Sunday, March 26, 2023  |


Yunier Dorticos, Dmitry Kudryashov promise to live up to monikers in WBSS bout

Francisco Perez/Ringstar Sports

The World Boxing Super Series hasn’t delivered an all-action fight so far, but that should change Saturday.

Both Yunier Dorticos and Dmitry Kudryashov possess interesting, fitting monikers. For Dorticos, it’s the KO Doctor. And for Kudryashov, The Russian Hammer. Both men are devastating cruiserweight puncher and the pairing has hardcore boxing fans salivating over the anticipated fireworks.

It appears to be a can’t miss action fight and both participants possesses the ability to end matters at any moment. They’ll meet in a WBSS quarterfinal matchup Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

“On Saturday night you will see what I’m all about,” Dorticos (21-0, 20 knockouts) said at Wednesday’s press conference. “Saturday is going to be an explosive matchup and I will leave (victorious).

“This is definitely going to be an exciting fight but I have to focus on my game plan and being at the very top of my game on Saturday.”

Dorticos, 31, came to the United States in 2009, having been the bridesmaid on the prolific Cuban amateur scene. He came to the U.S. in search of fame and fortune. It has so far eluded him.

After winning the biggest fight of his career, a stoppage of Youri Kalenga last May in France in an underrated thriller, he has been inactive, unable to coax any of the other top cruiserweights into the ring.

However, the chance to take part in the WBSS is one that allows him to make a real statement in boxing.

“To be a part of this tournament is truly an honor and I know that it’s going to put me at the top of this division,” he said. “I’ve always believed in my abilities and now I can go prove myself against the best.

“Winning the Muhammad Ali Trophy would mean so much to me because he is the fighter that everyone looks up to and tries to be like. Saturday night is my first step toward that goal.”

Kudryashov intends to keep Dorticos from reaching those goals and has just as lofty future aspirations.

“We both have a lot of knockouts so this is going to be a great fight,” said the Russian powerhouse. “I will have my hand raised on Saturday.

“This chance to become a world champion for the first time is something that I have worked towards for many years. This is my dream and the fact that it brings me closer to the Ali Trophy adds even more excitement.

“I know that I have a very tough opponent in front of me. We’ve worked so hard to prepare my body and mind for 12 rounds of war. There is no way I can lose this fight.”

Kudryashov, also 31, has been a pro since 2011, fighting exclusively at home. None of his fights have gone past seven rounds. He exacted revenge against the only man who beat him when he stopped Olanrewaju Durodola in June to set up this opportunity.

And he isn’t worried about fighting so far from home in the biggest fight of his career.

“The ring is square everywhere,” he said matter-of-factly. “It’s the same ring as in Russia, it doesn’t matter to me.”

The tournament format works well for the likes of Dorticos and Kudryashov, forcing other top fighters to face them rather than being left in the shade.

Both men know a win on Saturday will see them face the winner of Murat Gassiev-Krzysztof Włodarczyk, who clash next month for the IBF belt.

“I think the tournament is a great thing for boxing,” Kudryashov enthused. “It’s a great opportunity for me to become famous worldwide. It’s a great opportunity for me to leave my name in the history books of boxing.

“Being a part of this tournament brings me a lot of joy because it gives me the chance to fight the best. That is why I started boxing and now it is time for me to prove that I’m the best in the world.”

Richard Schaefer, the chairman and CEO of Ringstar Sports, the lead promoter of this event, promises there will be fireworks.

“I am going to guarantee that on Saturday night, you will see a knockout,” stated the former Swiss banker. “That’s the only thing these two fighters know how to do. I don’t know who or when, but I’m very comfortable saying this will end in a knockout.

“These are two guys who know that this is their opportunity to elevate themselves to the forefront of this sport.”

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright