IBF World Champion Murat Gassiev (90,3 kg) (25-0, 18 KOs) and WBA World Champion Yunier Dorticos (90,7 kg) (22-0, 21 KOs) made weight ahead of Saturday’s Ali Trophy semi-final at the Bolshoy Ice Dome, Sochi.
“I would like to thank every who came to the weigh-in,” said Gassiev. “I don’t feel any pressure at all. I am looking forward to fighting in front of my family, friends, and fans.”
“The stare down was intense, but that is normal. I see a future in the tournament after this fight. I will do my job.”
Said Cuban Dorticos: “I will end the fight before the fifth round. I will kick his butt in front of his own fans.”
“On Saturday the Russian fans and boxing fanatics all over the world will learn what the ‘KO Doctor’ is about!”
Saturday’s winner will face Ukraine’s Aleksandr Usyk in the final of the cruiserweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series. The final takes place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in May.
The cruiserweight semifinals of the popular World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) concludes today when undefeated world champions Murat “Iron” Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs) and Yunier “The KO Doctor” Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs) battle in their title unification bout, airing in Canada exclusively on Super Channel (2 p.m. ET start), live from Bolshov Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia.
The Gassiev-Dorticos winner will advance May to the WBSS championship final in Saudi Arabia this May to fight WBO/WBC world champion Oleksandr “The Cat” Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs), winner of the other WBSS semifinals match against previously unbeaten 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.
Gassiev, 23, 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 first world title defense.
“I don’t feel any pressure at all,” Gassiev said. “I am looking forward to fighting in front of my family, friends and fans. The stare-down was intense, but that is normal. I see a future in the tournament after this fight. I will do my job.”
Cuba-born Dorticos knocked out interim World Boxing Association (WBA) cruiserweight champion Youri Kalenga (22-2) in the 10th round of their 2016 fight, and Dorticos, who stopped Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1) in the second round of their WBSS quarterfinals match, was elevated to WBA Cruiserweight World Champion.
“I will end the fight before the fifth round,” Dorticos predicted. “I will kick his butt in front of his own fans. Russian fans and boxing fanatics all over the world will learn 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.