All four-major sanctioning body world title belts, plus The Ring magazine’s strap, will be on the line at the Olympic Sport Complex in Moscow, when WBC/WBO champion Oleksandr “The Cat” Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs) and IBF/WBA title-holder Murat Gassiev (26-0, 19 KOs) square off for the inaugural Muhammad Ali Trophy, in addition to determining the first totally unified cruiserweight champion in the world in what is a legitimate Fight of the Year candidate.
The 31-year-old Usyk, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine, stopped Marco Huck in the 10th round of their WBSS quarterfinal match, and he won a 12-round unanimous decision over Mairis Briedis in the semifinals. Russia-native Gassiev, 24, knocked out Krzysctof Wlodarczyk and Yunier Dorticos, respectively, in the third and 12th round of the quarterfinals and semifinals.
“He (Gassiev) is a strong guy,” Usyk said, “And now, thank God, Murat and I will fight for the Muhammad Ali Trophy and the absolute world champion’ title.
“I feel excellent about (fighting in Russia) it. I am an athlete, a warrior. I do not care where I fight, I just want to fight. I know there will be support coming in from Ukraine which is great.
“I am ready, my team is ready. When the strong guys meet, the fights are interesting! This is what is so great about this tournament. It is necessary for the sport. I have said it before and I will say it again: the fans should expect a beautiful final.
“The training camp before the final has been the same as before my other fights,” Gassiev commented. “My opponent is a southpaw, so I have had different sparring partners and you have to do things a bit different tactically against a southpaw. But, besides that nothing has changed.
“I have been doing the same amount of running, physical exercising and sparring. I am not thinking about what he is doing. I need to be Murat Gassiev and do my best… I am only thinking about myself, my skills and my condition. That’s it.
“I would fight anywhere in the world, but it is a plus for my mother and brother that they easily can watch the fight live. I am sure the final will be a very interesting and good fight for fans all over the world. May the best man win!”
Four potentially explosive fights are on the “Usyk vs. Gassiev” card, presented by Patriot Boxing Promotions, airing exclusively in Canada on Super Channel.
In the 10-round co-feature, former world champion Briedis faces Brandon Deslaurier (11-1-1, 10 KOs). The undisputed pound-4-pound Queen of Boxing, undefeated Colombian Cecelia “First Lady” Braekhus (33-0, 9 KOs), who fights out of Finland, defends her unified world welterweight titles versus Russian challenger Inna “Ice Queen” Sagaydakovskaya (7-0, 3 KOs) in a 10-round match. WBA International super middleweight champion Fedor Chudinov (17-2, 12 KOs) defends at home against Nadjib “Iron Djib” Mohammedi (40-5, 23 KOs), of France, in a 12-round bout,
Super Channel acquired the exclusive rights in Canada to broadcast the World Boxing Super Series from MP & Silva, a leading international media company that provides media rights, digital, technology and sponsorship services.
All WBSS fights will also be available on Super Channel On Demand. The postponed WBSS world super middleweight champion final hasn’t been rescheduled at this time.
In addition to all the WBSS quarterfinal and semifinals matches, Super Channel aired major boxing events live the past 1 ½ years including Brook vs. Spence Jr., Pacquiao-Horn, Eubank, Jr. vs. Abraham, Lomachenko vs.Marriaga, Crawford vs. Indongo, Smith vs. Williams II, Frampton vs. Donaire, and Fury vs Seferi.
To watch the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight championship final live, as well as more exciting boxing to come in 2018, fight fans in Canada may contact their local cable provider to subscribe to Super Channel and all that it offers, including premium series, movies and much more, for as low as $9.95 per month.