On Friday in Belgrade, former unified cruiserweight world champion Murat Gassiev took part in his third heavyweight contest and won the Eurasian Boxing Parliament (EPB) title with a first round destruction of American contender Carlouse Welch.

Initially, Gassiev was supposed to fight on December 25 of last year in Sochi against Ukraine's Andrei Rudenko, but he suffered a hand injury and was forced to withdraw from the fight.

Gassiev made his first heavyweight fight in October 2020, defeating Albanian Nuri Seferi by knockout in the first round. The last time before that, the Russian boxer had a very long layoff with his prior bout taking place in July 2018 in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), where he lost a decision to Oleksandr Usyk in their undisputed cruiserweight clash.

After that loss, Gassiev announced that he was making the transition to the heavyweight division, but injuries and legal issues prevented him from making his debut, and he was forced to sit out for more than two years.

In his second heavyweight bout, Gassiev defeated Germany's Michael Wallisch by TKO in the fourth round in June 2021.

28-year-old Gassiev raises his record to 29 wins (22 by knockout) with one defeat.

In 2016, he won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) world cruiserweight title by defeating compatriot Denis Lebedev, and then defended the belt once. In 2018, Gassiev added the WBA belt to his waist by defeating Cuba's Yuniel Dorticos by stoppage in their unification clash.