Murat Gassiev scores one punch KO over Mike Balogun in Armenia
Heavyweight Murat Gassiev scored a one-punch knockout win over Mike Balogun late Friday night at the Karen Demirchyan Sports Complex in Yerevan, Armenia.
Gassiev, who is originally from Vladikavkaz, Russia, improves to 30-1, 23 knockouts.
The southpaw Balogun did well during the opening round, boxing from distance and, at times, initiating exchanges and forcing Gassiev to take a step back.
The 29-year-old Gassiev stalked Balogun during the second round, waiting for an opening or an opportunity to counter Balogun. That moment came near the midway point of the round, as Gassiev threw and landed an overhand right cross to the head, dropping Balogun to the canvas. Referee Salvador Salva counted Balogun out at 1:30.
It was completely uneventful until the eraser of a right hand by Murat "Iron" Gassiev (30-1, 23 KO's) stops Mike Balogun (20-1) for a KO-2 win and the vacant WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title in Yerevan, Armenia pic.twitter.com/01YAtTjVRK
— Tim Boxeo (@TimBoxeo) March 3, 2023
Gassiev last fought on August 26, knocking out 42-year-old Carlouse Welch in the first round. He has won his last four bouts since losing to Oleksandr Usyk in a world unified cruiserweight title fight in July 2018.
The win over Balogun could put Gassiev into more high-profile fights, including top contenders in the heavyweight division. He did fight a handful of fights under the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) banner.
Balogun, who resides in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, falls to 20-1, 16 knockouts.
The 39-year-old last fought on October 6, stopping Marcus Oliveira in the second round. His most notable fight prior to Friday was a first round knockout win over Trey Lippe, the son of former world heavyweight titleholder Tommy Morrison, in December 2021.
The fight headlined a co-promotions between Ural Promotions and Patriot Box Promotions.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]