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Boxing Results: Murat Gassiev stops Nuri Seferi

Murat Gassiev

By Jeff Aronow: Fighting for the first time in two years, former IBF/WBA cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev (27-1, 20 KOs) destroyed an out of shape looking journeyman Nuri Seferi (41-10, 23 KOs) by a first-round knockout last Saturday night WOW Arena in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

Gassiev had two previously scheduled fights against Kevin Johnson and Sefer Seferi that failed to happen. Instead of fighting them, Gassiev ended up with Sefer’s brother Nuri.

It would have been interesting to see how well Gassiev would have done against former world title challenger Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson, as he has a nice jab, and he would have been able to keep Murat bottled up on offense.

In Gassiev’s one-sided 12-round unanimous decision defeat against Oleksandr Usyk in 2018, he couldn’t get his shots off because of Usyk’s constant jab. Gassiev kept waiting for Usyk to stop throwing before he would let his hands go, but that was rare that he got the chance to throw anything.

Usyk had obviously followed the blueprint created by Denis Lebedev in how to shutdown Gassiev’s offense by throwing lots of punches. Last night, we didn’t get a chance to see if Gassiev has fixed that problem with his game because his opponent Seferi wasn’t throwing punches. He was looking scared and trying to survive.

The still young 27-year-old Gassiev landed a right to the head that dropped the 43-year-old Seferi.

Although Seferi made it back to his feet, the referee Irakli Malazonia stopped the fight. The 5’11” Seferi looked unsteady on his feet, and the referee didn’t want to let the match continue him looking like that. The time of the stoppage was at 1:47.

Gassiev landed two punches in the entire fight, one to the body and a right to the head.

As usual, Gassiev was economical with his punches, which was one of the major flaws that he had in his game when he fought at cruiserweight. Gassiev hasn’t improved in that department, and, likely, he never will.

In terms of power, Gassiev might do well in the heavyweight division, but his low work rate may limit his success. At 6’3 1/2″, 230 lbs, Gassiev has size similar to Alexander Povetkin, but with more power.

Povetkin is a lot busier with his punches than Gassiev, and that’s why he’s able to compete against the top heavyweight in the division more or less.

Gassiev’s physique looked a little chubby at 230 lbs, and he appeared to be carrying around an extra 15 to 20 pounds of fat. If Gassiev took that weight off, he’d be back at cruiserweight, which is probably where he should be.

It’s debatable whether Gassiev will be able to accomplish anything at heavyweight. If he doesn’t improve his anemic work rate, he stands no chance of beating the top-tier heavyweights Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.

In other action on the Gassiev vs. Seferi card, undefeated 2016 Olympian Adlan Abdurashidov (5-0, 3 KOs) defeated Idd Pialari (27-5-1, 20 KOs) by a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision. The judges scored the fight 99-91, 100-90, and 98-92.


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