The World Boxing Super Series has crowned a new king of the cruiserweights.
Oleksandr Usyk, the tournament's top seed, decimated Murat Gassiev to not only win the WBSS cruiserweight tournament, but also become the undisputed cruiserweight champion. Usyk became the undisputed champion by unifying the WBA, WBO, WBC and IBF titles while also adding the vacant Ring Magazine belt to his collection, winning the title with a wide unanimous decision (120-108, 119-109, 119-109). Fightful had scored the bout 119-109 in favor of Usyk.
It was a masterful performance by Usyk, who utilized the most important punch in boxing, the jab, to perfection. Usyk threw hundreds of jabs to Gassiev, who some had thought could use his strength advantage to overpower the more technically sound boxer in Usyk.
Gassiev had some chances to land effective power punches. The first round had Gassiev land a vicious body shot to Usyk, but Usyk ultimately won the round thanks to his jab. The rest of the fight was virtually the same: Usyk would easily land the jab and circle around Gassiev as Gassiev would struggle to find his range and rarely land any strong punches.
It was a gameplan executed by Usyk which allowed him to dominate a fight many had tabbed already as a "Fight of the Year" contender. Usyk landed 252 of 939 total punches (27 percent) while Gassiev landed 91 of 313 (29 percent).
The fight, which took place in front of a capacity crowd of 24,000 at the Olimpiysky Sports Complex in Moscow, ended a near year-long journey for Usyk since the start of the tournament. Usyk stopped former world champion Marco Huck in 10 rounds to advance to the semifinals where he would get a majority decision win against Mairis Briedis to unify the WBO and WBC titles.
Although Usyk is not the first undisputed cruiserweight champion (he is the third undisputed champion in cruiserweight history), he is the first cruiserweight to hold all four major world titles and the Ring Magazine title at the same time. Usyk became the second man to become an undisputed champion in less than 12 months, with Terence Crawford becoming the undisputed junior welterweight champion.last August.
Now that the cruiserweight tournament is over, the WBSS now shifts its focus to the second half of the first season: the super middleweight finals. That fight, which pits WBA champion George Groves against WBC Diamond titleholder Callum Smith, still does not have a date and venue.