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 Murat Gassiev Dealing With Shoulder Injury, May Have Surgery Paddy Barnes Embaces Underdog Odds in Rosales Title Fight Bellew: Wilder Will Knock Fury Out in Three Rounds or Less! Jeyvier Cintron, Luis Lebron Get Opponents For Sept. 1 Show Hart: Ramirez Doesn't Want to Fight Me; Rematch Won't Happen Chavez Sr: Canelo-Golovkin Has High Possibility of KO Ending Deontay Wilder: The Fury Fight is Real, The Fury Fight is On Photos: Cancio-Zenunaj, Kamegai-Vendetti - ESPN Weigh-In Verdejo: Chemistry With Cotto is Very Good, I'm Eager To Fight Joe Joyce Excited With Al Haymon Deal, Plans U.S. Debut Subriel Matias, Breidis Prescott - Face To Face in Puerto Rico Tyson Fury Reveals Secret Meeting With Bellew, Hearn's Plan Photos: Jesse Hart vs. Gavronski, Shakur Stevenson Final Presser Jon Fernandez vs. O’Shaquie Foster Tops ShoBox Triple, Sept. 21 Photos: Bryant Jennings, Alexander Dimitrenko - Face To Face Canelo: One-Year Layoff Won’t Affect Me At All Against Golovkin Porter Has Serious Doubts That Danny Garcia Will Go Toe To Toe Selina Barrios vs. Patricia Juarez on September 22 in Texas Tyson Fury: Joshua Wouldn't Fight Me For Any Amount Of Money Photos: Carl Frampton, Luke Jackson - Final Press Conference Jackson, Coach Inspired By Alvarez's Knockout of Kovalev Photos: Shawn Porter Putting in Work For Danny Garcia Eddie Gomez Signs With Split-T Management Kubrat Pulev Claims To Be Free, Parts Ways With Team Sauerland Carl Frampton, Luke Jackson Go Face To Face at Final Presser Mladen Miljas Inks Promotional Pact With Greg Cohen Joshua Ordered By WBO To Make Mandatory After Povetkin McCrory Believes Tyson Fury Was Victim of a Press Campaign Warren: Real Answer Is Joshua's Team Doesn't Want Wilder Fight De La Hoya: GGG's Mexican Style A Gimmick; Canelo's Fans Loyal Doheny Upsets Iwasa; Wins Unanimous Decision, IBF Title Haye Backs Tyson Fury: I Hope He Gets Back To Former Glory Luke Jackson Very Confident: Boxing Has Been My Parents! Cummings Insists He Can Reach The Top, No Excuses For Defeat Tyson Fury: I Have To Raise My Game To Win a World Title De La Hoya: Canelo Beat Golovkin 115-113, GGG Can't Adjust! Doheny: Iwasa May Have Reach Advantage, But I Have The Power Rosales vs. Barnes and The Ongoing Flyweight Reset De La Hoya: Hopkins Will Cheer Canelo To Derail Record Attempt Jesus Rojas May Face Can Xu in Year-End Title Defense
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement