It was billed as a 50-50 fight between the two best cruiserweights in the world. And it may have been a fight between the two best cruiserweights in the world. But one of them was a whole lot better.
Oleksandr Usyk owned the ring today in Moscow, shutting down any and all attempts by Murat Gassiev to win a wide unanimous decision, claiming all four cruiseweight title belts and the Muhammad Ali Trophy as winner of the World Boxing Super Series.
Usyk (15-0, 11 KO) won on scores of 119-109, 119-109, and 120-108. The 31-year-old Ukrainian jabbed and moved effectively throughout the bout, befuddling the single-minded Gassiev, whose power was his only weapon, and one he found holstered through the bulk of the bout.
Gassiev (26-1, 19 KO) was simply out of his depth with Usyk, who looked a career-best in the victory, dictating the pace and handling the odd shot that Gassiev did land with no real trouble at all.
It was a disappointing performance from Gassiev, but you have to credit Usyk for that. Styles make fights, and there was simply nothing Gassiev could do in this one. He was never able to find any rhythm or sustained offense, failed miserably at cutting off the ring, and was flat outclassed.
For Usyk, it was a showcase of skills, and the victory establishes him as no doubt the best cruiserweight in the world, and one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.
According to CompuBox, Usyk landed 252 of 939 (27%) punches, easily outpacing Gassiev, who landed 91 of 313 (29%). Usyk was relentless with his jab, scoring with 99 of 519 thrown, compared to just 9 of 74 from Gassiev. Usyk also easily won the power punch game, 153-82.