD 10 Inna Sagaydakovskaya
Fedor Chudinov SD 12 Nadjib Mohammedi