Last night in Moscow, Russia, former cruiserweight champ Murat Gassiev had his first fight since October of last year, his second since July of 2018, and his second fight as a heavyweight. Gassiev, still only 27 years of age, stopped Michael Wallisch in the fourth round. Gassiev, beaten only by Oleksandr Usyk (this in The WBSS final of 2018), floored Wallisch with a body shot in the fourth, then dropped him again with a right to the head, before Gassiev got the TKO as the ref dived in as Wallisch was under yet more fire.
Gassiev is now 28-1(21) and it will be interesting seeing how far the Russian star can go as a heavyweight. Germany’s Wallisch, who gave it a go last night, falls to 22-5(15), with all 5 of his defeats coming via stoppage.
Today, ahead of their Wembley fight, heavyweights Joe Joyce and Carlos Takam weighed-in. Joyce, the heavy favourite to win, came in heavier than he did for his last fight, that being the November stoppage win over Daniel Dubois. “Juggernaut” came in today at 263 and a quarter, the 35 year old some five pounds more than what he tipped-in at for the Dubois win. Still, Joyce is a big guy and he looks to be in great shape.
Takam, the older man by five years, came in at 248 and a half, and he too looks to have worked hard for tomorrow night’s fight. Two big guys will collide in London tomorrow and fans should get a good show. Takam, 39-5-1(28) is talking a great fight, while Joyce, unbeaten at 12-0(11) says he will win this fight and that he then wants to challenge either the winner of the Anthony Joshua-Oleksandr Usyk fight, or the winner of the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder three-match.
There is a lot at stake with tomorrow’s fight and it goes without saying how Joyce cannot afford any slip-ups. Promoter Frank Warren recently told Joyce that he has to look impressive in beating Takam. Can Joyce get the KO, and if so, can he do it quicker than Anthony Joshua (10th round) and Dereck Chisora (8th round) managed when they fought Takam?