The World Boxing Super Series has officially announced the date and location for the finals of its first ever tournament.
The WBSS has revealed the cruiserweight finals, Oleksandr Usyk vs. Murat Gassiev, will take place at the Olimpiysky Sports Complex in Moscow, Russia on July 21. The fight pits the tournament's top two cruiserweights in a fight that will crown the first-ever unified WBA, WBO, WBC, IBF and Ring Magazine world champion in the 200-pound division.
Originally, the bout was scheduled to take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in May, but Usyk suffered an injury which delayed the fight a little more than two months after its intended date. The news of Moscow being the cruiserweight tournament finals host was first reported by Ring Magazine a little more than a week ago.
Despite being the top seed in the tournament, Usyk has had to travel to his opponent's home country to fight in every single round of the tournament thus far. Usyk start the tournament by traveling to Germany to face off against Marco Huck in the quarterfinals last year in which Usyk was victorious. He then went to Latvia, Mairis Briedis' home country, for the semifinals and Usyk successfully unified the WBO and WBC titles with a majority decision win. For the finals, Usyk is confident he will emerge victorious in Moscow.
“I am once again traveling to the territory of the rival," Usyk said. "I did it with success in the quarter- and semi-final and now I am going to Moscow to win!”
Gassiev, the WBA and IBF champion, got to the finals by first defeating Krzysztof Wlodarczyk last year in the quarterfinals and then followed it up with a knockout win over Yunier Dorticos in the semifinals earlier to unify the two world titles he currently holds.
“I was ready to fight Usyk anywhere in the world," Gassiev said. "I am sure Usyk and I will make a great fight. The winner takes it all!”
The cruiserweight finals would mark the end of one-half of the first season of the World Boxing Super Series. The other half, an eight-man super middleweight tournament, is also in its final stage with WBA "super" champion George Groves taking on WBC Diamond champion Callum Smith. The date and venue for that fight has yet to be announced. With the first season of the WBSS ending soon, tournament organizers are preparing to start the second season this fall with tournaments at junior welterweight, bantamweight and a third unannounced weight class holding their own eight-man tournaments.