Usyk completely outboxes Gassiev to an easy twelve round unanimous decision victory.
Oleksandr Usyk properly showed why he is one of the best fighters in the sport!
Four fights ago, Usyk had the worst showing in his professional career when he took on Michael Hunter. Although he took a unanimous decision win, it was this fight where we saw an Usyk that remains a bit too long in the pocket. Consequently, giving opportunities to an opponent who otherwise cannot measure up to his boxing ability.
We witnessed more of the same in his majority decision win against Mairis Briedis in the semi-final of the WBSS.
It was apparent going into the WBSS final that he cannot fight Gassiev in the same manner he fought the two aforementioned opponents. The way he fought Krzysztof Glowacki to gain the WBO title in 2016 would be the correct game-plan here.
Gassiev is a cerebral fighter who is great at recognizing patterns. If he is given opportunities to catch you, he will.
The Dominance of Usyk!
The dominant display turned in by Usyk is a testament to his superior ring IQ. He knew exactly what he had to do and made sure he did not commit the same mistakes as he had in the past.
For the entire fight, Usyk stayed on the outside fighting behind the jab. He also made sure to keep circling to his right away from Gassiev’s power hand. Whenever his opponent would try to close the distance, he would keep the jab in his face in order to keep him in a high guard.
If Gassiev elected to jump in instead of walking the champion down, Usyk would step back and throw three or four punch combinations to stop him in his tracks.
In essence, Gassiev’s footwork was too slow to keep up with the busier and faster Usyk. He struggled to get into a rhythm the entire fight. He also could not find the proper openings to mount a respectable offensive attack on his continuously moving target.
There were even two points in the fight where Abel Sanchez (trainer for Gassiev) threatened to stop the fight.
Sanchez after round five:
“You want me to stop it? Then start fighting! This is what you have been waiting for right? Let’s go!”
Sanchez after round six:
“You want me to stop it? Okay, then we gotta fight!”
By the last round of the fight, it looked as if Usyk was just having fun.
Many fans will be upset with the outcome of this fight because of how it panned out compared to how it was marketed. This was supposed to be one of the more competitive match-ups of 2018.
What fans need to understand is the reason this fight wasn’t very competitive is because there was a complete difference in class. Gassiev just did not possess the tools to compete with a fighter like Usyk; physically or mentally.
The official judges scored the fight: 120-108 and 119-109 (x2). 3kingsboxing.com scored the fight 119-109 for Usyk as well.
Oleksnadr Usyk becomes the first undisputed cruiserweight champion since the late O’Neil Bell defeated Jean Marc Mormeck in 2006. He has made statements in the past about making a move up to heavyweight. Also former pound for pound king Andre Ward has talked about a possible comeback to face Usyk.
Whatever he decides, a very lucrative future awaits the new cruiserweight king.
By: EJ Williams