Usyk vs Gassiev – Preview + Prediction

Usyk vs Gassiev – Preview + Prediction

Well it has took a while to get here but finally it is fight week for the World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight Final in Russia between Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev . This will be the first time in ten years that the Cruiserweight division has seen a lineal champion . On Saturday night we will be treated to what may be the best fight of this year as there is very little to choose between these two elite level operators . You can take all the talk about splits and money that so often stops fights like this happening , this fight is what boxing is all about .

Oleksandr Usyk

Oleksandr Usyk is one of my favourite fighters to watch . Another product of the Ukrainian Boxing system this guy brings a little bit of Vasyl Lomachenko style to the big boy weights and i for one love it . Like Lomachenko , Usyk has been fast tracked due to his extensive experience as an top level amateur which has seen him have to learn on the job at times but each time he has found a way to win . Usyk’s big most valuable asset is his hi intensity work rate , he doesn’t just come forward but he comes in from the sides , constantly looking to back opponents up waiting for that moment where there concentration lapses and he can pounce . Most of Usyk’s work comes off the jab which disguises where his attack will come from , a technique that does seem to be a work in progress but one that the Ukrainian is close to mastering . Usyk proved in his last fight in the semi final against Mairus Briedis in Latvia that even when things aren’t working he can go to war and win , something that he may need to draw on come Saturday . Up until Usyk fought Briedis we hadn’t really seen him tested , and nobody ever really knows how someone will react when they are dragged into a battle . In that fight i thought Briedis was unlucky , he just fell short of the mark and showed Usyk can be very naive falling for the traps that Briedis had set and time and time agains Usyk walked on to big shots , something Usyk Cannot afford to do this weekend or it will be goodnight .

Murat Gassiev

Gassiev is someone who has benefited massively from the WBSS with his success in the tournament bringing him to front and centre in the division that is stacked with talent . Gassiev has a very fan friendly style as this boy can bang . In his last outing in the WBSS semi final he fought Doriticos , another top level Cruiserweight who gave Gassiev all sorts of problems early in the fight . I honestly thought Doriticos was on his way to a well earned victory after the first four rounds but Gassiev like any true elite level boxer showed what it takes to turn from a valiant loser into a gallant winner . That night Gassiev had every excuse to ditch his original game plan as he was being caught on the way in time and time again but he didn’t , he knew Doriticos would slow down the longer the fight went on . As the early freshness faded from Doriticos , he slowed that of a half second and Gassiev could get to work , landing the harder more punishing shots that gradually breaking Doriticos down . That night I couldn’t help but acknowledge that Gassiev must have the upmost confidence in his corner , to have the confidence to stick with a gameplan that didn’t look to be working the first quarter of the fight and make the slight adjustments shows his class . Gassiev isn’t the kind of technician Usyk is but that’s not to say Gassiev doesn’t have skills . A bit like like Usyk , Gassiev does his best work on the front foot , prodding , punching and breaking opponents down . Gassiev i really good at countering his opponents just as they launch an attack , and with Gassiev’s power that is a danger for anybody .


This fight doesn’t just have the potential to be the best fight of this year , it has the potential to be the best fight for years top come , that is how highly i rate both these guys . Across all social media and boxing press everybody seems split as to how this fight will go . I think if Usyk makes the same mistakes he made against Briedis he will be stopped , he must show more patience and maybe not try and iniciante every exchange as that’s is when he will be vulnerable . Gassiev cannot go into this fight thinking Usyk will slow down like Doriticos , as i said before Usyk’s gas tank is his biggest asset . I can see this one going the distance with heart stopping moments for both sets of fans . I can see both guys having to dig deep and survive at points . From the start of the WBSS i have said Usyk will win the tournament and my pick hasn’t changed , but i do think it will be a lot closer than i first anticipated .

Usyk Split Decision

“We Were Promised the Champions League of Boxing ….And They Have Delivered”

Last year when the World Boxing Super Series concept was announced it was described as going to be for boxing what the UEFA Champions League is for football (soccer if your one of my American readers) which at the time seemed like a massive claim but my god they have delivered it . Over the past two weekends we have been treated to the Cruiserweight Semi-Final’s , where all of the boxers where undefeated World Champions . In the space of seven days we seen two unifications featuring the four best in the division fight it out in two fantastic fights which see’s both winners go on to battle it out in the final , to see who is the undisputed champion …..this is exactly what boxing has been needing.

Usyk vs Briedis

This was a fight that i had been excited about for months , so much so i made the journey over to Riga , Latvia in the middle of winter . The Riga Arena was a fantastic venue for boxing but when you add in the very distinct set up of the WBSS and the electric  atmosphere in the arena , it was like nothing i had ever experienced before at any boxing event . A lot of pundits had predicted a snooze fest of a fight , but they couldn’t have been more wrong if they tried . From the start the local lad Briedis was there prove that Usyk was in for the toughest night of his career . Landing some fantastic shots on the Ukrainian throughout the full fight Mairis Briedis showed why he is an elite level fighter . There is no doubt in my mind Oleksandr Usyk had to dig deep within himself to start answering the questions being asked of him . This fight was a masterclass in technical boxing as we seen two men try to out skill the other whilst keeping the action coming fast . Usyk finally took the fight on the cards which i thought was fair , but the same score  for Briedis would have been fine in my book , that is how close this fight was , a fight i would love to see happen again.

