IBF world champion Murat Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs) and WBA world champion Yunier Dorticos (22-0, 21 KOs) met at a press conference before their Ali Trophy semi-final at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia on Saturday.
“Dorticos is a well-schooled fighter,” said Gassiev.
“He has many amateur fights, good speed, and fast hands. He is a great opponent and I have prepared for 12 tough rounds.”
Murat ‘Iron’ Gassiev, the Russian second seed, earned his spot in the semi-final when he blew away Polish Krzysztof Wlodarczyk with a powerful performance to produce a third-round KO.
“The World Boxing Super Series is a great tournament that gives me the opportunity to unify all the cruiserweight titles. On Saturday I am going to take another step towards that dream in front of my proud countrymen.”
Cuban Dorticos has been oozing confidence in the built up for the fight: “On a personal level I have no problems with Gassiev, but right now he has a problem. He has to find a defence against the missiles that are going to land on that big head of his. Gassiev will learn to respect ‘The KO Doctor’ on Saturday night.”
Cuban Dorticos aka ‘The KO Doctor’, the tournament’s fourth seed, impressed in his quarter-final with a devastating KO victory in the third round over Russian Dmitri Kudryashov.
He said, “I will put on another show on Saturday for the fans in Russia and around the world. I have nothing to worry about. Gassiev has.”
The cruiserweight final of the World Boxing Super Series will take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in May 2018.