Scorecard: Gassiev vs Dorticos
Luke G. Williams
Murat Gassiev prevailed against Yunier Dorticos by 12th-round stoppage after an enthralling World Boxing Super Series clash in Sochi in which the IBF and WBA titles were both at stake. Here is how Boxing Monthly's Luke G. Williams saw the contest...
R1: Gassiev lands the best punch of the round - a counter right - but Dorticos edges the round with greater effective aggression, he is largely on the front foot throughout and outlands the Russian. 10-9 Dorticos
R2: Clever boxing from Gassiev - the Cuban is still on front foot and pushing him back but the Russian scores with several big shots - Dorticos takes them all well, but I lean to Gassiev here. 10-9 Gassiev
R3: Gassiev is still on the back foot. He lands a couple of good clean shots but Dorticos' ceaseless forward motion and attacking intent ensure he once again lands the greater volume of work and takes the round. 10-9 Dorticos
R4: Gassiev lands a big left towards the end of the round, but Dorticos bosses most of the rest of the action though. Some judges might prefer the Russian's heavier shots. A couple of these rounds could have gone his way on some cards. 10-9 Dorticos
R5: The best round Gassiev has had so far as he lands some big shots which halt Dorticos, who begins to look a little ragged at times, although he continues to plough forward. 10-9 Gassiev
R6: Now it's Gassiev's turn to be the one moving forward and land the telling blows. He takes another round and I now have this absorbing battle even on the cards. 10-9 Gassiev
R7: Gassiev is picking his shots so well and blocking Dorticos' replies effectively with a high guard. Dorticos is not as active as earlier. The Russian lands a huge right which momentarily shakes the Cuban but he recovers well. Pre-fight doubts about his chin seem to have been misplaced. 10-9 Gassiev
R8: A tight and less eventful round round, which maybe sways Dorticos' way as he got his jab working again effectivelyfor the first time in a couple of rounds. Four rounds each on my card now. 10-9 Dorticos
R9: Another big round for Gassiev as he lands several heavy shots and blocks or counters most of Dorticos' work effectively. A huge left to the body hurts the Cuban. 10-9 Gassiev
R10: A brilliant round. Gassiev lands some absolute bombs, Dorticos looks very tired, but he shows incredible heart, keeps swinging and lands some shots of his own. What a fight! 10-9 Gassiev
R11: An amazing round! Dorticos keeps punching despite looking very weary. At one point Gassiev lands a big uppercut and Dorticos almost goes down but he holds on for all he is worth and then comes roaring back with swinging shots of his own. 10-9 Gassiev
R12: A huge left sends Dorticos down! He barely regains his feet and then is down again soon after. So, so bravely he keeps swinging but Gassiev knocks him through the ropes with just seconds of the fight left and the referee waves it off. Fantastic fight. Both men showed great guts and heart. The World Boxing Super Series delivers again!
Verdict: Hot on the heels of Oleksandr Usyk's victory last week against Mairis Briedis in the first WBSS semi-final this was another cruiserweight classic. Gassiev fought very cleverly, allowing Dorticos to boss the early exchanges and set the pace before wearing him down late on. While the Cuban accumulated points in the first half of the fight he rarely landed any of his big bombs flush, whereas Gassiev landed power shots with increasing regularity as the fight progressed. The Cuban was exhausted late on and showed amazing heart to keep swinging and, in the final round, keep getting up. Well done to both men. Now for Usyk vs Gassiev - the mind boggles!