By Steve Kim
When Murat Gassiev faces Oleksandr Usyk on May 11th in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament, he won't be nearly as patient as he was this past weekend against Yunier Dorticos, when he boxed strategically in the early stages and then came on in the middle rounds to eventually stop the Cuban in the 12th and final round.
In the first round of the tournament, Gassiev (26-0, 19 KOs) knocked out former world champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in the third round.
Gassiev's trainer, Abel Sanchez explained toe BoxingScene.com - "against Usyk we're not going to be allowed to let him get too far ahead because this is a guy who is very talented, gold medalist, and he's a different type of fighter than Dorticos. We're not going to fear so much the power - or be aware of it, I should say - he can go on like a machine for 12 rounds, throwing pitty-pat punches and just keep you out of your game plan and keep you away from doing any damage."
Usyk pulled off a tenth round stoppage over former champion Marco Huck in the first round of the tournament, and won a close and very competitive twelve round majority decision over Mairis Briedis to reach the finals.
All four of the major sanctioning titles - the WBO, IBF, WBA, WBC - will be at stake in the contest.
While Dorticos was a right-handed power puncher, Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs) is an agile southpaw, who throws a high volume of leather, who overwhelms his opponents with activity.
"So we have to make sure we don't allow him to get on a roll," said Sanchez.
As for when Gassiev will return to Big Bear to prepare for this fight, Sanchez told BoxingScene.com - "He's got a plan ticket for the 5th of March, right now."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.