The World Boxing Series cruiserweight quarterfinal matchup between Murat Gassiev and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk is officially set for October 21 in Newark, meaning that the cruiserweight opening round is now fully mapped out.
Earlier today, Oleksandr Usyk defeated Marco Huck in the first bout of the tournament in Berlin.
Gassiev (24-0, 17 KO) will be defending his IBF title against former titleholder Wlodarczyk (53-3-1, 37 KO), a dangerous veteran who has won four straight since a 2014 loss to Grigory Drozd.
The 35-year-old Wlodarczyk has been a player in the division since 2006, when he met Steve Cunningham in the first of two bouts, which the fighters split in 2006 and 2007. He won the IBF title in the first Cunningham bout, dropping it back in the rematch, and then won the WBC title in 2010, defeating Giacobbe Fragomeni. He made six defenses of that title before losing it to Drozd in 2014.
Gassiev, 23, is newer on the scene, but also the younger, fresher fighter. The Russian defeated countryman Denis Lebedev for the IBF belt last December, a split decision in Moscow, knocking off another longtime top name in the division.
With a large Polish population in and around the city of Newark, Wlodarczyk likely will be the crowd favorite on fight night, and if promoted well, the fight should do decent enough business even though the fighters are not local.