by Elisinio Castillo
WBA cruiserweight champion Yunier Dorticos (22-0, 21 KOs) is training like a beast for his unification showdown with IBF champion Murat Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs).
They collide in a semi-final bout in the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament.
The bout takes place at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia on February 3, 2018.
In a recent trainer session, Dorticos accidentally knocked out his own trainer, Eric 'El Tigre' Castanos.
Dorticós, 31, has always trained with Castaños - who took what happened as a joke.
"It's the second time I've been knocked out in my life. The first time was a Thai, when he was competing in kickboxing. These things happen between a coach and his pupil. The important thing is that Dorticós advances in his preparation and we will arrive in the best possible condition to Russia," Castanos said to George Ebro.
Gassiev, who is the second seed, earned his spot in the semi-final when he blew away Krzysztof Wlodarczyk with a third-round KO.
The Russian boxer is trained by veteran coach Abel Sanchez, who is best knock for his work with middleweight king Gennady Golovkin.
Dorticos aka ‘The KO Doctor’, the tournament’s fourth seed, impressed in his quarter-final with a devastating KO victory in the third round over Dmitri Kudryashov in San Antonio in September.
“I am looking forward to fighting in Sochi. No matter where I fight, I will work hard to take my opponent out,” said 31-year-old Dorticos who is fighting out of Miami.
“I believe I am the best in the world and the future winner of the Muhammad Ali Trophy. I can’t wait to show Gassiev and the fans in Russia and all over the world what ‘The KO Doctor’ is about!”
The cruiserweight final of the World Boxing Super Series will take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in May 2018.