Murat Gassiev simply outboxed and outfought Yunier Dorticos today in Russia, unifying the IBF and WBA cruiserweight titles with a 12th round TKO victory.
The win also moves Gassiev (26-0, 19 KO) on to the World Boxing Super Series final, where he’ll meet WBO and WBC titleholder Oleksandr Usyk (14-0, 11 KO) for all the marbles in the cruiserweight division. That fight is expected on May 11 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Gassiev was largely able to own the ring in this fight, as Dorticos (22-1, 21 KO) never got his own offense going, trying to rely too heavily on his big right hand, which he never really landed. Gassiev, on the other hand, consistently landed real power shots, with Dorticos showcasing an iron chin throughout the fight.
But even an iron chin can’t stand up forever, and in the 12th round, an aggressive — desperate, really — Dorticos was decked by a monster left hook from Gassiev. The fight was really over there, but Dorticos tried to continue on, getting dropped two more times before referee Eddie Claudio called the fight off.
It was a great showing at home for Gassiev, who now moves on to meet Usyk to decide the world’s true best cruiserweight — and, at least for a minute, the division’s only world champion.