At 6ft 3ins and just 22 years of age, Gassiev is striking fear into the 200 pound limit with 17 knockouts from 23 victories and a series of deadly early finishes. With a nickname fitting of his fighting style, ‘Iron’ Murat has levelled his last eight opponents despite heading up in class and calibre for each test.
Tipped as a certain world champion of the future, Gassiev is already the next in line to challenge for the IBF title, having been expertly guided since 2015 by the coach behind the rise of Gennady Golovkin as the best middleweight on the planet.
Gassiev’s latest win was a small demonstration of what the puncher is capable of as he completely laid Shimmell out with a devastating left hook that would have had certain repercussions for any of the top cruiserweights out there.
The likes of Denis Lebedev, Krzysztof Glowacki and the winner of Tony Bellew v Ilunga Makabu in a week’s time will all be in Gassiev’s sights over the next twelve months as another concussive Eastern European juggernaut heads towards the top of the sport.
A summer return is likely in order to keep Gassiev fully up to speed, whilst a final eliminator for the IBF championship could be ordered at any time – with IBO belt holder Marco Huck the frontrunner to be named in the opposite corner.