Arghh, why don't we get more bouts like this from the main purveyors of pro boxing in the US?
That was a thought I had while watching the WBSS semifinal match on Saturday, from Russia, which pitted Murat Gassiev against Cuban rumbler Yunior Dorticos.
At 2:52 of the 12th round, the Russian Gassiev (26-0 with 19 Kos) scored the third and final knockdown against a very game Dorticos (22-0 with 21 KOs entering). The winner's volume was still there in the late innings, and Dorticos finally succumbed to the Russian's onslaught. There is zero shame attached to the loser; he was busy and effective throughout the bout, but his rival had more in the tank, and a better grade chin.
In English, Gassiev said after that Dorticos was a hard hitter and gave the loser props. He said he looks forward to meeting Olek Usyk in May. Usyk, holder of two of four cruiser belts, came to the ring after the Gassiev win. He said he expects the final to be a “spectacular and beautiful” endeavor. It will take place in Saudi Arabia.
The action started out with the 31-year-old Cuban advancing, and Gassiev, 24, on the back foot, absorbing launches well. Then, after four or so, Gassiev started pressing forward, taking more of the fight to the slight favorite, Dorticos.
In round 11, Gassiev hurt Dorticos; a right hook had him stumbling, and he had to clinch to survive. Gassiev from round 4 or 5 was like a tank. He/it was moving forward, impervious to being stung by bullets. No emotion, just forward movement.
In round 12, we saw Gassiev still winging shots like it was round three. Yes, the third, because he was firing like he was properly warmed up and into a flow. A left hook dropped Dorticos. He got up, would he survive. Down he went again, on hs butt, after flurrying. Up again..would he make it to the end? He wouldn't, though he wanted to. He was spent, too hurt and fatigued to continue.
Gassiev now has the WBA and IBF crowns; he will take on Olesandre Usky in the cruiser final, in May. Hey, US cablers, grab this one, will ya? It’s a no brainer…