Yuniel Dorticos is once again a world champion and now a World Boxing Super Series finalist.
The Cuban fighter scored a vicious right to Andrew Tabiti’s chin with less than 30 seconds remaining in the 10th round and knock him out. Dorticos not only becomes the new IBF cruiserweight champion but also advance to the WBSS cruiserweight finals where he will take on the winner of the Mairis Briedis vs. Krzysztof Glowacki fight for the WBO world title.
The fight started off slow with both men barely landing anything. The sixth round was by far the most eventful of the entire bout. An accidental clash of heads left Dorticos with a cut right next to his right eye and there was some fear that he was not able to continue.
Dorticos was given an option to end the fight right then and there and the fight would go to a technical decision, but he decided to keep fighting. Tabiti was also docked a point foe excessive holding and landed a couple of low blows on Dorticos.
The second half of the fight saw Dorticos be more confident and pressed the action forward on Tabiti. The fight ended near the conclusion of the 10th round when Dorticos landed a 1-2 combination that had Dorticos land a right hand to the point of Tabiti’s chin, knocking him out immediately.
Although a spot in the WBSS finals was already huge stakes in this fight, the stakes were raised significantly just hours before the fight took place. WBSS officials announced that Aleksandr Usyk vacated the IBF title, the last of his four world titles at 200 pounds, and that the vacant belt would be on the line for this matchup.
Dorticos is now a two-time world champion, having held the WBA title. Dorticos was also in last year’s WBSS cruiserweight tournament, but lost in the semifinals when he was stopped in the final round by Murat Gassiev.