IBF World Champion Murat Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs) and WBA World Champion Yunier Dorticos (22-0, 21 KOs) met at a press conference before their Ali Trophy semi-final at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia on Saturday.
“Dorticos is a well-schooled fighter,” said Gassiev.
“He has many amateur fights, good speed, and fast hands. He is a great opponent and I have prepared for 12 tough rounds.”
Murat ‘Iron’ Gassiev, the Russian second seed, earned his spot in the semi-final when he blew away Polish Krzysztof Wlodarczyk with a powerful performance to produce a third-round KO.
“The World Boxing Super Series is a great tournament that gives me the opportunity to unify all the cruiserweight titles. On Saturday I am going to take another step towards that dream in front of my proud countrymen.”
Cuban Dorticos has been oozing confidence in the built up for the fight:
“On a personal level I have no problems with Gassiev, but right now he has a problem. He has to find a defence against the missiles that are going to land on that big head of his. Gassiev will learn to respect ‘The KO Doctor’ on Saturday night.”
Cuban Dorticos aka ‘The KO Doctor’, the tournament’s fourth seed, impressed in his quarter-final with a devastating KO victory in the third round over Russian Dmitri Kudryashov.
“I will put on another show on Saturday for the fans in Russia and around the world. I have nothing to worry about. Gassiev has.”
The cruiserweight final of the World Boxing Super Series will take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in May 2018.
WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES FIXTURES
27/01/2018 Cruiserweight Semi-Final:
Aleksandr Usyk vs. Mairis Briedis (WBO World & WBC World) – Usyk won MD
Riga Arena, Riga, Latvia
03/02/18 Cruiserweight Semi-Final:
Murat Gassiev vs. Yunier Dorticos (IBF World & WBA World)
Bolshoy Ice Dome, Sochi, Russia
17/02/18 Super Middleweight Semi-Final:
George Groves vs. Chris Eubank Jr (WBA Super World & IBO World)
Manchester Arena, Manchester, UK
24/02/18 Super Middleweight Semi-Final:
Callum Smith vs. Juergen Braehmer (WBC Diamond Belt)
Arena Nürnberger Versicherung, Nuremberg, Germany
WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES AT A GLANCE
Number of participants: 16
Number of belts: 7
Number of world champions: 6
Number of former world champions: 3
Number of undefeated fighters: 9
Combined Record of participants (at start): 423 wins, 17 losses, 294 KOs