Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Oleksandr Usyk-Murat Gassiev: Afterthoughts

by Cliff Rold

If one tuned in to see a two-way battle, it turned out those thrills had already happened in the semi-finals.

Instead, last Saturday in Moscow, boxing got a master class. As the first World Boxing Super Series came to a close, there was no debate about scores, no endless debate about a round here or there.

The winner was crystal clear. So is the identity of the cruiserweight champion of the world. Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk, in three road fights, left no doubt. A fighter who many buzzed about almost as soon as he turned professional, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist at heavyweight validated every ounce of his perceived upside.

It was the sort of technical mastery of a proven opponent that we only see every so often, his equivalent of Floyd Mayweather-Diego Corrales. Usyk took a dangerous, heavy-handed opponent with some real credentials and spent most of twelve rounds defusing him. 

At the end of every big fight, the question of what’s next is a gimme’. In the case of Usyk, it’s one asked with peak curiosity.

Let’s get into it.

usyk-gassiev-fight (22)

The Future for Usyk: From the sound of things, what’s immediately next for Usyk might be the UK’s Tony Bellew, a former cruiserweight titlist now competing in the unlimited class. Coming off a pair of career altering wins over David Haye, Bellew has never held more value. Whether they fight at cruiserweight, or in a post-WBSS heavyweight debut for Usyk, it doesn’t matter. Assume heavyweight is where Usyk is headed sooner than later. If the assumption is flawed, it would be career malpractice. Already 31, Usyk doesn’t need to waste time. At 6’3, not having to make 200 lbs. anymore, he would be a lighter heavyweight but a natural one by almost any era’s standard. The footwork, boxing ability, and ring IQ Usyk displayed against Gassiev would serve him well. Could he outbox Deontay Wilder and avoid the explosive power puncher’s best shots? Could he maneuver around the much larger but also more flat-footed Anthony Joshua? Maybe he could. Maybe not. Let’s find out. Few of the cruiserweight champions since Evander Holyfield have looked like they could truly threaten to become the king of all boxing: the heavyweight champion of the world. Usyk raised the possibility last weekend.

The Future for Gassiev: Gassiev began the fight as he had in his previous two toughest assignments, Denis Lebedev and Yunier Dorticos: slowly. He did what he usually does, landing with blunt force sparingly with an eye on upping the punishment as the rounds wore on. Usyk never let him. The Ukrainian never stepped off the gas and when Gassiev did land big stuff he found out Usyk could take it. It’s not like Gassiev never had moments. He got Usyk’s attention more than once but could never sustain his attacks because Usyk wouldn’t let him. Just because Gassiev couldn’t get the job done last weekend doesn’t mean he’s an easy task for anyone else at cruiserweight, or heavyweight if the big punching Russian elects to move up eventually. Still only in his mid-20s, Gassiev has lots of fight left to give and room still to improve. The now former unified titlist will be back. Last Saturday, he just met a better man.  

Rold Picks 2018: 25-10 (Including pick in Munguia-Smith)

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Banderivets on 07-25-2018

https://youtu.be/WjDo8a0MuZo pitty pat eh ? You can see the punches reverberating through Murats body . Considering the sheer volume of these 7/10 punches that is devastating .

Comment by Marvlus Marv on 07-25-2018

[QUOTE=Andrij;18965831]Loma´s previous victims also looked as if they didn't wanted it badly enough. Its just the style which makes their opponents frustrated & confused by mid rounds and then they already surrendered mentally.[/QUOTE] I take your point about their opponents…

Comment by Bronx2245 on 07-25-2018

[QUOTE=Andrij;18965713]Tell that GGG ! MAN UP ! MOVE UP TO 168. Why GGG is scared to move up like Loma & Usyk are doing it ?[/QUOTE]Because no one @ 168 brings as much money as Canelo!

Comment by Andrij on 07-25-2018

[QUOTE=Banderivets;18965861]Cheers:beerchug: Gotta give it up to the training camp. This gives a great perspective into how important proper coaching is, and how bad the Breidis camp was.[/QUOTE] Usyk says that he would rather fight Bellew at Heavyweight. He is probably…

Comment by Banderivets on 07-25-2018

[QUOTE=Andrij;18965827]BIG INTERVIEW WITH USYK AFTER THE FIGHT. RECORDED ON MONDAY [url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsMd...&frags=pl%2Cwn[/url][/QUOTE] Cheers:beerchug: Gotta give it up to the training camp. This gives a great perspective into how important proper coaching is, and how bad the Breidis camp was.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (22)
Top Headlines News: Kem Ljungquist, Henderson Shocks Robinson, Landeros Frampton: Warrington's Arrogance Bubbling Under The Surface Wilder 'Would Love' For Barclays Center To Host Fury Rematch Broner Coach To Roach: Shut The F*** Up, Carry The Spit Bucket! Pedraza: Lomachenko 'Definitely' Better Than Gervonta Davis Wilder Will Add Weight For Fury Rematch; Targets 245 Pounds Hearn Maintains Big Offer on Table For Khan To Face Brook Lebedev Targets Usyk Mandatory Fight as Final Career Bout Danielito Zorrilla May Return on Machado Card After Big Win Amir Khan Ready To Impress: Tyson Fury Gives Me Inspiration Sanchez: Golovkin Has 2-3 Years Left, I'd Like 5 or 6 Fights Gilberto Ramirez Finishes Camp, as Jesse Hart Rematch Looms Tyson Fury's Trainer Ben Davison - The Unlikely Hero Pacquiao Prepares For Broner's 'Running,' Aims To Seek & Destroy Hearn: Disappointing if Joshua Doesn't Get Wilder or Fury Next Hearn: Khan Should Decide on Crawford or Brook Within a Week Pedraza: I'm Proud of What I Did, It Was Close Until The 11th Photos: Braekhus, Shields, Estrada Get Wins on Final HBO Card Fury To Wilder: You'll Need More Than a Million Judges To Rob Me Brook Warns Khan: Don't Come Crawling To Me After Crawford Dogboe: I Just Couldn't Get The Victory, The Best Man Won Michel Soro Has No Problems in Stopping Greg Vendetti Lomachenko-Pedraza Rating Looking Big For ESPN Hearn: WBC Has NOT Ordered Rematch, Wilder Can Face Joshua Dirrell Motivated, 'Ready For Challenge' of Yildirim Title Fight Shields Training Charlo, Ajagba, Apochi For Barclays Card Photos: Navarrete Stuns, Punishes Dogboe For WBO Title Wilder-Fury Rematch Talks To Begin Next Week, Says Warren Photos: Lomachenko Drops, Decisions Pedraza To Unify Belts Photos: Kell Brook Looks Flat in Decision Win Over Zerafa Photos: Carroll, Frenois Ends in Draw - No Mandatory For Farmer Teofimo Lopez: Im 2019, I Will Be Champion - I Guarantee It! Brook: I Want To Shut Khan Up, Then Move On To Spence, Porter Rene Alvarado Beats Carlos Morales, Targets Machado Shot Euro News: Spike O'Sullivan, Oliver Meng, Jordy Weiss, More Video: Andre Ward Talks Loma, Spence-Garcia, Pacquiao, More Filip Hrgovic Decisions Kevin Johnson Over Eight Rounds Lomachenko Wants More Belts, Hopes For Mikey Garcia in 2019 Mchunu Gets Revenge on Oosthuizen, Mbenge Stops Vazquez Pat Manuel, Transgender Boxer, Makes History With Win
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement