IBF World Champion Murat Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs) and WBA World Champion Yunier Dorticos (22-0, 21 KOs) entertained a big crowd at the public workout in Sochi before the Ali Trophy semi-final on Saturday at the Bolshoy Ice Dome. “It was great to feel the support of so many people. The fans are really excited about this fight,“ said Gassiev.
His Cuban opponent also received a great reception from hundreds of fans turning up to see the unbeaten fighters before Saturday’s showdown.
“The fight week has kicked off well here in Sochi and the fans have been giving me a great reception. I will pay them back with a great show,” said Dorticos.
Not only are the fans looking forward to seeing who will meet Aleksandr Usyk in the final in Jeddah in May. Over 150 journalists have secured accreditation for Saturday’s semi-final.
The ultra-entertaining World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) semifinals-round concludes this Saturday, when undefeated world champions Murat “Iron” Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs) and Yunier “The KO Doctor” Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs) throw-down in a unification fight, at Bolshov Ice Dome in Adler, Russia.
Like all WBSS action, the Gassiev-Dorticos card will air live in Canada, starting at 2 p.m. ET, exclusively on Super Channel.
The Gassiev-Dorticos winner will advance this May to the WBSS championship final in Saudi Arabia, to fight WBO/WBC world champion Oleksandr “The Cat” Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs), winner of this past Saturday’s WBSS semifinals match against Mairis Briedis (23-1, 18 KOs). The WBSS’ Muhammad Ali Trophy winner will become the first world cruiserweight champion to hold all four major championship belts at the same time.
Super Channel acquired the exclusive rights in Canada to broadcast the World Boxing Super Series from MP & Silva, a leading international media company that provides media rights, digital, technology and sponsorship services.
The 23-year-old Gassiev captured his International Boxing Federation (IBF) crown a year ago with a 12-round split decision victory over three-time world cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev (29-1). In the WBSS quarterfinals, Gassiev knocked out two-time world cruiserweight champion Krsysztof Wlodarczysk (53-3-1) in the third round of his initial world title defense.
A Cuban defector who now lives in Miami, Florida, Dorticos stopped interim World Boxing Association (WBA) cruiserweight champion Youri Kalenga (22-2) in the 10th round of their 2016 fight, and he was later elevated to “regular” WBA world champion. Dorticos put Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1) to sleep in the second round of their WBSS quarterfinals match.
“I’m ready to show Gassiev what a champion looks like and give him a challenge he’s never faced before. I want to take his belt. In other words; Gassiev is my next victim. I am preparing my body and soul for the most important fight in my career. Because the only thing I’m going to accept is the victory.
“I have worked hard to be able to be a part of this tournament, I have worked hard to be able to prove that I am the best cruiserweight in the world. I believe I am the best in the world, and I can’t wait to fight again and show the fans all over the world once again what ‘The KO Doctor’ is about.”
Six fights, including four championship matches on the “Gassiev vs. Dorticos” card, which is promoted by Sauerland Event, will air exclusively in Canada on Super Channel.
In the co-featured event, Russian strongman Maksim Vlosov (41-2, 24 KOs) takes on 2008 Nigerian Olympian Olanreqaju Dorolola (27-4, 25 KOs) in the 12-round WBSS Cruiserweight Substitute Fight for the vacant WBC Silver title. Plus, former world champion Fedor Chudinov (16-2, 11 KOs), of Russia, puts his WBA International super middleweight crown on the line in a 12-round fight against unbeaten 21-year-old American challenger Bobby Gunn, Jr. (9-0, 7 KOs), whose father, Bobby Gunn, is a bare knuckles champion; and WBA International bantamweight titlist Mikhail Aloyan (3-0-0), of Russia by way of Armenia, faces unbeaten Nicaraguan Alexander Espinoza (15-0-2, 7 KOs) in a 10-rounder. Two swing bouts are also slated: Basir Abakarov (3-0, 3 KOs) vs. Denis Bakhtov (39-12, 26 KOs) in a 10-round battle of Russian heavyweights, and a four-round heavyweight match between Russian prospect Tair Kelekhsaev (1-0, 1 KO) vs. TBA.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.