World Boxing Super Series Profiles – Cruiserweights
This new tournament is hoping to shake Boxing up by pitting the best from each division against each other to see who is the true champion, the winner of this tournament will win all the belts which come into the tournament at the start, The Muhammed Ali trophy and 25 Million Dollars.
The Cruiserweight section will have the four major belts on the line so the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO, this means the winner of this tournament will be the Lineal champion of the Cruiserweight division and this is a very rare thing to happen in modern boxing.
Oleksandr Usyk WBO Champion
The number one seed for the tournament Usyk picked the fighter with the highest number of defeats on his record, and the WBO Champion who won the belt in April of this year is high on confidence and feels he has the beating of everyone in the tournament.
Although he has only had twelve fights, he has a distinguished amateur career behind him at Heavyweight and this is the reason he is ranked number one by the WBSS. Usyk was asked about the upcoming tournament and said.
“I can’t wait for the start of the tournament. I miss the ring and look forward to hearing the opening bell again. At the moment I am not thinking of my opponent. I am concentrated on my preparation, I’ve got many things to do in my training camp, If he wishes, he may think about me. ”
Marco Huck comes into the tournament with the highest number of defeats but he is one of the more experienced fighters in the Cruiserweight division. The Serbian who currently fights out of Germany will have to use all his experience if he is to beat the number 1 favourite for the Cruiserweight title.
Huck is coming off the back of an Unanimous Decision defeat to fellow WBSS contestant Mairis Briedis but the former European, IBO and WBO does have the skillset to hold his own against the names in this tournament but I am not sure he will have enough to get the win against Usyk.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Champions League of Boxing, in the great history of the sport there has never been a tournament like this. Eight world-class fighters will enter the competition but just one man can prevail. I cannot wait to show the world that I am best of all those strong champions.”
Murat Gassiev IBF Champion
Murat Gassiev comes into the tournament with the best unbeaten record of all the fighters and the 23 year old Russian who won the IBF World Crusierweight title in his last fight before entering the tournament is aiming to add to his titles if he gets past Wlodarczyk.
The youngest competitor in the tournament by a distance picked the oldest competitor who is 13 years older than Gassiev, but I doubt he is only relying on youth to get him through this contest. Gassiev sparred Gennady Golovkin in preparation for this tournament as he described it
“It is an honor to be in the World Boxing Super Series. This is the best fighting the best. I have never lost a fight, I am the IBF champion and I look forward to winning the other belts as well to cement my position as the best fighter in the division!“
Krzysztof Wlodarczyk is the most experienced fighter in the Cruiserweight division with fifty seven fights under his belt. Wlodarczyk last held a world title back in 2014 when he was beat by Grigory Drozd for the WBC World Cruiserweight Title which he defended successfully six times before losing on a unanimous decision in Russia.
Wlodarczyk first pro fight was in the year 2000 at the age of 19 years old and over the years he has won the following titles, IBF Inter-Continental, Polish International, WBC Youth World, World Boxing Foundation (WBF) World, EBU-EU (European Union), WBC FECARBOX, International Boxing Council (IBC), IBF World, WBC World.
The question will be can the old pro use all the experience he has gained to control and beat the young and hungry upstart looking to make a name for himself. Only time will tell but I am looking forward to this fight.
Mairis Briedis WBC Champion
Briedis comes into this bout riding high with his defeated record intact after claiming the WBC World cruiserweight title in his last fight. The fight showed what an excellent boxer Briedis is as some pundits had him winning every round. On top of his boxing ability comes his knock out ability with an impressive 82% knock out rate. Briedis would be IBO World champion to only he did not pay the sanctioning fees.
The Latvian has to be confident of progressing into the next stage with being undefeated, coming off the back of a massive and decisive victory and with the bout held on home turf. Being at home means he does not need to travel to another country and risk being jet lagged, he will have his family close bye for emotional support, as well as the crowds backing on fight night.
With being undefeated he has a psychological edge over Perez and after his previous fight his spirits and energy levels will be high. The 32 year old has been keeping himself sharp with a fight every few months in comparison to Perez who took a two break, so Briedis could look to expose Perez’s ring rust.
Briedis knows there is no room for complacency and that even though he chose to fight Perez in the first round of the World Boxing Super Series, every fighter has a chance of going all the way and winning as he described it as the ‘Champions League of boxing’.
Perez the Cuban fighting from Ireland is used to fighting away from home so going into Briedis back yard will not faze his too much as he says “Fighting in Latvia isn’t an issue for me,” “I don’t care where I fight, I’ll fight anywhere. I’m feeling good, I’m confident, and I’m looking forward to Riga.”, but what will play on his mind is his lack of action for two years.
Upon his return to boxing he fought Viktor Biscak at the SSE arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland, who at the time had a record of 10(7)-0-0. On paper this looked a tricky fight for Perez, who looked like he was taking a huge gamble in taking this fight, this would be his acid test to see if he could shake off some ring rust and push on for a world title at cruiserweight.
Unfortunately this was not the test he expected or wanted. After throwing one punch, which barley connected, Biscak threw himself to the floor, and proceeded to fake an ankle injury, occasionally forgetting which ankle he hurt and limping with the wrong ankle.
Perez has now got an uphill struggle to get as much as he can out of his gym sessions and sparring sessions to get his sharpness back. Perez had dropped a weight class so he should be more nimble on his feet allowing for better footwork both in offence and defence.
Yunier Dorticos WBA Champion
Once I seen this fight announced I was on the edge of my seat, and this will be a fight for the ages. As Dorticos said “Kudryashov calls himself ‘Russian Hammer’, but do not forget that there is also a Cuban hammer in this fight. My nickname is ‘The KO Doctor’, and Kudryashov is my next patient.” Dorticos comes in with a 95% knock out rate and shows he is confident of landing another knock out. What adds weight to this claim is his 3 inch reach advantage over Kudryashov which will help him stay out of range of Kudryashov.
If Dorticos is smart he would use this advantage to its fullest and box rather than fight. But with so many knock outs on his record he will probably want to continue this way if something isn’t broke why fix? It’s this mentality that leads to great spectacles.
Another Advanateg for Dorticos is the location of the fight, with the fight being in the USA, Dorticos has made the US his home and can expect the cheers of the crowd in his favour against Kudryashov the Russian.
On the night one could be forgiven they stepped into Rocky 4, as this fight shows similarities of when Apollo Creed fought Ivan Drago. USA V Russia (USSR in Rocky), just as in the film this fight will be all action but with Dorticos hoping for a different ending, with him saying “I am also happy that this bout is in the United States, which I now consider my country. I am sure that on September 23rd, I will be victorious.”
Dmitry Kudryashov also known as the Russian hammer due to the fact all of his wins have come by way of knockout, he has come into the tournament as a bit of a dark horse but with all of his previous fights being in Russia it might be hard to know how he will travel when the time comes to fight Dorticos in America.
The only defeat on his record was against Nigerian Olanrewaju Durodola in Russia in 2015 via TKO but within two years he avenged it by inflicting the same feat he had to incur from Durodola. This will only be the fourth time Kudryashov has faced a person with an unbeaten record.
This fight has all the makings to be the best fight of the Cruiserweights Quarter Finals but all the fights should be very competitive enjoyable and hopefully a tournament like this can take Boxing to the next level and I for one can’t wait for it to start.