Usyk vs Gassiev: experts' poll

Luke G. Williams
12/07/2018 11:15am

Ahead of the eagerly awaited World Boxing Super Series final between Oleksandr Uysk and Murat Gassiev on 21 July in Moscow, 18 figures from the world of boxing make their big-fight predictions...

I’m going for Usyk on points. I think Gassiev is very good but as good as he is I think he is one dimensional, whereas in my opinion Usyk, who is always in top physical condition, has a better boxing brain and is technically better than Gassiev. - Matty Askin, British cruiserweight champion (23-3-1)

Both undefeated, Usyk is the smarter boxer who likes to pick his shots, he has a good defence and really lets his hands go when he sees the opening, whereas Gassiev is a more come-forward guy throwing big compact knockout punches with his heavy hands. If it goes to points I’m picking Usyk in a split decision but I wouldn’t be surprised if Gassiev drops Usyk as he has done quite well with recent southpaws and has a decent right hand. – Dan Azeez, light heavyweight (4-0)

Usyk vs Gassiev is not a fight the world will be talking about - let's be honest they ain't no Pacman or Mayweather - but it’s a fight that's guaranteed to have everyone on the edge of their seat. They are both real fighters in my opinion who just want to be in a real fight. May the best man win. Both undefeated. Both bangers. Both tough. Prediction? War! – Ronnie Clark, super-featherweight (21-4-2)

I have loved Gassiev throughout this competition, he’s been an absolute beast. I do feel that Usyk’s movement will cause him major problems, but still I’m going for a late Gassiev stoppage! – Michael Conlan, former amateur world champion, Olympic bronze medallist, featherweight (8-0)

I love the style of Usyk. His work rate and heart can bring him through any test. I’m sticking with him all the way. – Jazza Dickens, former British super bantamweight champion (23-3)

I would say that Gassiev is the stronger, come forward fighter, while Usyk is a more skilful boxer-puncher. I think Usyk wins on points… Or Gassiev by TKO! – Isaac Dogboe, WBO super bantamweight champion (19-0)

While Usyk has the Olympic Gold medal pedigree, I slightly favour the younger Gassiev who, at 24, has grown into a seasoned pro over the last seven years. Experience and youth are everything – Gassiev by close but unanimous decision. -  Mark H. Dunlop, promoter

I think Usyk is one of the most technically gifted cruiserweights you’re ever going to come across. Although Gassiev holds big power I think Usyk breaks him down late on for a wide points or late stoppage win. - Sunny Edwards, super flyweight (8-0)

I really like Usyk, he’s a great boxer. I’ve not seen much of the other guy, but he will need to be very special to beat Usyk. - Peter Fury, trainer

It’s a fight I'm looking forward to very much. I slightly favour Usyk. 1. Because I'm a big fan and 2. I just think he’ll have the tools to outpoint Gassiev. Very good fight! – Callum Johnson, British and Commonwealth light heavyweight champion (17-0)

I’m going for Usyk purely on skill. He’ll be able to outbox Gassiev. – Chris Kongo, welterweight (9-0)

A genuine 50/50 fight but Usyk to win in a tough fight – he might have to survive some shaky moments though. - Enzo Maccarinelli, former British, European and WBO cruiserweight champion (41-8)

I like Gassiev in this fight. He’s a tough aggressive fighter. He’s a rough ‘un, not your classic fighter. Usyk has an awkward style but I don't think he quite has the punching power to trouble Gassiev or the willpower that Gassiev has. I'm going with a stoppage for Gassiev in round eight or nine. With the two boxers’ styles and aggression it’s going to be a hell of a fight. – Clinton McKenzie, former British and European light welterweight champion (36-14)

Usyk will make Gassiev work at the pace he wants, by being constantly in range and pressuring with the front foot. He’ll take some licks along the way, but his engine will win him a close decision. To be honest, though, that is one of the hardest questions to answer because you could say the same for Gassiev! What a fight! - David Price, former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion

This looks like a fantastic fight. Usyk looks more ferocious and will look to take charge of the fight from early so it will be interesting to see who dictates the pace. Gassiev is a better technician and a cleaner puncher, they are both powerful punchers but I'm putting my money on Gassiev, even though Usyk has fought better opposition. - Mark Prince, retired light heavyweight and former WBO title challenger (23-1)

I think Usyk wins this one on points. It’s going to be a great fight. Can’t wait for it! – Hannah Rankin, super welter / middleweight (5-1)

I am leaning towards a points victory for Usyk as he is more agile on his feet and has a high work rate, but he also has to be wary of Gassiev’s body shot combinations as that can potentially take a toll on Usyk’s legs and draw him into a toe to toe fight. I believe that wouldn’t be a good move for Usyk, nonetheless I am very excited for this contest - may the best man win! - Richard Riakporhe, cruiserweight (6-0)

I can’t wait for this fight: two elite fighters, which is what boxing should be all about. It’s hard to pick a winner but if I have to I would say Gassiev by late TKO. I think early on it will be all Usyk but I think Gassiev has the style and the skills to get to him later on. -Darren Tetley, welterweight (16-0)

 Final tally: Usyk 11 Gassiev 5, no preference 2