IBF cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev is one of four world champions competing in the World Boxing Super Series' cruiserweight tournament and believes this tournament will bring the division back into the limelight of global boxing.
Gassiev talked to Fightful during a media workout days before his upcoming World Boxing Super Series fight against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk on October 21. Gassiev said he's not only excited to compete in the tournament, but also predicts the tournament will help the cruiserweight division's popularity among both casual and hardcore fans.
"I'm very excited. A lot of Russian people will come and I want to show the crowd Russian boxing. I think after this tournament, everybody will bring back this division [into the spotlight] and everybody will start to respect this division," Gassiev said.
One of the biggest fighter comparisons Gassiev has garnered from fans is unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Both Golovkin and Gassiev are European standouts in their respective division, are undefeated world champions and even share the same trainer, Abel Sanchez.
Gassiev admits that he has learned a lot from Golovkin and even called him an older brother of sorts. The 24-year-old world champion said he does not concern himself with labels, comparisons or even any opinions from fans and analysts, choosing to focus on the task at hand.
"[I just] need to do my job and I will let other people decide what to think of me based on my performance. I'm not trying to be anybody. I'm just trying to do the best I can do," Gassiev said through a translator.
Gassiev is defending his IBF title for the first time in his career and will have to do so against a two-time former world champion and veteran boxer in Wlodarczyk. Fightful will have live coverage of Gassiev vs. Wlodarczyk live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on October 21.