By Steve Kim
With IBF cruiserweight champion, Murat Gassiev, folding Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in three rounds this past weekend at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series are now set.
Gassiev will face WBA titlist Yunier Dorticos in a unification showdown of the two most feared hitters at the weight. On the other side of the bracket, WBO champion and Olympic gold medal winner Oleksandr Usyk takes on Latvian superstar Mairis Breidis, who has the WBC belt.
You couldn't have asked for a better set of match-up as all four major belt-holders in this division are squaring up for the right to box for the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
After the smoke clears, one of the remaining four fighters will walk away with his undefeated record intact and four world titles around his waist. And, the overall winner will likely become a likely player to move up in weight to pursue bigger opportunities in a blossoming heavyweight division.
"It's undefeated against undefeated, knockout artist against knockout artist, champion against champion. It doesn't really matter what weight class you can go, from the lowest weight class to the heavyweights, in-between, up and down, left and right and you will not find from any division, a better match-ups you can make," said Richard Schaefer, the Chairman of the America's for the WBSS, to BoxingScene.com.
The semi-finals of the cruiserweight and super middleweight tournaments will take place in January and February.
"It's unbelievable, it's the perfect weight division, the perfect set up, I couldn't be happier," Schaefer said of his cruiserweight bouts.
The combined records of Gassiev, Dorticos, Usyk and Briedis is 82-0 with 67 knockouts between the quartet.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.