With World Boxing Super Series action officially underway following Oleksandr Usyk's 10th-round stoppage of Marco Huck Saturday in Germany, cruiserweight sluggers Yunier Dorticos and Dmitry Kudryashov offered training camp updates ahead of their highly anticipated quarter-final showdown taking place Saturday, September 23 from the Alamodome in San Antonio.
The WBA cruiserweight titleholder, "The KO Doctor" Dorticos has been hard at work at the Freestyle Fighting Academy in Miami as he prepares for the matchup that many are calling the best fight of the tournament.
"I'm working hard and getting ready to take advantage of this opportunity," said Dorticos. "I have a strong opponent in front of me, but I know what I'm capable of. I'm going to go out there and study him the first few rounds and then break him down. I have to execute my game plan. My training camp is going really well and I can't wait to have all of my hard work pay off on September 23."
Owning a 100 percent knockout ratio over his 21 pro wins, "The Russian Hammer" Kudryashov has trained at the Legends Boxing Gym in Norwalk, Calif., for his first fight in the U.S. as he looks to punch his ticket to the WBSS semi-finals.
"When you want to be the best, you have to train harder than everybody," said Kudryashov. "That is the key to my game. Dorticos is a good fighter with a strong amateur background. He's dedicated to this sport and he's no easy opponent. I'm going to have to be at my best to beat him. Everyone in this tournament was afraid to pick me but I'm happy to be in this fight."
With the WBO champion Usyk set to face the winner of WBC Champion Mairis Briedis vs. Mike Perez, the Dorticos vs. Kudryashov winner will match up against the winner of IBF Champion Murat Gassiev vs. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in a unification showdown that promises more high-stakes action.
"It's an honor for me to be part of such a prestigious tournament," said Dorticos. "This is my opportunity to put myself on top of this sport with the other big names and champions. This is what me and my team have worked so hard to accomplish."
"My main motivation is to become world champion and show that I'm the best in the division," said Kudryashov. "I'm the most powerful fighter in this division and everyone will see that on September 23. I have a newborn daughter but I'm still training harder than ever and it has just added to my motivation to go win this tournament."
With the Muhammad Ali Trophy awaiting the winner of the WBSS tournament, both men are looking to increase their profiles and prove their supremacy in the division while matching up against the best in the weight class.
"Fighting for the Muhammad Ali Trophy is huge for me," said Kudryashov. "It is a big responsibility to make sure that I honor his name. This is possibly the biggest prize that boxers can fight for in a tournament that couldn't be more important."
"I want to fight all of the champions," said Dorticos. "That is my plan because I see myself as the best fighter in this division and now I can go out there and prove it. I idolized Muhammad Ali just like everyone else in this sport and to earn the trophy with his name would be something very special for my life and career."
With a combined 41 knockouts over 42 victories, Dorticos vs. Kudryashov promises to be a back-and-forth all-action fight, but only one man will be able to raise his hand at the end of the night and move on in the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
"The fans are going to get an amazing show on September 23," said Dorticos. "This is definitely the best fight of the tournament and the best man will win. We're both going to leave it all in the ring and fight with our hearts until the very end. I've worked too hard to get to this point. Once I connect with him, everyone knows what is going to happen."
"This is the first time that all of the best fighters in the division have been collected in a tournament so it is a big opportunity for me," said Kudryashov. "My team has been amazing in training camp and I am going to take that and bring it to the ring against Dorticos. My opponent better be ready, because I'm coming to beat you like nobody ever has."
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports in association with World Boxing Super Series, are priced at $250, $125, $100, $50, and $30, and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com.