Murat Gassiev ready for Krzysztof Wlodarczyk

IBF Cruiserweight World Champion Murat “Iron” Gassiev shared his thoughts from training camp in Big Bear, Calif., as fight week nears for his World Boxing Super Series quarter-final showdown Saturday, October 21 against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J and on AUDIENCE Network.

Gassiev first arrived to train in the U.S. in 2014 and has worked with the renowned Abel Sanchez, eventually capturing his title with a victory over Denis Lebedev in December 2016.

“Abel is an amazing guy and he has pushed me very hard in the gym,” said Gassiev. “He’s really a father figure here in the gym. I have so much respect for him and the way that he treats people. The best thing that I ever did was come here to train with Abel Sanchez.

“We have very hard and intense training, but this is not ballet. He’s preparing me for battle and I trust that he knows exactly what we need to do to have success.”

Matchroom signs 5-year deal with DAZN, splitting with Sky

“There are no world champions in my gym,” said Sanchez. “Your belts stay at home. My gym is just a place to work and get better. I can already see the improvements in this training camp for Gassiev. He had Lebedev down but didn’t finish him. Moments like that, you have to finish the job.”

The 23-year-old from Vladikavkaz, Russia had a winding road to success in the squared circle, but quickly embraced the sport upon picking it up at 15-years-old.

“Boxing was actually not my first sport,” said Gassiev. “My city has produced lots of Olympic and world champion wrestlers, so that was my first sport. Then I tried soccer, but that wasn’t quite right either. One day I went to a boxing gym with my friend and right away I knew, this was what I needed. Eight years later, and I’m very happy where I am.”

Gassiev has trained alongside the likes of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin up in the unique atmosphere and altitude of Big Bear.

“It’s very important to be in a place like this because the only focus is training,” said Gassiev. “This is what we do all day. This is exactly what I need to be at my best and win this tournament. I don’t see my family for a long time, but it’s part of my life. This is my business and I’m doing all of this for my family.

“We have a very diverse group of fighters here in Big Bear. We’re all family and support each other. It’s been a great experience for me and I’ve learned a lot about different cultures.

Conor Benn is better than his dad Nigel says Billy Joe Saunders

“Some guys who come in for sparring in Big Bear really don’t anticipate how the altitude changes things. They think they can fight 10 rounds, but after three it is too much. This is the best place to prepare for tough fights.”

“This has been a really smooth camp,” said Sanchez. “I haven’t had any more problems with sparring partners vanishing after a couple days in the ring with Gassiev. We have the tools to make him even better than in his last performance.”

The winner of the Gassiev vs. Wlodarczyk fight will meet WBA champion Yunier Dorticos in a unification showdown in the WBSS semi-finals. However, Gassiev knows he cannot look past the two-time champion standing in his way in the quarter-finals.

“I know that I have to prepare myself for a tough fight,” said Gassiev. “I’m facing an experienced fighter and it’ll be a great test for my career. I’m ready for this.

“I have worked hard in this sport to become a world champion. I believed in myself and in my team. This tournament gives me the opportunity to be a unified champion and to fight the best fighters to prove it. I will show everyone who I am.”

“This tournament is a peculiar beast and there are no second chances,” said Sanchez. “I’ve always hoped for a great tournament where each fight is tougher than the last. I have big respect for Wlodarczyk and his trainer, but Gassiev has to knock him out if the chance arrives. I’m expecting this to be another great experience for Gassiev.”

Saunders unhappy with Hearn planning Canelo vs. Plant

Promoted by Ringstar Sports in association with World Boxing Super Series, tickets for the live event are on sale now and are available at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets are also available to purchase at the Prudential Center box office.

Featured bouts on October 21 will see Polish contender Mateusz Masternak facing once-beaten Stivens Bujaj in a WBSS cruiserweight reserve match and unbeaten Polish contender Maciej Sulecki taking on former title challenger Jack Culcay.

Gassiev vs. Wlodarczyk undercard

Local prospect Julian Rodriguez (16-0, 10 KOs) returns to the ring as the New Jersey-native defends his perfect record in a six-round welterweight bout that highlights an exciting night of undercard attractions on Saturday, October 21 from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Promoted by Ringstar Sports in association with World Boxing Super Series, tickets for the live event are on sale now and are available at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets are also available to purchase at the Prudential Center box office.

The October 21 event is headlined by the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight quarterfinal showdown between IBF Champion Murat Gassiev and former cruiserweight world champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk live on AUDIENCE Network. Featured bouts also include Polish contender Mateusz Masternak facing once-beaten Stivens Bujaj in a WBSS cruiserweight reserve match and unbeaten Polish contender Maciej Sulecki taking on former title challenger Jack Culcay.

Also competing in undercard bouts are 2016 Lithuanian Olympian Eimantas Stanionis (3-0, 3 KOs), who enters the ring for an eight-round welterweight fight, 2016 Nigerian Olympian Efe Ajaba (1-0, 1 KO) in a six-round heavyweight showdown and rising unbeaten prospect Money Powell IV (4-0, 3 KOs) against Detroit’s Antonio Urista (9-2, 2 KOs) in a six-round super welterweight affair.

Rounding out the night of fights is powerful super welterweight Skender Halili (14-2, 13 KOs) of Kosovo in a six-round bout against Samuel Amoako (19-15, 16 KOs) and Nigerian cruiserweight Efetobor Apochi (2-0, 2 KOs) in a four-round fight against Lawrence Gabriel (1-1-1).

Representing Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., Rodriguez had a stellar amateur career that included a 2013 National Golden Gloves title, a 2012 U.S. Amateur Championships silver medal and a spot as an alternate on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. The 22-year-old has continued to impress since turning pro in 2013, delivering knockouts in nine of his first 10 fights. Rodriguez has picked up victories over Jerry Belmontes and Dario Ferman in 2017 and will fight in his home state for the first time since he stopped Peter Oluoch in round one at Prudential Center in May 2015.

An accomplished amateur representing Kaunas, Lithuania, Stanionis is looking to become the next Eastern European fighter to make a splash in the U.S. The 23-year-old had a 141-19 record as an amateur and earned four senior national championships before winning gold at the European Olympic Qualifier to earn his trip to the 2016 Games. A gold medalist at welterweight at the 2015 European Amateur Boxing Championships, Stanionis has impressed with knockouts in his first three starts since turning pro in April, including a first round destruction of Oscar Valenzuela in September.

The 23-year-old Ajagba is set to turn pro after beating the odds and making the 2016 Rio Olympics to represent his native Nigeria. Although he lost in the quarterfinals, Ajagba made a splash by delivering a highlight reel knockout in his opening bout against Trinidad and Tobago. The fighter known as “King Kong” also won an African games gold medal during his impressive amateur career delivered a first round knockout in his pro debut in July.

Born in Germany, where his former boxer father was stationed in the military, Powell IV dedicated himself to boxing for good when his family moved back to the U.S. in 2011. The 19-year-old has quickly made a name for himself since then, winning the 2016 Youth Welterweight National Championship to earn the top ranking in the 152-pound division by USA Boxing. Fighting out of Fort Mitchell, on the state line of Alabama and Georgia, Powell has scored stoppage victories in three of his four pro victories.

WhatsApp
Tweet
Share