With a bantamweight unification fight in Belfast, a World Boxing Super Series quarter-final in New Jersey and a Japanese middleweight champion for the first time in 22 years, it’s been another busy boxing weekend.
1 Gassiev sets up Dorticos semi-final after crippling KO
After a crippling left uppercut to the solar plexus of Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, Murat Gassiev (25-0) advanced to the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series to take on fellow unbeaten cruiserweight, Yunier Dorticos (22-0, 21 KO).
In a third round stoppage in New Jersey, the Russian showed his brutal finishing power after a controlled opening two rounds. With Wlodarczyk writhing in pain on the black canvas, it was clear that "Diablo" wasn't going to beat the ten count.
With a combined record of 47-0 with 39 knockouts, Murat Gassiev vs Yunier Dorticos is set to be a mouth-watering semi-final in the early part of next year as the World Boxing Super Series continues to deliver high quality matchups.
Speaking after the fight, Dorticos sent a clear message to Gassiev in anticipation of their 2018 meeting -
"Take a good vacation. I wanna prepare the right dosage for you of ibuprofen and anesthesia for the next fight, so it’s less painful"
The cruiserweight semi-finals are expected in January/February, with the final being hosted in Saudi Arabia next May.
2 Warrington calls for Selby clash after stopping Ceylan
After stopping Dennis Ceylan in a tenth round TKO, Josh Warrington (26-0) moved once step closer to a world title shot against IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby. With rumours circulating that Warrington has been offered this fight multiple times in the past, it looks like the Leeds-warrior has decided the time is finally right to take on the Welshman.
With Lee Selby struggling to nail down the big money fights during his two-year world title reign, a trip to Leeds in a defence against the mandatory challenger would be a step up in his stifled career.
Speaking to BT Sport after the fight on Saturday, Warrington expressed his desire to bring Selby to his home town -
"I want to get the Welshman up here. If we can make it at Elland Road, let's have it. I've waited so long and now I'm there. It was a little bit erratic and wild as I wanted to win it so bad, but I got there in the end."
3 Burnett hungry for more after bantamweight unification
With debatably wide scorecards of 118-110, 119-109 and 117-112, Ryan Burnett (18-0) has added the WBA (Super) bantamweight championship to his IBF strap in an electric night at The SSE Arena. Fighting in front of a passionate home crowd in Belfast, Burnett made history in becoming the first Irishman to unify the bantamweight division, at the tender age of 25.
However, after being taken to hospital for precautionary measures after his grueling bout with Zhakiyanov, the immediate future for Burnett is unclear as the Northern Irishman looks to take some time off.
With Jamie McDonnell holding the regular version of the WBA strap, a domestic bout between the pair would be easy to make in 2018, however Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn has since stated that they are looking to win as many belts as possible; with the vacant WBC strap a major target.
4 Ryota Murata avenges Hassan N'Dam to claim middleweight title
After losing a split decision to Cameroonian Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam earlier this year, Japan's 31-year-old middleweight Ryota Murata stopped his nemesis in a rematch in Tokyo to claim the WBA (Regular) middleweight strap.
Murata (13-1, 10 KO) wore N’Dam (36-3, 21 KO) down with powerful and accurate shots to the body, with the home fighter being well ahead on all three of the judges scorecards at the time of the stoppage. The end of the fight came at the end of the seventh round as the champion failed to come out for the eighth. Murata's bruising jabs and relentless pressure eventually broke the heart of N'Dam, as he took his third career defeat after earlier losses to David Lemieux and Peter Quillin.
A seasoned amateur winning middleweight gold at London 2012, Murata is looking to push on in the 160lbs division and has already called out Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin as his next opponent.
- watch Gassiev's crippling body shot here
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