World Boxing Super Series:Gassiev vs Wlodarczyk Live Streaming free online tv coverage
A boxer’s ability to perfect his timing inside the ring can determine a fight’s outcome.
Outside the ring, cruiserweight world champion Murat Gassiev also stands positioned to perfect his career timing.
Following a stretch of bouts appreciated mostly by only the sport’s hard-core purists, the World Boxing Super Series is now finding that interest in its two-division tournament is building, just as Big Bear-trained Gassiev (24-0, 17 knockouts) makes his debut in the tournament Saturday night against Poland’s Krzysztof Wlodarczyk at New Jersey’s Prudential Center.
In the time since the International Boxing Federation champion Gassiev, of Russia, committed to the World Boxing Super Series, tournament promoters have struck a television deal, seen their ideal fights materialize and, then, recently struck a deal to finally bring a major boxing event to the Middle East.
Gassiev-Wlodarczyk, a WBSS cruiserweight quarterfinal, will be shown by AT&T’s Audience Network at 7 p.m. Pacific on Saturday.
Schaefer said he is “in conversations with several networks” to broadcast the WBSS semifinals and finals, which now include a compelling all-U.K.154-pound semifinal between George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr.
The bout leads the winner toward a May date in Saudi Arabia, after it was announced that country will host the WBSS’ cruiserweight championship fight, said veteran promoter Richard Schaefer, who has witnessed fellow promoters previously attempt and fail to cash in on promises from would-be partners in the oil-rich Middle East.
“It speaks to the strength of the brand and how quickly the brand is gaining a foothold in the sport,” Schaefer said.
The Gassiev-Wlodarczyk winner meets Cuba’s World Boxing Assn. champion Yunier Dorticos (22-0, 21 KOs), the “K.O. Doctor” who knocked out “The Russian Hammer” Dmitry Kudryashov in the second round of their Sept. 23 quarterfinal bout in San Antonio.
The other cruiserweight semifinal pits top-seeded World Boxing Organization champion Oleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) vs. World Boxing Council champion Mairis Breidis (23-0, 18 KOS) in January.
“Both of those cruiserweight fights will likely be champion versus champion, and then the final will be for the undisputed title in Saudi Arabia after its historic offer,” Schaefer said.
Gassiev has previously operated under the training shadow of his stablemate and unbeaten three-belt middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin at trainer Abel Sanchez’s Summit boxing gym in Big Bear.
But Sanchez has often told any visitor to his gym that Gassiev, who turned 24 this month, is his “cruiserweight GGG,” a claim backed by knockout wins in seven of eight bouts that lasted less than four rounds before Gassiev won his belt in Moscow in December over veteran Denis Lebedev.
Beyond that, Gassiev is a good-humored man whose friendliness and willingness to discuss his life gives him a leg up on the icy shield that has hindered attempts to bring Eastern European fighters like Sergey Kovalev and Golovkin to mainstream sporting prominence.
“That is my style. All my life, I smile, I’m happy, I joke,” Gassiev said. “I try to bring that atmosphere from my life to training, and I think it works.”
In Wlodarczyk (53-3-1, 37 KOs), Gassiev confronts a former world champion.
“Big, big test for me … he’s tough and more experienced, but I want to take from his experience and put it in me,” Gassiev said.
Schaefer sees the Russian champion as perhaps the WBSS fighter with the most potential for widespread appeal.
“With Gassiev, you have one of the best fighters that nobody has really seen yet,” Schaefer said.
“Imagine if, at age 24, he can pull through this tournament against all these champions — all unbeaten big punchers — to prove he’s the best as a big cruiserweight … imagine how big his career can be. This is a kid — a puncher who can box — who’ll eventually move up to the heavyweight division.
“So this is a perfect showcase for him – definitely a name to keep an eye on. I think boxing will have a new star.”
The last time boxing staged a tournament of this note, super-middleweight Andre Ward emerged as the winner of Showtime’s “Super Six.”
“There was some skepticism when this tournament was announced, but there’ve been great fights with unbelievable production, and I have to say it couldn’t have gone better after realizing we have to start somewhere with this new idea,” Schaefer said.
After this, Schaefer said WBSS organizers are eyeing other divisions, like 118 pounds, for the greater exposure a tournament format provides.