With Oleksandr Usyk already progressing through to the WBSS cruiserweight semi-finals, Dorticos and Kudryashov meet in San Antonio to decide who is first through into the other semi-final. With the WBA (regular) strap and a fight against Murat Gassiev or Krzysztof Wlodarczyk the prize for the winner, boxing fans are expecting fireworks on Saturday night.
Yunier Dorticos vs Dmitry Kudryashov for the WBA (regular) cruiserweight world title.
Where: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, USA
When: Saturday 23, September from 9PM ET or Saturday 23, September 2AM UK Time
TV: ITV4 BoxOffice Freeview, TVPlayer
Yunier Dorticos (21-0) A.K.A the “Knockout Doctor” has knocked out all but one of his opponents, now holding the WBA cruiserweight title after stopping Youri Kayembre Kalenga last May in Paris. The heavy-handed Cuban made his professional debut in 2009, and since then has climbed the cruiserweight ranks with the World Boxing Super Series giving him the perfect platform to springboard into the wider public domain.
His opponent Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1), nicknamed “The Russian Hammer” has ended every single one of his victories inside the distance and with just one loss on his record to Nigerian Olanrewaju Durodola coming in 2015 (who he avenged in June this year). The Russian is looking to claim world honours for the first time in his six-year pro career.
Speaking at Wednesday’s press conference, the defending champion was confident on advancing in the cruiserweight tournament.
“I’m happy to be a part of this great event. On Saturday night you will see what I’m all about. Saturday is going to be an explosive matchup and I will leave with my belt. 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. I’ve trained really hard for this fight. None of the storms in Miami have slowed me down at all. There will be no excuses on fight night.”
Fighting outside of Russia for the first time in his career, Kudryashov comes to San Antonio as the clear underdog, however, is confident he can land the knockout punch on Saturday night.
“I am excited to see all the fans on Saturday night. We both have a lot of knockouts so this is going to be a great fight. 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.”
With 42 KOs in 43 fights combined involving Saturday night’s two fighters, we can expect heavy-hitting, explosive action and bombs to be thrown as we look for our second semi-finalist in the World Boxing Super Series. The only fight that went the distance was Dorticos’ unanimous decision win over the famously stubborn-chinned Edison Miranda, so expecting to hear the twelfth bell on Saturday night may be thinking a little ambitiously.
Hailing from Cuba, Dorticos’ footwork has become a huge weapon in his arsenal in the cruiserweight division. Light on his feet for a 200lb fighter, the defending champion should be able to manoeuvre Kudryashov around the ring, relying on his one-punch knockout power whenever he gets in range.
“The Russian Hammer” will have to work hard to negate Dorticos’ movement in the early rounds, however, if he can get through rounds 1-4 unscathed, the challenger may get some success when he starts unloading. Less of a technical fighter than the Cuban, Kudryashov will rely on roughing up the champion and finding success up close and in the clinch.
One punch from either fighter could be enough to seal their ticket into the WBSS semi-finals, however with that extra dimension of class to his skill-set, expect Dorticos to have just enough to wear down the Russian, handing him his second loss as a professional.
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