IBF Cruiserweight World Champion Murat Gassiev is full of praise for both Mairis Briedis and Mike Perez.
Murat Gassiev watched with interest as Mairis Briedis defeated Mike Perez via unanimous decision in the World Boxing Super Series in Riga, Latvia on Saturday night.
And the Russian IBF World Champion is full of praise for both combatants and fellow participants in the Ali Trophy cruiserweight tournament.
“The fight went the distance which is the reason why the fans could say it was boring but it was not,” said ‘Iron’ Murat Gassiev.
“Perez was doing great. His stamina was there. His speed was there. He was motivated. He lost but the fact is now we have a very dangerous fighter in our division. I think he is capable of becoming a mandatory challenger in the near future.”
Murat Gassiev was impressed by WBC world champion Mairis Briedis’ ability to adjust.
“Briedis showed that he is master of his craft. He showed that he is able to adjust to any situation in the ring,” said Gassiev.
“If you try to back him up he has a good defense. If you work from a distance, he is ready too. If you want the inside work with some of Marko Huck’s elements — he’s ready. He’s ready for everything. I think that Briedis’ uppercuts and dirty boxing surprised Perez.”
Murat Gassiev will undoubtedly watch Mairis Briedis again in the upcoming clash against WBO world champion Aleksandr Usyk in the semifinal:
“His fight with Usyk will be very interesting. Those who think that Usyk is going have an easy fight are wrong. I look forward to it, he says.
Murat Gassiev steps into the World Boxing Super Series when he faces off against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in the final cruiserweight quarterfinal on October 21 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
The winner will face WBA world champion Yunier Dorticos in a unification fight in the semifinal.
Gassiev – Wlodarczyk Undercard: Mateusz Masternak faces Stivens Bujaj on 10/21
Hard-hitting Polish contender Mateusz Masternak (39-4, 26 KOs) will battle once-beaten Stivens Bujaj (16-1-1, 11 KOs) in a 10-round World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight reserve match on Saturday, October 21 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
READ RESULTS: Glowacki defeats Vlasov & Briedis decisions Mikaelian
"In my top form I know that I can beat better fighters than Bujaj," said Masternak. "I don't think he can hurt me. Every fight is important, boxing teaches you that every day. But Bujaj is a stepping stone for me to bigger fights. He is saying that he beat me in sparring a few years ago, but how well could it have gone if he departed faster than he arrived? I have no time to make a mistake and lose a fight like this so I will be ready for anything when we enter the ring."
Fighting out of Wroclaw, Poland, Masternak has fought a slew of top champions and challengers in the cruiserweight division and enters this fight the winner of his last three contests. The 30-year-old has battled Tony Bellew, Grigory Drozd and Youri Kalenga while also picking up the European cruiserweight championship with a victory over Juho Haapoja. Masternak has fought in nine countries throughout his career and returns to the fight the U.S. for the first time since his fourth pro bout in 2006.
"Get ready to see the best Stivens Bujaj ever," said Bujaj. "I've been training two, sometimes three times a day. I've been in this sport since I was 15 years old, and it all comes down to this moment. This is my world championship. It's going to be the fight of my life and I'm ready to do whatever it takes. I've sparred Masternak before and I dominated for eight rounds and they sent me home. I'm ready to finish what I started on October 21!"
An Albanian fighter living in New York, Bujaj was a two-time New York Golden Gloves champion before turning pro in 2010 and going unbeaten in his first 18 pro bouts. The 27-year-old won three times in 2016, including a victory over then unbeaten Sergio Ramirez before dropping a bout to undefeated Constantin Bejenaru. Bujaj has been hampered by injuries during his career but returns to the ring healthy and ready to resume his climb to the top of the division.
Representing Warsaw, Poland, Sulecki pulled off his most impressive victory to date last year when he stopped then unbeaten contender Hugo Centeno Jr. in the 10th and final round of their fight. The 28-year-old has picked up victories over Damiam Bonelli and Michi Munoz since then as he seeks a world title at 154-pounds. Sulecki will return to Prudential Center for the second time after knocking out Jose Miguel Berrio in 2015 at the venue in Newark.
Culcay was originally born in Ecuador but grew up in Germany and in 2008 he represented the Germans at the 2008 Olympics. The 32-year-old was dominant in winning his first 14 pro fights and picking up the WBA inter-continental super welterweight title. Culcay put together another seven-fight winning streak and won the WBA interim super welterweight title before dropping a world title bout to Demetrius Andrade by close split-decision in March.