By Steve Kim
IBF cruiserweight champion, Murat Gassiev, faces Krzysztof Wlodarczyk at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey in the quarterfinals of World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament.
The hard-hitting Gassiev is trained by Abel Sanchez and is a stablemate of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
In the past Sanchez has compared Gassiev (24-0, 17 KO's) to 'GGG' and he is pleased with his improvement as an all-around prizefighter.
"The unfortunate thing for him is that he's progressed so fast and he's gotten some highlight reel knockouts that I really can't get anybody to come up and spar with him," explained Sanchez, who's Summitt Gym is located in Big Bear, California.
"We were able to hire three guys this time. For the (Denis) Lebedev fight we probably had twenty rounds sparring because I couldn't get anybody to come up because they were so damn afraid of the (Jordan) Shimmell knockout. No manager wanted to send their guys up there and southpaws were hard to get."
Last December Gassiev edged Lebedev in Moscow, Russia to win the IBF belt. This upcoming contest against Wlodarczyk will represent his first defense of that title.
Sanchez says for this training camp - "I was able to get three cruiserweights up there, Keith Tapia being one of them and we were able to get the kind of work I needed to develop him. He's going to be a work in progress, again, he's having to mature in the gym with the sparring that we provide for him and hopefully after this fight he'll take ten days off and come right back to the gym if we're successful and we'll keep working on sparring and working on the things we need to learn so that we we're ready for the next stage which is (Yunier) Dorticos."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.