By Ron Valderrama: The sport of boxing gave us some exciting fights in 2018. With some thrilling knockout’s a plenty this year, the Secondsout.com Team selected Russia’s, Murat Gassiev’s thrilling 12th round KO win over Cuba’s, Yuniel Dorticos.
If you’re a boxing fan, and I think you are, this fight had to be on your list as far as knockouts go for 2018. Going into the fight, Gassiev was undefeated, and so was Dorticos, if styles make fights, this was it. Like so many fights, this bout had a picture-perfect ending for boxing fans. It had it all, toe-to-toe action from the first bell. Yuniel Dorticos made a statement early landing clean shots on Murat Gassiev in the early rounds, but Gassiev countered beautifully every time.
To be honest, I favored Dorticos to win this fight. His toughness to take Gassiev’s crushing body shots alone proved he could take a punch, and it did until the final round. Without a doubt, this fight was tough to score going into the final round, but I did like the way Dorticos cut off the ring and his angle of attack in the early rounds.
Murat Gassiev fought a smart fight, his patience, and most importantly, his defensive skill won this fight. The second half of the fight was when we witnessed the real Gassiev, his well-placed shots to the body on Dorticos began to silently take its toll. The speedy combinations of Gassiev also gave him another weapon to use, the blazing uppercut. Dorticos had to be feeling each and every punch and knew he was facing a tough opponent.
Going into the final round, I had Gassiev slightly ahead, but wouldn’t be upset if it were a draw at this point. Both fighters were winners as far as the performance they were displaying. But for Dorticos, the stamina would fade fast. A hard left thrown by Gassiev would drop Dorticos for the first of a trio of knockdowns in this final round. Dorticos beat the count though, managing to continue although clearly dazed. The grit of Dorticos would kick in as he continued to fight, still throwing punches, a glimpse of the punches that once had zip and served him well in the early rounds. Moments later, Gassiev would again use his powerful left and would again drop Dorticos to the canvas. It looked like the fight was done, but Dorticos would dig deep and manage to beat the count again. At this point Murat Gassiev had to feel confident he would win this fight, but also had to be wondering how Yuniel Dorticos was still standing. When the action resumed, Gassiev was like a shark that had the taste of blood, he was about to go in for the kill. A combination and barrage of punches thrown by Gassiev would confirm his victory, sending Yuniel Dorticos through the ropes and a stoppage of the fight.
The victory awarded Murat Gassiev the IBF Cruiserweight Title and the WBA Super Cruiserweight Title. This bout was a display of skill and stamina, it was two warriors doing battle and was pleasing to the eye to watch. Boxing fans got what they paid for in this fight, as for me, I would love to see Murat Gassiev and Yuniel Dorticos climb in the ring and do it again.