World Boxing Super Series: Abel Sanchez says Murat Gassiev will beat Oleksandr Usyk
By Jac Rogers
Last Updated: 19/07/18 2:19pm
Murat Gassiev trainer Abel Sanchez has warned Oleksandr Usyk that he will be "on his back before nine" ahead of the World Boxing Super Series unification final.
Ukraine's Usyk and Russian Gassiev will battle it out for cruiserweight supremacy in Saturday's WBSS showdown in Olimpiyskiy, Moscow, but Sanchez, who also trains Gennady Golovkin, predicted problems for the tournament's No 1 seed.
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Usyk allowed himself to be trapped and to be hit. If he fights Murat the same way he fought Briedis he will be on his back before nine.
Sanchez said: "I believe Murat will be able to break Usyk down. Usyk allowed himself to be trapped and to be hit. If he fights Murat the same way he fought [Mairis] Briedis he will be on his back before nine.
"We have prepared Murat to be Murat and now Usyk will have to deal with him."
The fight will mark the first time in the division's history that one man has held all four recognised world titles (WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO), as well as the coveted Ring Magazine belt.
Also at stake will be the first Muhammad Ali trophy, the reward for winning the tournament, with the super-middleweight final between George Groves and Callum Smith still not confirmed.
Usyk (14-0-KO11) who holds a perfect professional record, described his opponent as "strong" and has told the fans they "should expect a beautiful final" - even if the 2012 Olympic gold medallist will be giving away home advantage in Russia.
Usyk said: "Do I look like I am afraid to fight anywhere? I feel excellent about it. I am an athlete, a warrior. I do not care where I fight, I just want to fight."
"I am ready, my team is ready. We are all going to Moscow in a good mood."
Gassiev (26-0-KO16) and Usyk were pushed all the way in their respective semi-finals, Usyk winning his via a majority decision against the Latvian Mairis Briedis, with one judge scoring the fight a draw, a fight of the year contender.
The Russian had to be patient before stopping the previously unbeaten Yunier Dorticus in the final round but has stressed he is only focussing on himself, not his final opponent.
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"I have been doing the same amount of running, physical exercising and sparring. I am not thinking about what he is doing. I need to be Murat Gassiev and do my best. I am only thinking about myself."
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