Oleksandr Usyk wins big fight moved from Saudi Arabia to Moscow

Oleksandr Usyk poses with the Muhammad Ali Trophy after beating Murat Gassiev. (@WBSuperSeries)
Updated 22 July 2018
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Oleksandr Usyk wins big fight moved from Saudi Arabia to Moscow

  • Ukrainian beats Murat Gassiev by unanimous decision
  • Usyk wins $10 million and the Muhammad Ali Trophy

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk unified the cruiserweight division by beating Russian Murat Gassiev by unanimous decision on Saturday in a fight that was originally due to take place in Saudi Arabia.
The two titans were due to meet at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah on May 11, but the fight was called off because Usyk suffered an injury in training. The showdown in the final of the World Boxing Super Series was subsequently moved to Moscow and took place on Saturday night, with $10 million at stake in addition to the honor of winning the first Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Despite facing a hostile crowd in Moscow, Usyk controlled the fight with his jab to add Gassiev’s WBA and IBF titles to his own WBC and WBO belts.
Gassiev landed some heavy body shots when he got inside Usyk’s reach, but started to tire and the Ukrainian was utterly dominant in the later rounds as Gassiev swung wild haymakers.
Usyk, a former Olympic gold medalist, holds all four major titles after just 15 professional fights, all of which he won.
“Moscow, 2018. Bang! Daddy’s in the building,” Usyk said.
Usyk added he could move up to heavyweight to fight the experienced British fighter Tony Bellow.
“If he doesn’t want to drop down (to cruiserweight), I’ll happily go up to meet him,” Usyk said. “I’ll just eat extra pasta.”
It was Usyk’s third fight in 10 months as part of the World Boxing Super Series, in which he also beat German Marco Huck and the then-WBC champion Mairis Briedis.
Gassiev’s record dropped to 26-1 with one no contest. “I had the best opponent in my professional career,” Gassiev said. “I do my best, just today is Oleksandr’s day.”
Usyk was born in Crimea and has said he was forced to leave the peninsula after Russia annexed it from Ukraine in 2014. Despite the tension between the two countries, Usyk and Gassiev embraced warmly after the fight with broad smiles.
On the undercard, Cecilia Braekhus remained the undisputed women’s welterweight champion after beating the relatively inexperienced Russian Inna Sagaydakovskaya by unanimous decision.
The Norwegian, who first won a world title in 2009, has a 34-0 record.


Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria in Argentina's Copa America squad

Updated 18 min 23 sec ago
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Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria in Argentina's Copa America squad

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina included Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria in its Copa America squad, while Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi was left out.
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni announced his list Tuesday, with the attacking trio of Messi, Di Maria and Aguero looking for their first major international title after losing three finals — at the 2014 World Cup and 2015 and 2016 Copa America.
Argentina is in Group B with Colombia, Paraguay and Qatar. Its first match will be against Colombia on June 15 in Salvador.

Squad:
Goalkeepers: Esteban Andrada (Boca Juniors), Franco Armani (River Plate), Agustin Marchesin (America de Mexico).
Defenders: Renzo Saravia (Racing), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Juan Foyth (Tottenham), German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal), Milton Casco (River Plate), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon).
Midfielders: Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese), Leandro Paredes, Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain), Roberto Pereyra (Watford), Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis), Guido Rodriguez, Exequiel Palacios (River Plate).
Strikers: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Matias Suarez (River Plate), Lautaro Martínez (Inter Milan).