|Real name||Murat Georgievich Gassiev|
|Height||1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Reach||193 cm (76 in)|
12 October 1993|
Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia-Alania, Russia
|Wins by KO||19|
Murat Georgievich Gassiev (Russian: Мурат Георгиевич Гассиев; Ossetian: Гасситы Георгийы фырт Мурат; born 12 October 1993) is a Russian professional boxer from North Ossetia-Alania. He is a former unified cruiserweight world champion, having held the IBF title from 2016 to 2018, and the WBA (Unified) title in 2018. As of February 2018, he is ranked as the world's second best active cruiserweight by The Ring magazine, the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and ESPN, and third by BoxRec.
- 1 Background
- 2 Professional career
- 3 Professional boxing record
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Gassiev made his professional boxing debut at the age of 17 on 21 September 2011. He fought at the Manezh in Vladikavkaz, Russia, beating 22-year-old Roman Mirzoev, who only had three professional win-less fights, in a scheduled four-round fight that went the distance, earning a unanimous decision with scores of 40-37, 39-38, and 39-38 in his favour. Gassiev had his second fight in November at the Traktor Sport Palace in Chelyabinsk, Russia, defeating Vladimir Chuklin, knocking him out in round 4. Over the next 18 months, Gassiev remained unbeaten with a record of 11 wins with 7 coming inside the distance at a tender age of 19.
In June 2013, Gassiev defeated 24 year old Levan Jomardashvili (31-10, 21 KOs) to claim the vacant WBC Youth world cruiserweight title at the Yunost Arena in Chelyabinsk. In round 1, Jomardashvili was dropped twice scoring it a 10-7 round for Gassiev and in round 2, the fight was stopped after Jomardashvili was dropped a further two times. Gassiev defended the title in December against Ivica Bacurin 16-3-1, 7 KOs). The fight went the full 10 rounds as Gassiev won via unanimous decision (98-89, 100-87, 96-91). Bacurin was knocked down once in round 2, in round 8 and in round 10. He also had a point deducted in round 10.
On 1 February 2014 Gassiev fought veteran 31 year old Belgium boxer Ismail Abdoul 51-27-2, 19 KOs). This was the first 12 round fight Gassiev was involved in and it went the whole distance. The scorecards were read 120-108, 117-111, 115-113 all in favor of Gassiev. With the win, he also won the vacant IBF East/West Europe cruiserweight title. On 30 August 2014 Gassiev fought on the undercard of WBO cruiserweight title fight Huck-Larghetti at the Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He knocked out the undefeated Leon Harth (9-0, 6 KOs). Two months later, Gassiev won the vacant IBF Inter-Continental cruiserweight title after stopping Engin Karakaplan in round 1. It was in this year that Gassiev began training with Abel Sanchez.
Rise up the ranks
Gassiev had a busy year in 2015, fighting four times. In January he made his debut in the United States, stopping Terrance Smith in round 4 before fighting his biggest challenge to date, former USBA and NABF cruiserweight champion Felix Cora Jr. (25-6-2, 14 KOs) at the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Gassiev successfully defended his IBF Inter-Continental title in round 9 of the scheduled 12 round fight. Gassiev stalked Cora early with an assault to the body. In round 9, Cora would no longer defend himself, which forced referee Johnny Callas to finally stop the fight.
In June 2015, Gassiev knocked out Rodney Moore in 2 rounds and then fought the undefeated Isiah Thomas (15-0, 6 KOs) on 18 December 2015 at the Palms Casino Resort, in Las Vegas, Nevada in an IBF eliminator. The fight ended after round 3 in a no contest after Thomas was hit accidentally after the bell and could no longer continue following the ringside doctor's orders. Thomas controlled the majority of the 3 rounds before Gassiev landed the hard shots before the fight was stopped.
It was announced that Gassiev would get another opportunity in an eliminator against #10 IBF Jordan Shimmell (20-1, 16 KOs), whose only defeat came to Isiah Thomas. The fight took place at the Black Bear Casino in Carlton, Minnesota on 17 May 2016. Gassiev stayed unbeaten in defeating Shimmell in a 1st round knockout. Gassiev knocked Shimmell down with a left hook to the head. The back of Shimmell’s head bounced off the canvas when he was knocked down and was out cold. Shimmell was also knocked under the ropes when he fell. The fight was immediately stopped by referee Mark Nelson with just six seconds of round 1 remaining. With the win, Gassiev was now the IBF mandatory challenger to unified WBA and IBF cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev, who defeated Victor Emilio Ramirez in a unification bout the following week.
