Usyk v Gassiev - WBSS cruiserweight final from Moscow (AS IT HAPPENED)
21 July 201822:17 GMT
Post-fight - Gassiev thanks Usyk for the fight and the crowd for their support. Usyk gives glory to God and addresses his close ones in the crowd upon accepting the Muhammad Ali trophy from the late great boxing icon's widow Lonnie.
- 22:11 GMT
Decision: Ukraine's Alexander Usyk wins by sound unanimous decision 120-108, 119-109, 119-109 over Russian Murat Gassiev and becomes the undisputed cruiserweight world champion and winner of the Muhammad Ali trophy!
- 22:06 GMT
Round 12 - Usyk ends the round with an Ali shuffle, a nod to the iconic boxer who the tournament’s trophy is named after. His hand speed is something that Gassiev has never seen before and hasn't found an answer to, and neither did he find that KO punch. Usyk works beautifully behind his jab and head movement to puzzle the Russian. We go to the judges' scorecard in Moscow to find out who will become the undisputed cruiserweight champion and the WBSS final winner and owner of the Muhammad Ali trophy.
- 22:02 GMT
Gassiev surely needs a knockout blow to salvage this fight from the grasp of the Ukrainian's lightning quick hands. He could have won that round with his pressure on Usyk, but it isn't enough to make a dent in the Usyk's lead. Usyk has never been stopped in 14 professional fights... but Gassiev is the KO king in the division. How will this one finish? The 12th and final round is coming up!
- 21:58 GMT
The puncher is being outpunched, as Usyk lands on Gassiev at will and with devastating intent, knocking back the home fighter with the sheer velocity of this blows, rather than the volume as it was at before. Gassiev does land a looping left hook that catches Usyk on the side of the face during one of the Ukrainian's combinations, but it's a precious drop in the ocean of punishment coming from Usyk.
- 21:55 GMT
Closer round to call. Gassiev channeling his frustration a little better in that round, but his head is still being popped back with crisp Usyk potshots when on the back foot and from blurring combinations when he holds the center of the ring. Usyk is clearly in control and making Gassiev work extremely hard to even get a toe in range, let alone a toehold in the fight. It's all uphill from here for Murat as we enter the championship rounds in Moscow.
- 21:50 GMT
Gassiev is still finding it difficult to get past Usyk, although the Russian seems to have realized the urgency of his situation in this fight and is in danger of letting the bout slip away from him as Usyk loads up with shots with the same confidence that he had during the first bell.
- 21:46 GMT
This is the one round where you could make a case for Gassiev having won, although that case would be thrown out of court by any boxing judge. Gassiev lands one of his few meaningful punches of the fight with a right hook, which Usyk follows up with a flurry of his own and lands his right hook. This has to be a round for the Ukrainian in the books.
- 21:41 GMT
Even clearer for Usyk in that round, as Gassiev cannot seem to find a way around the movement and fast hands of the Ukrainian, who moves like quicksilver away from each charge from the Russian fighter.
- 21:38 GMT
Usyk appears to control the pace in that round with a beautiful commandeering jab to establish his ring generalship and even land lead right hooks around Gassiev's tight guard. Another round to the Ukrainian.