Murat Gassiev’s jump to the heavyweight ranks will have to wait after a shoulder injury has forced him to withdraw from his next fight.
Steve Kim of ESPN first reported the news that Gassiev will not be able to fight Joey Dawejko on July 27. The fight would have been Gassiev’s first after announcing that he not only would be signing with Matchroom Boxing, but also move up from cruiserweight, where he held the unified IBF and WBA titles.
Gassiev isn’t the first former cruiserweight champion to have a heavyweight debut get spoiled weeks before it was set to happen. Former undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk, who beat Gassiev in the World Boxing Super Series finals in 2018, was set to make his heavyweight debut in May against Carlos Takam, but suffered a bicep injury, pushing back the fight.
Gassiev entered the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament in 2017 already holding the IBF belt. After a quick win over Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in the quarterfinals, Gassiev would go on to defeat Yunier Dorticos in the semifinals to unify the WBA and IBF titles in a 2018 Fight of the Year contender.
In the finals, Gassiev would go on to be outboxed by Usyk in the tournament finals last summer and Usyk became the first undisputed WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine cruiserweight champion.
The July 27 card, to be streamed on DAZN in the United States, will take place from College Center Park in Arlington, Texas and feature a WBO/WBC junior welterweight title unification between Maurice Hooker and Jose Ramirez. Also on the card is Tevin Farmer defending his IBF super featherweight title against Guillaume Frenois.