By Ryan Burton
The cruiserweight division is red hot at the moment.
While the division hasn't ever really been very popular in the United States, it is brimming with talent and that talent has been on display in the World Boxing Super Series.
WBA/IBF champion Murat Gassiev and WBC/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk face each other in the finals that is tentatively scheduled to take place in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia on May 11th. All four major belts will be on the line and in addition to being the tournament winner, the victor will also become the undisputed cruiserweight champion.
Gassiev (26-0) punched his ticket to the finals with a 12th round knockout of the previously undefeated Yunier Dorticos (22-1) in February in the semi-finals of the tournament.
The Cuban knockout artist started out strong but by the mid rounds of the fight, Gassiev began to take over and finished the bout with three knockdowns in the final round. Gassiev's trainer Abel Sanchez said that was the plan all along.
"That was the plan to let him blow off a little steam. Then once he blew off a little steam - like I had Lemieux do against Golovkin - the same way Golovkin let him blow off a little steam then (Gassiev) was able to reach him. Dorticos fought a great fight though. That was a great cruiserweight fight. One of the best I have ever seen," Sanchez told BoxingScene.com.
While Gassiev and Usyk are clearly the best fighters in the division, Sanchez believes that Dorticos is the third best cruiserweight in the world if he can come back mentally from the knockout.
"Absolutely. I think he has to recovery mentally because that was a big blow to him but once he does I think he will be very difficult to beat again," Sanchez explained.
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