Another week, another great WBSS semi final, Murat Gassiev now heads to the final after a quite enthralling battle against Yunier Dorticos.
Gassiev the IBF cruiserweight champion added Yunier Dorticos’ WBA version to his waist line to standing ovations for both fighters at the Bolshoy Ice Dome.
Like Usyk’s epic battle with Mairis Briedis last week, the WBSS delivered again as Gassiev and Dorticos stood toe-to-toe and battered lumps out of each other.
Gassiev had much the better of proceedings though, but just couldn’t move Dorticos as combination after combination bounced off the Cuban’s chin.
In the end, those solid Gassiev punches told and wore down Dorticos until he fell to the canvas in the twelfth and final stanza.
Pouncing on his frailty, Gassiev dropped Dorticos again and finally through the ropes and there was only 16 seconds left when the contest was waved off.
‘Iron’ Murat was on his way to a points win anyway, but made doubly sure with a spectacular KO that will live long in the memory.
A final bout featuring the two best 200 pounders in the world will now take place in Jeddah later this spring as Usyk and Gassiev fight it out for the undisputed crown and Muhammad Ali Trophy.
The WBSS is on hold for two weeks and kicks back off with the super-middleweight semis when George Groves battles Chris Eubank Jr. on February 17 in Manchester.