By Igor Lazorin, tass
Russian slugger Murat Gassiev is gearing up for the highly anticipated showdown with Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine.
Gassiev vs. Usyk will crown the first four belt world champion at cruiserweight - with the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO world titles at stake. Also, the winner will become the overall winner of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) cruiserweight tournament.
Their bout takes place on July 21 at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow, Russia.
Gassiev (26-0, 19 KOs) holds the IBF, WBA world titles, while Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs) is the WBC, WBO world champion.
Coming in, Usyk is the betting favorite to win - and he was the number one seed in the WBSS tournament.
Most experts are predicting two possible outcomes - Gassiev by knockout or Usyk by decision.
Gassiev, who is trained by veteran coach Abel Sanchez, believes he's very capable of winning the fight with a twelve round decision.
"The [WBSS] semi-final fight between Oleksandr Usyk and Marius Briedis was very interesting, and I am going to review it. I think there is no question that that Usyk won the fight, and I do not agree with the split decision. Incidentally, I do not think that it is impossible to beat Usyk on points. All we have to do is look back at his fight with Briedis, and in this fight alone - after the first half it was Briedis who was ahead on points," Gassiev said.
"It's a totally different subject matter that Briedis was unable to stay on pace to gain the victory, and it was Oleksandr who broke his concentration. The fact that Usyk was present at my fight with (Yunier) Dorticos.. will that play any role? I honestly do not know. I saw him as a nice person who sincerely congratulated me. I can not say anything more about him."