Moscow, Russia - In the final fight of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament, Oleksandr Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs) was too fast and too active, outboxing previously undefeated Murat Gassiev (26-1, 19 KOs) over twelve rounds, to unify the WBO, WBC, WBA, IBF world titles - and also secures the Muhammad Ali trophy. The scores were 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109. (photos by Olga Ivashchenko).
Usyk become the first boxer in the cruiserweight division to simultaneously hold all four of the major sanctioning body titles.
Usyk a 2012 Olympic gold medal winner, entered the World Boxing Super series with a tenth round stoppage over former world champion Marco Huck. In his WBSS semifinal bout, Usyk unified the WBC, WBO titles with a majority decision over Mairis Briedis on January 27th in Latvia.
Gassiev, who trains under veteran coach Abel Sanchez, entered the World Boxing Super Series with a 3rd round destruction of former world champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. In his WBSS semifinal bout, Gassiev unified the WBA, IBF titles title with a twelfth round stoppage over previously undefeated Yunier Dorticos on February 3, 2018.
The first round was more of feeling out process, with Usyk controlling most of the action with his jab. In the second, Usyk was executing more of his jab and keeping Gassiev at bay. Gassiev landed a good combination to the body, but not much more than that .Usyk's movement was giving Gassiev some trouble.
In the third, Usyk was throwing non-stop punches. Most of the shots were being blocked, but it was preventing Gassiev from letting his hands go. Usyk was also on the move at all times. Usyk was starting to throw a lot more power shots in the fourth. Gassiev was still going for the body to slow Usyk down. At the end of the round, Gassiev landed a big right that stunned Usyk.
Usyk was on the move in fifth, throwing a lot of short shots and Gassiev was landing the harder punches. Not enough work was coming from Gassiev. Usyk's workrate continued to control things in the sixth and seventh, as Gassiev was not able to get out of first gear. More of the same in the eight, with Usyk just outworking Gassiev in the fight.
Usyk started the ninth with a lot of punches. Gassiev tried to throw back, but not with enough punches. Usyk was starting to really work him over. He was overwhelming Gassiev in the tenth with big shots. For every one shot landed by Gassiev, there at least threes times the numbers in return. Gassiev's nose was bleeding and he looked very frustrated.
Gassiev was able to land a few in the eleventh, but Usyk continued to shower him with many more punches in return. Gassiev tried to land a homerun shot in the twelfth - and it was Usyk who continued to pump out a lot of punches from both hands until the final bell.