.Gassiev vs Dorticos

The dust had hardly settled from the fantastic semi-final in Riga when we had the second semi-final , this time in Adler ,Russia . Murat Gassiev vs Yunier Dorticos had big shoes to fill going into there fight at the Bolshoy Ice Dome and my god did they fill them . Both men were classed as knockout artists so no one really thought this fight was going to go the distance . From the opening bell the Cuban Dorticos was stalking his Russian prey , with Gassiev choosing to back off and go for quality shots rather than quantity . Countless time throughout the fight Gassiev caught the Cuban with beautiful counters which were getting round Dorticos guard , showing exactly how tough this cuban was . The longer the fight went on the more the tide was turning toward the Russian . Time and time again Dorticos was eating shot after shot but all the time hanging in there like a true champion . That all came to an end in the 12th Round when Gassiev timed Dorticos coming in with a beautiful left hook which seen the Cuban go down . Dorticos tried in vain to fight on but the punishment he had took over the 12 rounds had finally caught up with him and as he went down a further twice before the ref stopped the fight .

After the fight in the post match press conference there was a touching moment of humility and sportsmanship . As Dorticos broke down whilst answering a question Murat Gassiev rose from his seat and made his way across to his opponent to embrace him . It was so refreshing to see two warriors keeping boxing a gentleman sport .

On To Jeddah

Now i for one cannot wait for 11th May to see Usyk vs Gassiev fight it out in the final . Two men who have came through very tough matches as Unified Champions of the world go to battle it out in Saudi Arabia . It really does promise to be a fantastic end to and extraordinary tourniment .

Usyk vs Briedis – Preview + Prediction

Usyk vs Briedis – Preview + Prediction

Well Ladies and Gentlemen , boys and girls it is that time again ,a time that makes makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside which can only mean one thing …..It’s time for another round of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) . On Saturday night WBO Cruiserweight World Champion Oleksandr Usyk will take on WBC World Champion Marius Breidis in Riga Latvia , the first of the Semi Final clashes and once again we will be there on the ground taking in this fantastic tourniment in a fantastic city . There has been a lot of talk of whether the WBSS will be back or not so my advice to any boxing fan out there is to embrace the WBSS whilst it’s here.

.Image result for mairis briedis vs usyk

Oleksandr Usyk 13-0-0 11ko’s

Right from the start i will admit i am a massive Usyk fan , but I’m sure any of our followers on twitter already know this . Usyk is another product of the Ukrainian Boxing Machine which also boasts the most talented fighter in the world today Vasyil Lomachenko , and when you watch Usyk there is definetly direct comparrisons to Lomachenko . In the last round of the WBSS Usyk made light work of the ageing but very awkward Marco Huck in Berlin . There is no doubt Usyk’s top attribute is his footwork and movement which Huck tried to counter by just storming toward the Ukrainian swinging from the heavens  , but after a couple of rounds Usyk had worked him out and really made the vetren Huck look foolish at times . Despite having a high KO ratio and looking like a man mountain Usyk doesn’t have that one punch KO power , his style is to beat you down mentally and physically , again very much like Lomachenko . There are some unanswered questions when talking about Usyk . In all his fights he has had it all his own way as a pro , we have never seen anyone land any big shots on him yet , how will he react ? What happens to Usyk if someone can negate his movement ? , both questions i hope to be answered this weekend .

Mairis Briedis 23-0-0 18Ko’s

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Mairis Briedis is coming off a win against Mike Perez in the last round of the WBSS , but as the fight was a snooze fest it wouldn’t have won him many more fans outside of Latvia   , but Briedis is a talented fighter though . Briedis is very light on his feet which usually see’s him get out of harms way before taking any unnecessary shots . The Latvian is also very smart with the clinch which he uses to control the tempo of a fight and frustrates oponents, even if it isn’t great for fans to watch . When watching Breidis he can look slow and plodding but then in the blink of an eye he will land something which brings him to life , just like that he will be on his toes and looking to land a left hook or one of his beautiful uppercuts . Breidis comes from a kickboxing background and sometimes it does show . With lapses in concentration he can be slow to bring his guard up and even misjudge distance leaving himself wide open .

Prediction : 

I am really looking forward to this fight as it is each mans biggest test to date . It will be interesting to see who will be able to implement there style on this fight , will it be Briedis with his punch and clinch or will Usyk be to elusive for him . I have seen a few people predict a snooze fest in this fight and i have to say i am not one of these people . I think Usyk will use his superior footwork to be able to side step any attempts by Briedis to clinch . I expect Usyk to rise up and really show he is a different level from Briedis . How will it end ? personally i think Usyk will get a late stoppage after a slow start . I think Usyk’s high output and constant movement will break Briedis mentally and physically which will show in the later rounds .

