Murat Gassiev Successful In Return Against Michael Wallisch
Former unified cruiserweight champion Murat “Iron” Gassiev (27-1, 20ko) will be continuing the quest to become a two division champion after moving to the heavyweight division against Michael Wallisch (22-4, 15ko).
Wallisch is a 35-year old German veteran fighter in hopes of getting that elusive big win. The highlight of his career is winning the WBO European title against Ivica Bacurin back in 2016. However, he has suffered four knockout losses against Christian Hammer and top heavyweight contenders such as Efe Ajaba, Tony Yoka, and Joe Joyce.
In 2019, Gassiev made major news by signing a co-promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing in hopes of continuing his career in the heavyweight division. His only career loss came in the World Boxing Super Series undisputed cruiserweight fight against current WBO heavyweight mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk. The original opponent for this contest was supposed to have been Erkan Teper.
A SLOW START TO A PREDICTABLE FINISH
The fight started with the taller German using his height and reach advantage to keep the former unified champion at bay. Wallisch was effective at using the jab while maintaining distance and occasionally would land a good right hand. However, Gassiev started to find a home for the overhand right, so much that it was only a matter of time before this would be the punch that would end the fight.
As the bout continued, Wallisch was still trying to move while pawing the jab and throwing the right hand. However, his legs betrayed him and he could not keep up the pace as the former unified champion did an excellent job of cutting off the ring and landing vicious body shots. Moreover, Wallisch kept getting hit by the overhand right due to a lack of head movement off the centerline.
A STRANGE CONTROVERSIAL ENDING
In the fourth round, Gassiev was clicking on all cylinder’s applying effective aggression and as expected, the punch that put Wallisch on the canvas was the overhand right.
Here is where the controversy began. Wallisch would beat the count and with only seconds left, took two more punches before staggering backward. This prompted the referee to stop the fight. However, the call came after the bell to end the round sounded.
In defense of the referee, his focus was on Wallisch. Furthermore, he was already in motion to stop the fight as the bell sounded. In this author’s opinion, the German fighter’s past of being brutally knockout in all his four losses could have played a huge factor in such an apprehensive stoppage.
Nonetheless, Gassiev had a good showing en route to winning the WBA Asia heavyweight title. Hopefully, this will finally lead to a favorable ranking inside the heavyweight division.
By: Garrisson Bland