By Luke Furman
Russia's Murat Gassiev understands the importance of the upcoming final fight of the World Boxing Super Series tournament, when he meets Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk, but he's approaching this fight in the same way as the rest.
The cruiserweight contest takes place on July 21 at Olympic Stadium in Moscow.
All four of the major world titles will be at stake. Gassiev holds the titles under the versions of the IBF and WBA, and Usyk is the world champion under the WBO and WBC.
Beginning in 2016, the Russian boxer began his impressive run of victories.
He's defeated American contender Georges Shimmell, his compatriot Denis Lebedev, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk of Poland and dangerous Cuban puncher Yunier Dorticos.
"I'm very excited about the upcoming event, I'm fully aware of its importance and I hope that our fight will live up to the hype of the event and I hope it remain in the history books of boxing," Gassiev said to Vasily Konov.
"I'm emotionally approaching this fight like any other. I understand the importance of the upcoming fight, I understand the responsibility involved and I'm preparing myself with all my might. And as for me it's 'all or nothing'..... all of my fights have been this way since 2016, and a loss in any of them would have thrown me backwards in my career. The only difference in this contest is the number of belts and in fact that leaves me one step away before I reach my dream."
In the lead up to the tournament final, Usyk secured a stoppage win over former world champion Marco Huck and he won a hard-fought decision over unbeaten world champion Mairis Briedis. And for his part, Gassiev picked up sensational knockout victories over Dorticos and Wlodarczyk.
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.