Round 10-12 stoppage

Steven Donnell


Preview + Prediction Huck/Usyk and Gonzalez/Rungvisai

What a way to get rid of the sour taste the McGregor/Mayweather fight left in our mouths  ,instead of having a freakshow forced down our throats , this Saturday night is a night all fight fans should be going crazy for . On both sides of the Atlantic boxing fans will be in for a night of action packed drama , and I’m even going to predict we will see “2017 Fight of The Year” .

Usyk vs Huck (WBSS Cruiserweight’s)

Lets start with the highly anticipated WBSS match up between Olaksander Usyk and Marco Huck in Berlin , a show which DJayBoxing will be attending. This tournament since it was announced had a special feel to it , and with some of the names on show i am confident we are going to have some special nights over the coming months .

Marco Huck is one of those boxers who doesn’t do any one thing brilliantly but does all things well , and when you team that with fact that he’s as hard as an old East German car ,the former world champion still has the ability to to cause anyone problems. His style of just walking opponents down, bullying them ,roughing them up and wearing them down has worked well for him over the years , making him very popular among fans as his fights are usually exciting .

What can be said about Usyk thats not already been said . Coming into the WBSS as favourite and No1 seed , Usyk has picked Huck for one reason ….to make a statement . Usyk has came to the pros from a very successful Ukrainian  team after being a top class amateur , a lot like Vayl Lomachenko , and like Lomachenko he has had no problem adapting to the pros . Although Usyk might not have that fearce one punch power, he has superb footwork and a work rate that Marco Huck will struggle to keep up with .

Prediction: I can only see one winner here and that is Oleksander Usyk, Usyk is getting Huck at the right time for me. Huck will no doubt have his successes in the fight early doors but he will fade fast. i think the safe money goes on Usyk by very wide UD , but to make that statement i spoke about we might see Usyk stop Huck late .

Roman Choclatito Gonzalez vsSor Rungvisai II

Back in March we seen the remarkable first instalment of this fight, a fight which seen P4P superstar Roman Choclatito Gonzalez 46 fight unbeaten run come to an end when he came up against this very tough Thai Sor Rungvisai . The fight itself was an amazing specticle which for me showed why Gonzalez really is elite level . Knocked down early and cut badly by repeated headbutts , Roman was really under the cosh but where so many would have struggled and failed ,Roman recomposed and really took the Rungvisai to skool at times in the second half of the fight , for me Gonzalez done enough to win but it really was to close call .

Now i have to admit Sor Rungvisai was totally unknown to me before this fight , but my god this guy can fight . Like most Thai’s this guy has heart with really heavy hands , early in the last fight i think Gonzalez was really shocked by his power . Rungvisai is also rough and proved in the last fight he is not shy useing his head , a tactic surly the ref will be looking to make sure is not a feature in this fight . Coming in as a deserved champion if Rungvisai can pull this off again, i dare anyone to leave him out there top 10 P4P list .

Prediction: My god this is a hard fight to pick, on one hand i think Roman had Rungvisi worked out in the second half of the first fight and will take that into this fight , on the other hand every fighters time comes to an end and Rungvasi might just be that bridge to far for Gonzalez……..On this occasion i am going to go with my heart and pick Roman Gonzalez , and although i can’t say that with to much confidence he will win , what i can say is that we are in for another classic battle .

Also watch out for Cudras/Estrada also on the Superfly Card , Which will be shown on Sky Sports 

Steven Donnell

“The World Boxing Super Series” Is Fantastic For Boxing

We are now a month away from the start of one of the most eagerly anticipated sporting events in recent memory, I am of course talking about The World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) .On the face of it this tournament has everything fight fans want to see spread across two weight divisions. The cruiserweight division has the best of the best including Olecsander Usyk and Mairis Bredis willing to put it all on the line, whilst the Super Middle Weight division might be missing some of the division’s champions but still throws together guys like George Groves and Callum Smith, among other top Brits,which must be exciting for fans in the UK with the potential of massive domestic match ups to see  who will take the Mohammed Ali Trophy home .


This tournament comes at a time when boxing is on a high, but whilst fights like Floyd Mayweather vs Conner McGregor are looking to cash in on the sport ,the WBSS Is looking to promote boxing and take it to another level .I have big hopes for this tournament, this is a chance for us boxing fans to see the best fight the best ,and hopefully throw up a few battles in the process .The WBSS has the chance to raise the bar and expectations of boxing fans so no more will we just sit back and accept the fights that some promoters want to spoon feed us ,and with fights taking place all across Europe it will open more fans eyes to the world of boxing and not just events in our own backyard.

Even though the WBSS hasn’t kicked off yet it has already showed its trying to be different . At its launch event in Monte Carlo, it had the feel of an Oscar’s ceremony until the seeded contenders appeared on stage one at a time to select an unseeded contender then have a face off , it was superb TV ,especially when George Groves selected Jamie Cox ……I loved it


So roll on September 9th when we can get this tournament started when Usyk takes on Huck in Berlin, a fight I will be attending . It is early days yet but I am predicting the WBSS to be a massive success .
Steven Donnell (@DJayBoxingblog)

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