Usyk Dominates Gassiev To Unify WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF Titles


By Keith Idec

Oleksandr Usyk took Murat Gassiev to school Saturday night.

The intelligent, skillful southpaw masterfully out-boxed the hard-hitting Gassiev in their 12-round cruiserweight title unification fight at Olympic Stadium in Moscow. Ukraine’s Usyk used his stiff jab throughout their fight, landed occasional combinations, defended himself well against Gassiev’s right hand and won a unanimous decision to become their division’s undisputed champion.

Each of the three judges – Americans Mauro Di Fiore (119-109) and Robin Taylor (120-108) and Belgium’s Philippe Verbeke (119-109) – credited Usyk with a decisive victory in the final of the World Boxing Super Series’ cruiserweight tournament. The 31-year-old Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs) defended his WBC and WBO cruiserweight titles and took the IBF and WBA crowns from Russia’s Gassiev (26-1, 19 KOs).

As the World Boxing Super Series’ cruiserweight champion, Usyk also won the Muhammad Ali Trophy.

Usyk, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, fought at too fast of a pace for Gassiev, who rarely was able to hit Usyk with clean punches. At times toward the end of their fight, Gassiev looked dejected and resigned to losing a decision.

The elusive Usyk spent the last two rounds peppering Gassiev with his jab, connecting with right hooks and keeping away from Gassiev’s right hand.

Usyk’s left uppercut-right hook combination connected about a minute into the 10th round. Usyk also backed up Gassiev with a right hook just after the halfway point of the 10th.

Usyk continued to out-box Gassiev in the ninth round, when he worked off his jab and threw occasional combinations that kept Gassiev from letting his hands go.

Usyk’s skill won him the eighth round, as he consistently pumped his jab and moved out of Gassiev’s punching range. Usyk’s four-punch combination backed up Gassiev and was the highlight of the eighth round.

usyk-gassiev-weights (3)_1

Referee Celestino Ruiz warned Gassiev for a low blow in a third straight round when Gassiev landed a punch below Usyk’s belt in the seventh round. Gassiev just missed with a hard right hand later in the seventh, during which Usyk continued to box and defend himself well.

Gassiev landed a left hook soon after the midway point of the sixth round, but Usyk fired back with a left-right combination that landed. Ruiz warned Gassiev for a low blow in the sixth, the second straight round he warned Gassiev.

Gassiev’s hard right hand shook up Usyk at the end of the fourth round, but he began the fifth round on strong legs and got back to pumping his jab and moving away from Gassiev’s dominant hand. Ruiz warned Gassiev for a low blow with around 30 seconds left in the fifth round.

Gassiev’s hard overhand right hand caught Usyk flush on the jaw and caused him to hold just before the fourth round ended.

Usyk’s stiff jab snapped back Gassiev’s head with about two minutes remaining in the fourth round. Approximately a minute later, Usyk moved away and made Gassiev miss wildly with a right hand.

A counter left hook by Gassiev grazed the side of Usyk’s head and was his best punch of the third round.

Gassiev landed a solid left hook to the body with just over two minutes to go in the second round. Gassiev connected with another left to the body late in the second round.

Usyk didn’t land anything heavy in the first round, but he controlled it with his jab and activity. Usyk also moved in the opposite direction of Gassiev’s dangerous right hand throughout the first round.

Gassiev advanced to the final by knocking out Cuba’s Yunier Dorticos (22-1, 21 KOs) in the 12th round of their semifinal February 3 in Sochi, Russia. Usyk reached the final by beating Mairis Briedis (24-1, 18 KOs) by majority decision in their semifinal January 27 in Riga, Latvia, Briedis’ hometown.