IBF cruiserweight champion
Gassiev vs. Lebedev
It was announced in August 2016, that a fight between Gassiev and unified cruiserweight world champion Denis Lebedev (29-2, 22 KOs) was in the works and a date was set for 3 December 2016 at the Megasport Arena in Moscow. At the official weigh in on 2 December, Lebedev weighed in at 199.7 lbs as Gassiev weighed 198.3 lbs. Lebedev successfully applied for only the IBF title to be at stake as a result, retaining his WBA (Super) title in the process. Lebedev kept the attack up through the 12 rounds as he went on to lose a split decision, losing the IBF title in the process. Two judges scored it 116-112 and 116-111 for Gassiev as the third scored it 114-113 for Lebedev. Lebedev was knocked down in round 5, following a left shot to the body, but managed to beat the count and immediately changed style to avoid further punishment to the body. In the post fight interviews, Lebedev thought he had done enough to win the fight or at least earn a draw and wanted a rematch.
World Boxing Super Series
Gassiev entered the World Boxing Super Series tournament when it was announced. The 8-man knockout style tournament would determine the best in the division and include other top cruiserweight champions and contenders.
Gassiev vs. Włodarczyk
At the Draft Gala, which took place on 8 July 2017, although Gassiev was second-seeded, meaning he could pick whom he wanted to fight, his choice was pre-determined to be former IBF and WBC cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Włodarczyk (53-3-1, 37 KOs) by the IBF, in a mandatory fight. It was announced on 8 September by Ringstar Sports that the fight would take place in Newark, New Jersey, at the Prudential Center on 21 October 2017. One of the main factors for the fight taking place in New Jersey was the Polish population in that state. Gassiev delivered a dominant third-round KO, retaining his IBF title and securing his place in the semi finals. Gassiev was in control the opening two rounds working away on Włodarczyk. Midway through round 3, having Włodarczyk against the ropes, Gassiev connected with a left uppercut to the head, which was immediately followed by a left to the body, dropping Włodarczyk on all fours, flat on the canvas. Włodarczyk, clearly in pain, failed to beat the 10 count. The official time of stoppage was 1:57 of the round. Gassiev, who was pleased with his performance, said, "I had a great opponent tonight. I prepared myself for a tough fight, but it is boxing, and anything can happen. We do a lot of work in the gym, and I just listened to my coach round after round, and he told me what I needed to do. That's all I needed." Włodarczyk accepted defeat admitting the better man won.
Gassiev vs. Dorticos
Immediately after Gassiev's win over Włodarczyk, WBA 'Regular' champion Yunier Dorticos (22-0, 21 KOs), who defeated Dmitry Kudryashov in September to advance to the semi finals, entered the ring. Gassiev and Dorticos posed in a face off to start the build up to their fight. Dorticos told Gassiev, "Take a good vacation. I wanna prepare the right dosage for you of ibuprofen and anesthesia for the next fight, so it’s less painful." On 29 October 2017, Gassiev's trainer Abel Sanchez stated the fight could take place on 20 January 2018. The fight was confirmed to take place at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia on 3 February 2018. On 1 February 2018, the WBA demoted Lebedev to 'champion in recess' and promoted Dorticos from 'regular' to 'full' champion in order for the fight with Gassiev to be a true unification. The WBA stated the winner of the tournament would be mandated to fight Lebedev.
Gassiev dropped Dorticos three times in round 12 to score a dramatic win and advance to the final of the tournament. The last knockdown drove Dorticos through the ropes, forcing referee Eddie Claudio to end the bout at 2 minutes and 52 seconds. At the time of stoppage Gassiev was ahead 105-104, 106-103, 106-103 on all three scorecards. The first knockdown came after a left hook to the jaw. Dorticos got back to his feet on unsteady legs. Gassiev knocked him down for a second time with a left hook to the head. Dorticos was always coming forward, but looked fatigued in the second half of the fight. CompuBox Stats showed that Gassiev landed 190 of 608 punches thrown (31%), this included 139 of 278 power punches and Dorticos landed 132 of his 602 thrown (22%). Dorticos was upset after the fight and remained on his stool for an extended period of time. He cried at the post fight press conference. Gassiev walked over to him and consoled him.
