It’s Monday, and some buzz still lingers from Oleksandr Usyk’s master class showing against Murat Gassiev on Saturday in Moscow.
It was that fine a showing.
Our news cycles in this age linger less, as things that make impact do so rapidly and brightly, and then our short attention spans move on to the next shiny object. But real class, truly compelling work, can have a longer shelf life on the stages. As with Usyk.
CompuBox offered up some figures to help us better comprehend the WBSS cruiserweight finale victory by the Ukrainian who learned at PapaChenko University. Let’s delve into these some, shall we?
8: average punches landed per round by Gassiev (Cruiserweight average: 15)
Yep, Usyk’s volume barrage made it that much harder for Gassiev to get going, re-proving that often-times, a good offense acts as the best defense…
9: rounds in which Gassiev landed in single digits in power punches
14: average punches landed per round by Gassiev in his previous 2 WBSS fights
The Russian was seen as owning the power edge coming in. But is a power edge really an edge if the bomb-maker can’t detonate his wares?
14: average punches landed per round by Usyk in rounds 1 thru 6
26: average punches thrown per round by Gassiev
29: average punches landed per round by Usyk in rounds 7 thru 12
See this, students? This is indicative of someone who has that cardio locked down, and also someone who has a game plan and is sticking to it. He was landing more later, meaning he was saving up gas for the journey’s home stretch. And that speaks to what Abel Sanchez, Gassiev’s trainer, told me after the loss. The single biggest difference in the fight was the experience factor. Usyk made Gassiev look like the student in this dynamic, not the master.
43: average jabs thrown per round by Usyk (Cruiserweight average: 23)
The jab is THE table setter for most boxers. If you have crazy hand speed and can simply throw lead combos, then you can sort of dictate pace and tempo without starting off with that introductory offering. But Usyk’s “how do you do” punch, the jab, helped him be the bossman in most every second of every round.
47: punches landed by Usyk in round 12 - a fight high (Cruiserweight average: 15)
This speaks to game planning, again. Usky had plenty o’ gas left in the tank at the finish line, speaking to, again, experience. He apportioned his fuel expertly, and why was he able to do that? Because he’s fought over 400 matches, amateur and pro. #Experience, hashtag it, it matters quite often, when all things are equal.
48: average punches thrown per round by Gassiev in his 2 previous WBSS wins
63: average punches thrown per round by Usyk in rounds 1 thru 6
94: average punches thrown per round by Usyk in rounds 7 thru 12
The Ukrainian knew after he looked merely mortal in the WBSS semi that he needed to do more to impress more. He pushed himself, after looking hard and long in the mirror, and delivered. By the way, where is he now on your pound-for-pound list, my friends?
117: punches thrown by Usyk in round 12 - a fight high (Cruiser average: 52)
#Experience. Knowing how much fuel to use, what your MPG is, #experience.
257 to 60: margin by which Usyk outlanded his 3 WBSS opponents in jabs
Students and, heck, teachers, pay attention. Want to start your game-planning? Start with the jab, and work off of that!
939: total punches thrown by Usyk - a career high (Cruiserweight record: 1215 - Felix Cora)
Man knew he needed to be better so he’d take this win in a fashion resembling this, so he worked his ass off, and delivered. Props go out to Usyk, even days after the win, because it is deserved!
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