Thursday, September 21, 2023  |



Abel Sanchez comments on Gassiev-Dorticos

Gassiev (left) and Dorticos. Photo courtesy of World Boxing Super Series
Fighters Network

A day later, the pleasant buzz still lingered, and was neck and neck for many of us degenerate fans of the sweet science, even if we had a dog in the Super Bowl hunt, with anticipatory tingling of football dramatics to come.

The WBSS semifinal, which saw Murat Gassiev graduate from young gun to top-25 pound for pounder, into an echelon above other mere title holders, stuck in the minds and even hearts of those who took in the scrap from Sochi, Russia.

Gassiev, with 25 amateur bouts to his credit, was the consummate level-headed pro as he applied the Abel Sanchez game plan to a T, and pecked away at the Cuban, Yunier Dorticos, before moving in for the kill at the 11th hour. And then, did you catch it? The Russian went over to a disconsolate loser at the post-fight presser, told him he did well, and to be proud. He fought with savage grace and won with dignity and decency.

I messaged with Sanchez, the tutorial sage from Big Bear, California, and offered congratulations to the professor and his superlative student.

“Very good fight, my guy only had 25 amateur fights, but is putting in the work in the gym to get better, this type of fight and opponent makes you a better fighter,” Sanchez said.

I saw it as a coin flip coming in, I won’t offer a hindsight ass cover fib.

And darn right, Dorticos’ stock rose in the eyes of many, as he persevered even when the tide tilted in the Russian’s favor.

The game plan, it played out efficiently for the winning team.

Backing up more so first four rounds, let Dorticos empty his barrel some. Then Gassiev has his bearings, and starts to get more so into attack mode, break the guy down, it looked like to me.

“Thank you, yes that was my game plan, kind of a throw back to GGG/Lemiuex, except Dorticos had the Cuban school and was able to make for a great fight,” Sanchez said.

Now, I’m thinking Gassiev has to merit consideration into the mix of the pound-for-pound top 20? “Yes, I think that the opponent should give him consideration for top 20,” Sanchez continued.

And yes, Dorticos left the ring impressing the hell out of Sanchez. He’d need to have it proven to him that he’d been a graduate of the Joel Casamayor Cuban School, and not the one where later rounds and deeper waters encourage flunk outs. “Absolutely..and both fighters will better for this battle,” he finished.

And, I’m pretty sure, went on to begin to craft in his head a strategy to beat a foe who is a cut above Dorticos, most all pundits would allow. Oleksandr Usyk is built for this, this fighting life, and is a smooth and savage operator. May 11 is a date to circle on your calendar, in Sharpie… It’s my odds on favorite to be Fight of the Year.


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