At the Khodynka Arena, Moscow, Murat Gassiev tore up the pre-fight script, defeating Denis Lebedev over a hard-fought 12 rounds of action. Gassiev dethroned the reigning champion of his WBA and IBF titles tonight, winning on scores of 114-113, 112-116 and 113-114, which are very telling of the bout’s competitive narrative. Here at Boxing Base we had it 115-112, Lebedev.
With the win, Gassiev now stands at a perfect 23 wins, 17 knockouts, while Lebedev slips to 29 wins, 3 losses, 22 knockouts.
Opinions will likely be divided over this one. Because it all comes down to what the spectator prefers more: Lebedev’s cleaner, fluid boxing, or Gassiev’s pressure and more thunderous shots. For us, it was Lebedev. The 37-year-old got off to a good start, settling into the fight and finding his range first, notably beating Gassiev to the jab despite giving away three inches in height. Gassiev soon started to apply pressure, but Lebedev remained the ring general, circling his foe and throwing economically.
But Gassiev soon proved his worthiness, scoring a 5th round knockdown courtesy of a left hook to the body. Lebedev survived the ensuing onslaught, but the fight became a whole lot more competitive from that point on. Gassiev continued to stalk his foe, cutting off the ring and landing with the heavier blows.
With Gassiev consistently on the front foot, Lebedev was forced to dig into his energy reserves to keep moving and boxing off the back foot. This isn’t what we’re used to seeing from Lebedev, but his skill set served him well, allowing him to continue getting off first and fire accurate, scoring combinations. However you feel about the eventual outcome, it’s Gassiev who now has the target on his back.
So what’s next for both men? Will Lebedev pursue an immediate rematch? Well, there’s plenty of big fights to be made at Cruiserweight right now, but, from fight fans’ point of view, Lebedev vs Gassiev II shouldn’t be too hard to sell.
Lebedev vs Gassiev: Undercard
Eduard Troyanovsky vs Julius Indongo
In a shocking upset, heralded IBF Junior Welterweight champ Eduard Troyanovsky was obliterated in stunning fashion by Julius Indongo. With a mere forty seconds on the clock, Indongo threw a long left hook which crunched into Troyanovsky’s jaw, sending the champion straight to the canvas and out for the count.
Indongo was a heavy underdog in this bout, but boy did he make a hell of a statement, wiping out a fine fighter with just the first shot he threw. A candidate for knockout of the year, without doubt. So what now for Troyanovsky, who now picks up an ugly blemish on his previously unbeaten record? Well, it’s possible we could see a rematch in 2017.
While this was a spectacular victory for Indongo, there’s a good chance a sequel could be entirely different. And hopefully a top talent like Troyanovsky will be eager to avenge such a crushing defeat. We’ll soon find out. Troyanovsky now reduces to 25 wins, 1 defeat, 22 knockouts, while unbeaten Indongo receives a huge career boost, rising to 21 wins, 11 knockouts.
- Dmitry Kudryashov (20-1, 19 KO) beats Santander Silgado (27-4, 21 KO) KO 1 | Cruiserweight
- Maksim Vlasov (37-2, 20 KO) beats Rakhim Chakhkiev (26-3, 19 KO) TKO 7 | Cruiserweight
Cast your own thoughts on Lebedev vs Gassiev, Troyanovsky vs Indongo, plus the rest of the heavy-handed Cruiserweight supporting cast.