Gassiev makes heavyweight bow against Dawejko

Former cruiserweight king Murat Gassiev will make his long-awaited heavyweight debut against Joey Dawejko on July 29 at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK. Gassiev has made the move up to join the big guns following an impressive run at cruiserweight where his reign as IBF champion began when he ripped the title from Denis Lebedev in December 2012 and then stopping Krzystof Wlodarczyk and WBA champion Yuniel Dorticos in thrilling fashion to reach the final of the World Boxing Super Series.

The former unified champion 25-year-old met Oleksandr Usyk in the finale to the WBSS in a blockbuster clash for the undisputed title in July where the Ukrainian traveled to Gassiev’s Moscow backyard and beat the hometown favorite.

The California based Russian follows Usyk to heavyweight after signing a co-promotional agreement with Matchroom Boxing USA, Ural Boxing Promotion and Warriors Boxing.

Dawejko promises to provide a stiff examination of Gassiev’s credentials at Heavyweight, with the Philly man coming into the bout having nearly shocked Gassiev’s fellow countryman Sergiy Kuzmin in Verona, New York in March. Dawejko – who turns 29 tomorrow (June 11) – faces his third Russian foe in a row having taken Andrey Fedesov the ten round distance in October in Ekaterinburg, and Gassiev is eager to impress when he steps back into the ring after a year’s absence.

“I just want to fight – I need big fights,” said Gassiev. “I haven’t boxed for a year. I am only 25 years old so I have time but I want to be in big fights.

“The most important thing for me is to be in shape and fit. I feel good up at heavyweight in the gym, I don’t feel heavy, so I am excited to settle into the weight. I sparred with heavyweights all through my time at cruiserweight and it was good for me, but sparring is different. I think that the time is right to move up though and I’m very motivated.”

Gassiev’s-Dawejko is part of a huge night of World championship action in Texas, card headlined by the super lightweight unification battle between WBO king Maurice Hooker and WBC ruler Jose Ramirez.

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  • Daweljko will get knocked out. The Russian will carry his power up and the Philadelphia kid has never felt one punch power like that before. Joey isn’t world class and will start running out of gas in the fourth or fifth round and that’s when Murat we’ll get to him.

  • Until 10 days ago I would have said “small heavyweight, no chance against the dreadnaughts that patrol the division”. Of course I have to revise that to ” small, quick heavyweight, who possesses the tools to
    outsmart the slow, ponderous giants that stand in his way”.

  • This is not his first heavyweight fight, he already stopped Manuel Charr several years ago.

  • Really looking forward to seeing what Gassiev can do as a heavyweight.

  • This isn’t the same jump it used to be. Moving up from 200 with rehydrating in full consideration means that he’s probably “moving up” from about 215. It’ll be interesting to see where he weighs in at, but North of 220 isn’t small in my mind. Wilder weighed 212 against Fury.

    Note: Cruiserweight used to be a 190 limit.

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