Gassiev vs. Usyk
After Gassiev defeated Dorticos, unified WBO and WBC cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs) entered the ring and congratulated him, setting up the final of the tournament, to take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 11 May 2018. A day after Gassiev's win, the Russian Boxing Federation's Secretary General, Umar Kremlev stated that he would push forward in order to outbid Saudi Arabia and have the final of the tournament take place in Russia on the Day of Russian Boxing on 22 July. In a statement, he said, "We will put maximum pressure on the organizers of the WBSS to make the final of the tournament in Russia. We have already started to act and have indicated our intention to break the price being paid for the show by Saudi Arabia." On 5 February, The Ring Magazine announced the winner would receive their vacant cruiserweight title as Usyk and Gassiev are ranked #1 and #2 respectively in their weight. After returning back to North Ossetia, where he was met with 3,000 people, Gassiev stated he would be moving up to heavyweight after fighting Usyk. On 16 April, it was reported that Usyk had suffered an elbow injury during training, pushing the final to possibly June or July 2018. With the Russian Boxing Federation still pushing to host the final on 22 July in Moscow, Usyk replied that he would not be fighting Gassiev in Russia. He went on to say the fight could still place in Moscow, but he would not be involved. Kremlev replied that it was not up to himself or Usyk as to where the final would be held. On 18 June, at a press conference, Kremlev announced the final would take place on 21 July at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow, Russia. On 29 June, the final was officially confirmed. On the release date, 7,000 tickets were sold. Both boxers came in at 198.45 pounds at the weigh-in.
Usyk quickly took control of the fight, moving rapidly and using his "beautiful, commandeering jab". Despite facing a hostile hometown crowd, Usyk controlled the fight, not allowing Gassiev to use his power. Gassiev did not land a solid punch until the end of round 2. According to many reports, Usyk outclassed, outboxed, and dominated Gassiev. The result was never in question as Usyk was declared winner by unanimous decision with the scores of 120-108, 119-109, 119-109. Muhammad Ali's widow, Lonnie Ali presented the trophy to Usyk. After the fight, both combatants were exemplars of good sportsmanship, embracing, with Gassiev saying "I had the best opponent of my professional career ... today is Oleksandr's day". Usyk humbly adding "My team made me look like I looked in the ring. This is our victory". The win made Usyk the first ever four-belt undisputed cruiserweight champion. Usyk dominated throughout, landing 252 of 939 thrown punches (27%), compared to Gassiev's 91 landed of 313 thrown (29%). Usyk used his superior conditioning to finish the fight, also increasing his output by landing 47 of 117 punches thrown in round 12. Usyk managed to withstand the 32 power body shots he received and continued to move around the ring.
Professional boxing record
|Professional record summary|
|28 fights||26 wins||1 loss|
|28||Loss||26–1 (1)||Oleksandr Usyk||UD||12||21 Jul 2018||Olympic Stadium, Moscow, Russia||Lost WBA (Unified) and IBF cruiserweight titles;|
For WBC, WBO, vacant The Ring and lineal cruiserweight titles;
World Boxing Super Series: cruiserweight final
|27||Win||26–0 (1)||Yunier Dorticos||TKO||12 (12), 2:52||3 Feb 2018||Bolshoy Ice Dome, Sochi, Russia||Retained IBF cruiserweight title;|
Won WBA (Unified) cruiserweight title;
World Boxing Super Series: cruiserweight semi-final
