After a spectacular battle, IBF champ Murat Gassiev stopped WBA titleholder Yunier Dorticos with seconds to go in the final round. With this victory, the Russian unified the cruiserweight titles in the second semifinal of the World Boxing Super Series.

Dorticos had been down twice in the final stanza but still kept punching back on wobbly legs, before eventually being sent through the ropes. The Cuban fighter got emotional during the post-fight press conference and was comforted by Murat Gassiev in a scene of great sportsmanship. Dorticos said he felt like he had let his fans down by losing the fight. Gassiev’s trainer Abel Sanchez had to disagree: “He disappointed nobody. I think his fans are extremely proud of him!” Dorticos later promised he will be back stronger and would love a rematch with Gassiev.

It was an action-packed fight with Murat Gassiev landing the crisper, heavier punches, while the Cuban demonstrated a high work rate, especially in the early rounds. Sanchez called the encounter “a fight to be remembered”, comparing it to legendary battles like Ali vs Foreman and Ali vs Norton. Gassiev paid tribute to Dorticos, calling him a “tremendous fighter with a heavy punch” and went on to say that the fight had ended in his favor, but could have easily gone the other way. He called it a “hard, painful fight”, mentioning that there are areas he will need to improve on.

Murat Gassiev is now set to face Ukranian Oleksandr Usyk in the cruiserweight final of the World Boxing Super Series on May 11 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He plans to provide “another great fight” and an “amazing performance” for the fans.