By Luke Furman
WBA "regular" cruiserweight world champion, Yunior Dorticos of Cuba, is very confident that he will scored a knockout over IBF champion Murat Gassiev in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament.
The fight was officially announced on Tuesday to take place in Gassiev's backyard of Sochi, on February 3. The winner will be heading to the final bout of the WBSS cruiserweight tournament against the winner of the WBO, WBC unification bout between Oleksandr Usyk and Mairis Briedis.
Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs) won his WBSS quarterfinal bout in October by knocking out former WBC, IBF champion Krzysztof Wlodarczy with a vicious bodyshot, while Dorticos retained the IBF crown with a destructive knockout of Dmitry Kudryashov in September.
The Cuban slugger (22-0, 21 KOs) expects another knockout victory.
The Russian boxer is trained by veteran trainer Abel Sanchez, who also handles middleweight king Gennady Golovkin.
When their fight was made, Dorticos promised to buy painkillers to help Gassiev with the pain.
"Did I buy painkillers for Gassiev, as I promised? Yes, of course I bought them," Dorticos told journalists.
"I will hit him very hard and he will be very hurt. I personally have no dislike for opponents and their fans.We only fight in the ring, and we are friends outside the ring. We have nothing personal with Gassiev, the only thing I said to him is that I want to knock him out and I did not say anything disrespectful to him.
"The best job I can do is give a good fight, so everyone will be happy and see that the best has won, and of course I know that the best is me. I want to send a big hello to all the Russian boxing fans, and I hope they come and see what the knockout will be like."
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org