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Usyk Rejects The Idea of Facing Gassiev in Russia

By Luke Furman

As previously reported, the world cruiserweight champion of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and the World Boxing Council (WBC), Olkesandr Usyk of Ukraine, withdrew from a scheduled fight with IBF, WBA world champion Murat Gassiev.

Usyk, who suffered a minor elbow injury, was scheduled to fight Gassiev next month in Saudi Arabia.

Their contest is the final bout of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament.

oleksandr-usyk (2)_1

According to the boxer himself, he will be ready to fight by the end of June or early July.

While the contest is being targeted for Saudi Arabia, there is a huge financial push to secure the fight for Russia.

The General Secretary of the Russian Boxing Federation, Umar Kremlev, has already gone on record that his organization is ready and willing to stake a lot of money to stage Usyk vs. Gassiev on July 22 in Moscow.

But the location does not sit very well for Usyk, who rejects the idea of facing Gassiev on his home turf.

"Most likely, I will be ready to fight by the end of June or the start of July, and [the fight] will not be Russia. Of course, it could take place in Russia, but then [the fight] would be without Olekandr Usyk," said Usyk to Ukrainian Sport.

Usyk reached the tournament final by first picking up a dominating stoppage victory over former champion Marco Huck, and then winning a very tough twelve round unanimous decision over Marius Briedis in the semi-final. Gassiev knocked out Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in the first round of the tournament and then won an absolute war when he knocked out Yunier Dorticos in the semil-finals.

Gassiev has a record of 26 wins (19 by knockout) and no defeats. And Usyk has a ledger of 14 wins (11 by knockout), and no defeats.

Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Shontae De'marc on 04-17-2018

Don't get the complaints, he's fought for all his titles in his opponent's backyard and now he is on EQUAL footing with Gassiev (both 2 belts each) and I'd wager Usyk is more of the A-side. It would be a…

Comment by Ray* on 04-17-2018

I don’t blame him at all. I know Saudi Arabia is too neutral but having it in Russia should be a no no. Take it to Germany, Sweden, Denmark etc anywhere but Russia.

Comment by Gurgutt on 04-17-2018

People in Ukraine are very angry about Russia these days. He would be crucified by his own folks if he just hinted about going to Russia.

Comment by chrisJS on 04-17-2018

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;18679977]Oh I get it. Andre Ward is a diva but Usyk isn't. And Wilder will get crap despite wanting to fight Povetkin in Russia and even flying to Europe early in preparation. But Usyk won't get crap. I see how…

Comment by mlac on 04-17-2018

[QUOTE=Diegosome1;18679997]Usyk has fought in way more countries than Ward[/QUOTE] Because it's hard to beat 1 :lol1: [MENTION=136515]ShoulderRoll[/MENTION] Wilder has no option in the matter, povetkin was mandatory, he either had to drop the belt or go to Russia. i have…

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