Stunning KO sees champion Gassiev remain on track to unify division, emulate stablemate Golovkin
A spectacular left hook to the body set up by a left uppercut felled former champion Wlodarczyk 1 minute and 57 seconds into the second round at Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey, to hand Gassiev victory in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) quarter-final.
The fight was also Gassiev’s first defense of the IBF cruiserweight title he won last time out against Denis Lebedev in Moscow.
“Thanks to all the fans, boxing fans who support and watch boxing. Without your support there would not be beautiful boxing shows and beautiful battles,” Gassiev write on Instagram after the bout.
“I also want to thank Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. He is a great champion, a real fighter and I don’t have nothing but respect for him.
“We have another difficult fight ahead of us, another test, so after a couple of weeks of rest, I will return to the training camp and do my best to show an even more spectacular battle!”
Gassiev will now face colossal Cuban puncher Yunier Dorticos in the semi-finals of the WBSS tournament, which pits eight of the elite cruiserweights in a one-off knockout tournament.
Dorticos, who is unbeaten in his 22 fights with 21 KO wins, conquered Russian fighter Dmitry Kudryashov in his quarter-final matchup on September 23.
Taking part in the other semi-final are Latvian WBC champion Mairis Briedis and Ukrainian WBO belt holder Oleksandr Usyk, who will contest their own unification fight.
Fighting the winner of that fight in the WBSS final would present Gassiev the opportunity to achieve his goal of unifying the division, should he make it past Dorticos.
Before the fight with Wlodarczyk, Gassiev had told RT Sport he plans to unify the division, a feat achieved by his stablemate Gennady ‘Triple G’ Golovkin, the unified middleweight champion.
The two train at Big Bear Lake, California, under the tutelage of Mexican-American trainer Abel Sanchez, who has already made comparisons between the two.
“I say the new Golovkin in time he will be,” Sanchez told RT Sport in the lead-up to the fight.
“I feel that in time, he will become the next Golovkin. I think he will be a ruler in the cruiserweight division and maybe even the heavyweight division.”