|26||Win||25–0 (1)||Krzysztof Włodarczyk||KO||3 (12), 1:57||21 Oct 2017||Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey, US||Retained IBF cruiserweight title;|
World Boxing Super Series: cruiserweight quarter-final
|25||Win||24–0 (1)||Denis Lebedev||SD||12||3 Dec 2016||Megasport Arena, Moscow, Russia||Won IBF cruiserweight title|
|24||Win||23–0 (1)||Jordan Shimmell||KO||1 (12), 2:54||17 May 2016||Black Bear Casino, Carlton, Minnesota, US|
|23||NC||22–0 (1)||Isiah Thomas||NC||3 (12), 3:00||18 Dec 2015||Pearl Concert Theater, Paradise, Nevada, US||NC after Thomas could not continue from an accidental punch following the bell|
|22||Win||22–0||Rodney Moore||KO||2 (6), 1:55||13 Jun 2015||Florentine Gardens, Los Angeles, California, US|
|21||Win||21–0||Felix Cora Jr.||TKO||9 (12), 1:10||17 Apr 2015||Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, US||Retained IBF Inter-Continental cruiserweight title|
|20||Win||20–0||Terrance Smith||TKO||4 (6), 2:29||23 Jan 2015||Quiet Cannon, Montebello, California, US|
|19||Win||19–0||Engin Karakaplan||TKO||1 (12), 1:39||31 Oct 2014||Manezh, Vladikavkaz, Russia||Won vacant IBF Inter-Continental cruiserweight title|
|18||Win||18–0||Leon Harth||TKO||4 (10), 2:46||30 Aug 2014||Gerry Weber Stadion, Halle, Germany|
|17||Win||17–0||Daniil Peretyatko||RTD||1 (8), 3:00||25 Jun 2014||Sport Hall, Tskhinvali, South Ossetia|
|16||Win||16–0||Giorgi Tevdorashvili||TKO||2 (8), 2:00||14 May 2014||Restaurant "Zolotaya Korona", Vladikavkaz, Russia|
|15||Win||15–0||Ismail Abdoul||UD||12||1 Feb 2014||Traktor Sport Palace, Chelyabinsk, Russia||Won vacant IBF East/West Europe cruiserweight title|
|14||Win||14–0||Ivica Bacurin||UD||10||13 Dec 2013||Traktor Sport Palace, Chelyabinsk, Russia||Retained WBC Youth cruiserweight title|
|13||Win||13–0||Roman Mirzoev||RTD||3 (6), 3:00||13 Sep 2013||Restaurant "Zolotaya Korona", Vladikavkaz, Russia|
|12||Win||12–0||Levan Jomardashvili||TKO||2 (10), 1:10||26 Jun 2013||Yunost Sport Palace, Chelyabinsk, Russia||Won vacant WBC Youth cruiserweight title|
|11||Win||11–0||Igor Pylypenko||TKO||4 (6), 1:21||26 May 2013||Sports Complex Mordovia, Saransk, Russia|
|10||Win||10–0||Farruh Madaminov||KO||2 (8), 2:43||11 May 2013||Tennis Centre, Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia|
|9||Win||9–0||Denis Solomko||TKO||3 (8), 2:50||16 Mar 2013||Sports Palace "Znamya", Noginsk, Russia|
|8||Win||8–0||Ivan Serbin||UD||6||24 Nov 2012||Yunost Sport Palace, Chelyabinsk, Russia|
|7||Win||7–0||Ruslan Semenov||TKO||3 (6), 1:38||13 Oct 2012||Sport Hall, Tskhinvali, South Ossetia|
|6||Win||6–0||Peter Hegyes||TKO||2 (6)||24 Jul 2012||Budva, Montenegro|
|5||Win||5–0||Teymuraz Kekelidze||TKO||1 (6), 2:36||31 May 2012||Ufa Arena, Ufa, Russia|
|4||Win||4–0||Igor Pylypenko||UD||6||8 Apr 2012||Sports Palace "Znamya", Noginsk, Russia|
|3||Win||3–0||Daniil Zakharenko||UD||4||16 Mar 2012||Circus, Krasnodar, Russia|
|2||Win||2–0||Vladimir Chuklin||TKO||4 (4), 1:27||26 Nov 2011||Traktor Ice Arena, Chelyabinsk, Russia|
|1||Win||1–0||Roman Mirzoev||UD||4||21 Sep 2011||Manezh, Vladikavkaz, Russia|
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|Regional boxing titles|
Title last held byAgron Dzila
| WBC Youth cruiserweight champion
26 June 2013 – February 2014
Title next held byMicki Nielsen
Title last held byGoran Delic
| IBF East/West Europe
1 February 2014 – 31 October 2014
Won Inter-Continental title
Title next held byRené Hübner
Title last held byPaweł Kołodziej
| IBF Inter-Continental
31 October 2014 – February 2016
Title next held byMairis Briedis
|World boxing titles|
| IBF cruiserweight champion
3 December 2016 – 21 July 2018
| WBA cruiserweight champion|
3 February 2018 – 21 July 2018