Gassiev and Usyk were supposed to meet in the WBSS final May 11 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Usyk suffered an elbow injury in training, though, and it was postponed until Saturday and moved to Moscow.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by RJJ-94-02=GOAT on 07-26-2018

[QUOTE=Banderivets;18965576]I give Ward his props but there is no chance he beats Usyk. He is 6'0 with 71" reach vs Usyk's 6'3" 78" It would be one thing if Ward was some kind of skill phenom but he isn't. He…

Comment by RJJ-94-02=GOAT on 07-26-2018

[QUOTE=kidbazooka;18960136]You do realize he unified arguably one of the weakest divisions in boxing history right?[/QUOTE] 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣Nah... 140 was way weaker when Crawford unified it. Aside from Trinidad, who exactly did B-Hop take belts from at 160? Mercado, Holmes. Neither of…

Comment by RJJ-94-02=GOAT on 07-26-2018

[QUOTE=SteveM;18962963]The Ring now has him at number 4 which is about right. I wouldn't have GGG at number one. It is an incredible achievement. He does get touched though, especially early in fights when his opponent hasn't been stung 500…

Comment by QueensburyRules on 07-25-2018

--- Son of Gollum ALERT*** Soggysh** turned down the massive Froch rematch payday in England because he couldn't leave his mommy's skirts. He ain't going overseas to expose his inner slimy worm and nobody ever wanted to watch him in…

Comment by Banderivets on 07-25-2018

I give Ward his props but there is no chance he beats Usyk. He is 6'0 with 71" reach vs Usyk's 6'3" 78" It would be one thing if Ward was some kind of skill phenom but he isn't. He…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (675)
Top Headlines Joseph Diaz, Manager To Meet: Decide on Weight Class Future Canelo 30-Day Weight For Golovkin Rematch - 167.4-Pounds Loeffler: Golovkin is 1 Win Away From Breaking Hopkins Record Fury: Wilder Coming Over Because He Knows Where Daddy Lives Arum is Firm: Murata To Face Quigley, Won't Bow To WBA Order Jermain Taylor - Domestic Violence Charges Are Dropped Tony Yoka's Appeal is Rejected, Doping Ban is Upheld By Judge Jacobs-Derevyanchenko Likely Headed to MSG Theater October 27 Derrick Webster Continues Streak, Stops Les Sherrington in Six Mariana Juarez, Jackie Nava in Line To Collide Later This Year Fury: You'll See 'Heavyweight Sugar Ray Leonard' Against Pianeta Golovkin 30-Day Weight For Canelo Rematch - 168.3-Pounds Hooker Pumped: I'm Ready To Make Saucedo My Next Victim! Golovkin Explains Saunders Deal, Tense Negotiations For Canelo Usyk vs. Bellew: Very Positive Meetings Take Place For Fight Hooker vs. Saucedo Purse Bid: Top Rank Beats Out Hearn Rigondeaux Looks To Work With DeCubas Jr., Aims To Be Active Ryosuke Iwasa vs. TJ Doheny Will Be Carried By ESPN+ Photos: Tyson Fury, Francesco Pianeta - Go Face To Face Fury's Coach: Our Focus Right Now is On Pianeta, Not Wilder Photos: Jose Pedraza Grinds Hard For Rey Beltran Title Fight Ruben Guerrero Leans To Canelo To Beat Golovkin in Rematch Arum on Pacquiao Meeting and Lomachenko's Future Trainer: Whyte-Chisora II Should Be Next; Whyte's Options Limited Tyson Fury Vows To "Spank Deontay Wilder All Over Las Vegas!" David Allen Draws Up a 5 Man Hit-List: Price, Browne, Helenius Wilder: Joshua Damaged Name in U.S., I'll KO Fury in Mid-Rounds Paddy Barnes: Rosales Fight Will Define Me, Define My Career Jessie Vargas: I Can Face Broner in Rematch, Lamont Peterson British Title News: Askin-Okolie, Heffron, Skeete-Corcoran, More Video: Austin Trout Talks Canelo-Golovkin, Charlo, More Holmes emerging from brother's shadow with promotional push Roy Jones: Bivol Needs One or Two More Fights Before Alvarez Lebedev vs. Altunkaya on Sept. 7, Mikhalkin vs. Siaca on Sept. 15 Ruben Villa Back in Action on August 24 at The Doubletree Hotel Photos: Mayweather's Back To School Charity Draws Over 1,000 Lennox Lewis: Fury More Difficult To Beat Than Wilder, Joshua Wilder: Fury Will Be Tougher Fight For Me Than People Think Oscar Valdez Leaves Robles, Hires Eddy Reynoso as Trainer Max Ornelas Continues Streak With Win Over Tabugan

Latest Active Forum Threads